US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Uranium metal and its compounds are mainly used as nuclear fuel in nuclear reactors. A low-enriched mixture of uranium isotopes is used in stationary reactors of nuclear power plants.
In 2017, the largest uranium mining companies mined 86% of all uranium mined in the world according to the World Nuclear Association. Uranium mining has risen to a new level as technology has advanced and more drilling services similar to diamond drilling have become available.
The main uranium mining countries are Kazakhstan, Canada, and Australia: they account for two-thirds of world production.
Below we will talk about the largest uranium mining companies in the world.
NAC Kazatomprom JSC
NAC Kazatomprom JSC is the national operator of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the import-export of uranium, rare metals, nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants. Since 2009, Kazakhstan has been the world leader in the production of natural uranium.
In 2017, uranium production amounted to 12,488 tons, which is 21% of the global production.
The assets of the national nuclear company include the whole complex of enterprises involved in the production chain of final products – from exploration, uranium mining, production of nuclear fuel cycle products to science, social welfare and training.
Cameco is a Canadian mining company, one of the largest uranium producers in the world. At the McArthur River deposit, Cameco produced about 14–13% of the world’s uranium production, and another 3% at the Rabbit Lake mine.
In 2017, the company produced 9155 tons of uranium, which amounted to 15% of the global production.
Currently, the company produces uranium in 4 mines (2 in Canada and 2 in the USA). Cameco is also developing a mine using underground well leaching in Kazakhstan.
Orano is a large international French industrial company, the leader of the French nuclear industry.
In 2017, the company produced 8,031 tons of uranium, which is 13% of global uranium production.
The main activities of ORANO SA are related to nuclear energy: uranium mining, processing and enrichment of uranium, manufacture of fuel assemblies, transportation of nuclear fuel, radioactive waste management, spent nuclear fuel reprocessing, decommissioning of nuclear facilities.
In April 2017, Orano signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Kazatomprom, in which the companies strengthen cooperation in the field of uranium mining in Kazakhstan.
Uranium One is a uranium mining company, a direct division of the Russian state corporation Rosatom. Uranium One owns extractive enterprises in Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan, South Africa and the USA.
In 2017, the company produced 5 102 tons of uranium.
At the end of 2018, the mineral resource base of Uranium One is estimated at 216 thousand tons.
China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN)
China General Nuclear Power Group – the second largest Chinese company operating in the field of nuclear energy, is one of the hundred largest companies in the country.
CGN’s fields of activity also include hydropower, wind and solar, electricity, uranium mining, nuclear fuel production, construction of energy facilities, utilities and financial services, real estate operations.
China General Nuclear Power Group is a subsidiary of CNNC.
These two Chinese companies in 2017 produced 3,897 tons in 2017, which is 4% of global production.
Atomredmetzoloto JSC is a Russian uranium mining company, which, according to its own data, ranks fifth in the world in terms of uranium production and second in terms of uranium reserves in the bowels, the mining division of the State Corporation Rosatom.
In 2017, the company produced 2,917 tons of uranium, which is 5% of the global production.
ARMZ carries out exploration, mining and processing of uranium, gold-bearing ores, as well as ores of rare and trace elements.
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