The BBC is reporting this morning that Australia has signed an agreement with China to supply approximately 20,000 tons of uranium each year under the condition that the Australian uranium will not be used in the Chinese nuclear weapons program.
At current world prices of about $35 per pound (USD), the deal is worth about $1.4 billion dollars. Shipments under the agreement will start in 2010.
The importance of this deal is illustrated by the political attention paid to it.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his Chinese counterpart, Premier Wen Jiabao – on a four-day visit to the country – looked on as their foreign ministers signed the pacts.