Rio Tinto hopes to start uranium exports to India in 2 years

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018

Sam Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of London-based Rio Tinto Group

Group interested in bidding for coal blocks

Diversified mining giant Rio Tinto group, one of the largest exporters of uranium from Australia, said on Monday that it expects another year or two before it starts shipping the nuclear fuel to India.

"The memorandum of understanding for civil nuclear cooperation was signed last year but there is still work that needs to be done on certain safeguards about the end use of the uranium. It is an elaborate process and though both sides are committed, I think it will take another year or two before we start exporting uranium to India," said Sam Walsh, group Chief Executive Officer, Rio Tinto.

Walsh added that he expressed interest in bidding for coal blocks in his discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Commercial mining of coal is still some way off, but we are open to opportunities," he said.

The group currently has a two way trade with India of about $2 billion.

Rio Tinto is still awaiting environment clearances for its $2 billion iron ore project in Odisha and $500 million diamond mining project in Madhya Pradesh.

"The Madhya Pradesh project is an important one. It has the potential to create 30,000 jobs. We hope that approvals for this and the Odisha iron ore project will come through soon," said Walsh.

He added that over the three meeting with Modi in the last six month, the issue of pending approvals has been raised.

Published on January 12, 2015

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