Oman has agreed to invest up to $120m in a uranium mine in Spain, at a time when energy-rich Gulf States are looking closer at nuclear power. The sovereign wealth fund of the Sultanate of Oman has an option to acquire 37 per cent of Berkeley Energia, which is developing the Salamanca mine about three hours west of Madrid. It will also have the right to uranium supply from the mine, known as an offtake. The money will allow London and Australia-listed Berkeley Energia to finish construction of the mine, which is due to start production in 2019. The move comes as Gulf governments invest more in alternative energy as they look to move away from domestic oil production. The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in the United Arab Emirates is due to start suppl ying electricity next year. It is the country’s first nuclear power plant. The deal is subject to shareholder approval. But any supply from the mine to Oman will need the approval of Euratom, the pan-European body that regulates the use of nuclear energy. Uranium prices have fallen to their lowest levels in more than a decade as many governments have scaled back their nuclear power programmes following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. But nuclear proponents say in order to meet global climate change goals as well as power electric cars cleanly, nuclear power will have to be an option.
FT 30th Aug 2017 read more »