In line with the rise of nuclear energy since the 1950's, uranium has become a pivotal commodity. This is especially true for countries that are highly dependent on nuclear energy to fulfill their domestic energy needs. Global uranium production stood at some 54,752 metric tons in 2019. With a production of approximately 22,808 metric tons, Kazakhstan is the largest single producer of uranium in the world. Other top uranium producers include Canada, Australia, and Namibia.
Largest uranium mines in the world
The world’s largest uranium producing mine is Cigar Lake in Canada. Some 6,924 metric tons of uranium were generated there in 2019. The second-largest mine is Husab in Namibia with 3,400 metric tons of uranium produced in 2019. Approximately 57 percent of the uranium worldwide is produced by the mining method of in-situ leaching.
The leading uranium mining companies
Kazakh state-owned KazAtomProm is the world’s leading uranium company, having produced about 12,229 metric tons in 2019 (or 13,291 metric tons when the company's fifty percent stake of Energy Asia's production is included). French Orano and Canadian Cameco follow in second and third place, respectively. In the same year, only 14 companies accounted for 94 percent of the total global mine production of uranium.
The leading uranium consuming nations, also known as the leading nuclear energy producers
The leading consumers of uranium worldwide are the countries with the highest share of nuclear energy: the United States, France, and China. The U.S. used nearly 19,200 metric tons of uranium in 2018. That was more than twice as much as France, which ranked second. Although there are global tendencies towards alternative energies, projections for nuclear energy consumption show a distinct increase until 2035. This means that uranium will continue to be an important commodity for decades to come.
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