Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has finally inked the deal with Australia based uranium mining major Uranium Exploration Australia (UXA) Resources which will see commencement of drilling programme in Nabarlek region in Australia’s Northern territory in mid August 2011. Nabarlek is the world’s third largest uranium mine, carrying high grade uranium deposits. The mineral ore content is expected to be around 104.68 million tonne and recoverable uranium or uranium oxide from these ores is expected to range up to 3, 36,000 tonne; a huge amount of reserve as far as uranium oxide is concerned.
The Northern Territory of Australia has granted three uranium exploration licenses to the joint venture between the two parties where RIL Australia (RILA), Reliance Industries Australian subsidiary, will have a 49% stake while Uranium Exploration Australia (UXA) Ltd will hold a 51% stake in the venture.
The joint venture between RIL subsidiary and UXA has set up plans for a drilling rig and acquired necessary heritage approvals and clearances for exploration and drilling at the Nabarlek site starting the middle of August.
Reliance Industries entered into a joint venture with UXA for prolific uranium exploration in Australia’s mineral rich site earlier in 2007. As per the JV, RIL Australia (RILA) will hold 49% interest in explorations in South Australia and in the Northern Territory and will incur 49% exploration funding.
This deal comes as at a time when RIL has just recently been granted official sanction to commence operations on RIL-BP venture, one of the most significant deals to be signed in the energy sector of India. While RIL-BP deal will see Reliance explore and develop India’s rich oil and gas reserves, its deal with UXA will result in prolific mining and development of uranium mineral deposits in the southern country.