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Alliance, Gippsland of Australia to Search for Uranium in Jordan

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May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Jordan will sign an agreement next month with Australia’s Alliance Resources Ltd. and Gippsland Ltd. to explore for uranium in the southern parts of the kingdom, the Jordan Energy Resources Inc. said today.

The Jordanian government, which plans to build at least one nuclear reactor, plans to ratify the agreement with the Australian companies soon, said Fakhruddin Daghestani, director general of the state-run company.

Exploration on a 22,000 square-kilometer (8,500-square mile) stretch of land will start about a month after the signing of the agreement, he said in a telephone interview from Amman. The prospecting and exploration works are due to last for two years after which a feasibility study will determine whether the area will be open for commercial mining, he said.

Jordan, which relies almost entirely on imports for energy, aims to attract $14 billion in energy infrastructure investments and plans to develop more of its own resources, including renewable energy and oil shale as well as nuclear power. The kingdom has signed cooperation accords with 10 countries to prepare for the construction of the nuclear reactor. The government estimates it has 70,000 tons of uranium deposits.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mohammad Tayseer via Dubai; or Nayla Razzouk in Amman at nrazzouk2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on sev@bloomberg.net.

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