Yellow cake in NT 'worth $US50 billion'

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Northern Territory Mines Minister Chris Natt says there's $US50 billion worth of yellow cake in the ground up north.

He made the comment while opening the 2007 Uranium Conference in Darwin.

This year's summit has added significance following a shift in federal Labor's policy to support the exploration of mining nationwide.

"Last month, the Australian Labor Party changed its policy in relation to uranium," Mr Natt told the conference.

"As far as proposals for uranium mining are concerned, we (the NT government) will consider all applications."

Mr Natt said uranium had hit a 25-year high spot price, and was currently worth $US120 a pound.

"(This means) the value of known uranium in the ground in the Territory is $US50 billion ... this is a very significant resource" he said.

"It is one of the most prospective unexplored regions in Australia."

Conference chair Mark Chalmers - who is involved with the Uranium Industry Framework - told the conference it was "good to be here in Australia".

"We would never have believed we would be where we are today," he said.

A small group of anti-uranium protesters gathered outside the conference venue, waving banners and shouting slogans as delegates entered the building.

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