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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

South Africa, Russia in Uranium Talks

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- Major producers South Africa and Russia are in talks about cooperating to process uranium for sale on the international market, South Africa's mining minister said Tuesday.

Buyelwa Sonjica said Russia was actively courting South Africa and other countries to support the proposed establishment of international nuclear centers that would sell nuclear fuel.

"Of course they are looking at South Africa as a market, but probably we can look at cooperating with them on beneficiating uranium," Sonjica said on the sidelines of a French-South African nuclear conference in Cape Town. South Africa has earmarked uranium as a strategic mineral and will start stockpiling the sought-after nuclear fuel, in part to ensure it can power an ambitious multibillion rand expansion of its nuclear power plants.

The country is the only one in energy-starved Africa with a nuclear power plant, situated along the west coast about 40 kilometers from Cape Town.

Sonjica said her country wanted uranium processing to take place at home because "we want to have some control over it."