Share prices in uranium mining interest Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) have surged to a 20-year high on hopes Australia could soon be selling uranium to China following the announcement that formal negotiations were about to start between Australia and China over uranium sales. The agreement will establish safeguards to ensure Australian uranium supplied to China is used exclusively for peaceful purposes.

The news followed the recent federal decision to take regulatory control of mining uranium deposits in the Northern Territory. ERA, which owns the Ranger mine and other assets in the Northern Territory, has now added more than 20% to its market value.

Meanwhile, following the controversial federal move, mining companies, indigenous and environmental groups, and state and territory representatives have formed a steering group to advise the federal government on expansion of the uranium export industry. The steering group will work to develop a three-year framework to address issues arising from uranium mining over the next year.

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