The Saskatchewan government is pushing Ottawa to relax the rules surrounding foreign ownership of the province’s uranium companies.

Energy and Resources Minister Tim McMillan says he has talked with his federal counterpart about the issue while the premier has also raised it with Stephen Harper.

McMillan says northern Saskatchewan would benefit if more foreign companies were allowed to own majority stakes in uranium operations, similar to the potash industry.

He doesn’t feel the increased development would harm the environment or change current industrial standards in the province.

Currently the federal government prohibits foreign companies from owning a majority stake in uranium operations.

One of the companies McMillan hopes to build a coalition with about the issue is Rio Tinto.

A few years ago, this company drew headlines when it outbid Cameco for the rights to the roughrider deposit, a lucrative uranium property in the north.

The energy and resources minister adds he has also talked to uranium company Areva about the idea.

Areva declined to comment on the proposal.

He also wants to add the governments of Newfoundland and Nunavut to the coalition.