Sydney, Mar. 7 : Australia and India will start negotiations for the sale of Australian uranium to the subcontinent this month.
Officials from both the sides will try and reach a nuclear safeguards agreement in Delhi on March 19, but it is likely to be two years before a deal is signed and sales begin.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said there was no time frame for talks to be completed.
India will be the first customer for Australian uranium not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
It has between 80 and 100 nuclear weapons, but has refused to sign the treaty, arguing it discriminates against emerging nations, the report said.
India has long expressed its desire to buy Australian uranium, but Australia has long refused to sell it, and overturned its decision only last year.
According to the report, in Delhi late last year, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Australian uranium would be used only for civilian purposes, feeding India''s growing nuclear power industry.
Australia holds about a third of the world's recoverable uranium resources, and exports nearly 7000 tonnes a year, the report said.
Australian uranium is used in civilian nuclear power reactors in the US, Japan, France, Britain, Finland, Sweden, South Korea, China, Belgium, Spain, Canada and Taiwan, it added. (ANI)
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