Uranium, an element utilized in the generation of nuclear energy, is said to be one of the best nonrenewable sources of energy because it doesn’t emit any greenhouse gases. Figures from the World Nuclear Association (WNA) show that global uranium production slightly increased by 1% from 47,731 tons in 2020 to 48,303 tons in 2021. The association stated that 77% of global uranium demand was covered by mined uranium while secondary sources covered the rest of the demand.
Kazakhstan was the top uranium producer in the world in 2021, supplying 45% of the global uranium demand. It currently holds 12% of the globe’s total uranium reserves. The eastern European country mined 21,819 tU in 2021, increasing its 2020 output of 19,477 tU by 12% as loosening COVID-19-related safety measures allowed the country to up its production output.
Namibia was the second-largest uranium producer, jumping up from the third position globally in 2020. Namibia upped its uranium production output by 6%, producing 5,753 tons of uranium last year compared to 5,413 tons in 2020. Chinese corporations recently took control of mining in Namibia after China National Uranium Corporation Limited (CNUC) took over a major uranium mine in the Namib desert.
Canada lost its top spot as the largest uranium producer in the world to Kazakhstan in 2009 and has struggled to reclaim it. Canada’s uranium production jumped by 21% last year, increasing from 3,885 tons in 2020 to 4,693 tons in 2021. This increase in production output was mainly due to the fact that lifting COVID-19 restrictions in July 2021 allowed the Cigar Lake mine to resume production.
Australia lost its place as the second-largest global uranium producer in 2021. While the top three countries increased their uranium output in 2021, Australia saw its uranium production output drop by 32% from 6,203 tons in 2020 to 4,192 tons in 2021. This is primarily due to reduced mining activity that saw the number of active uranium mines in the country fall from three to two. Despite the reduced mining volume, Australia still has considerable uranium resources. Experts estimate that Australia is home to one-third of the world’s total uranium reserves.
Uzbekistan closes out the list of the top-five uranium producers in the world. The central Asian country produced 3,500 tons of uranium last year, keeping its production output relatively unchanged from 2020. That year was the first time Uzbekistan revealed uranium production figures, and an official said at the time that the country had 139,200 tons in uranium reserves.
In the United States, entities such as Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) are doing what they can to dent the dominance of imported uranium on the domestic market and also eventually put the U.S. on the map of leading uranium producers on the globe.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/UUUU
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