Saskatchewan's premier, Brad Wall — as well as other industry players — has been lobbying for a change in foreign ownership regulations since coming into power in 2007.As trade regulations stand,a"if you're a European company and you want to invest in a mine in Saskatchewan you need to find a majority partner who's Canadian and for some companies that has been a comfortable proposition, like Areva." However, Wall expects that if given the choice, foreign companies would prefer not to have a minority ownership in their property. He believes that "the provisions will be gone for these companies … and so they'll be able to own a mine outright in the province if they choose to develop the resource." Major players With the floodgates hopefully soon to be opened, it seems that many are waiting to see whether Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) will make a move on Saskatchewan's uranium bounty. In January 2012, Rio Tintoaacquired the Roughrider property through its takeover of Canadian junior Hathor Exploration. With the takeover, a new entity, Rio Tinto Canada Uranium, was created. However, through the bidding process, the company issued a direct challenge toaCanada's Competition Policy Review Panel with a $654-million bid for the uranium project. If Roughrider goes into production, with current regulations, Rio cannot own more than 49 percent. According to the Canadian Press,a"Rio Tinto welcomes CETA and the easing of Canadian restrictions on European Union investment in the uranium mining sector, as we believe policies that promote trade and foreign investment enhance the prosperity of Saskatchewan and other regions of Canada." As far as Canada's biggest uranium player, Cameco (TSX:CCO), is concerned, changes to the NROP are welcome as long as they include "reciprocal access" with the EU. Europe accounted for 21 percent of the company's uranium sales last year,aas per the Financial Post.
Securities Disclosure: I, Vivien Diniz, hold no investment interest in any of the companies mentioned.a Canada-EU Trade Agreement is "New Day" for Uranium Investment from Uranium Investing News