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China's CGN looking for more Canada uranium deals

By Rod Nickel

TORONTO, March 6 (Reuters) - China's CGN Mining Co Limited , the first direct Chinese investor in a Canadian uranium project, is interested in buying stakes in more Canadian companies, a company official said on Sunday.

CGN bought a nearly 20 percent stake for C$82.2 million ($61.63 million) in Fission Uranium Corp, Fission said in December.

"Of course we have interest but it depends on their price," said Jianhua Xing, deputy general manager of CGN Uranium Resources Co Ltd, when asked about companies such as NexGen Energy Ltd and Mines Denison, which have uranium development projects in northern Saskatchewan.

"We don't have a specific plan. We're not in a hurry," he said in an interview on Sunday in Toronto during the annual Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention.

China is briskly building a fleet of new reactors that will operate on nuclear fuel.

There are limits, however, on foreign involvement in Canada's uranium industry.

Canada does not allow foreign companies to be majority investors in operating uranium mines, although it has made exceptions for France's Areva SA and Australia's Paladin Energy Ltd.

CGN has raised the issue of foreign investment with Canada's embassy in Beijing, but will accept Canada's position, CGN's Jianhua Xing said.

CGN, a uranium trader, is controlled by China Uranium Development Company Ltd, a subsidiary of state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corporation.

Uranium supplies are expected to run thin in coming years as Japanese reactors start up and China expands its nuclear power generation.

Kelowna, British Columbia-based Fission is developing the Triple R uranium deposit at Patterson Lake South in northern Saskatchewan. It and Mines Denison called off a C$483 million merger agreement in October due to opposition from Fission's shareholders.

($1 = 1.3338 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Toronto; Editing by Diane Craft)