Largest Uranium-producing Countries

Which country had the highest uranium production in the world in 2020? Kazakhstan topped the list, followed by Australia and Namibia.

Output from the top uranium-producing countries rose steadily for a decade, leading to a peak of 63,207 tonnes in 2016. However, global uranium production has noticeably declined in the past five years.

The lower production numbers are related to the persistently low spot price the uranium market has experienced over the last seven years; COVID-19 has also had an impact on global uranium output. While prices have begun to rebound, there is much work to be done for the industry to reach the strength seen prior to the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

The majority of mined uranium makes its way into the nuclear energy sector. Currently, 10 percent of the world’s electricity is generated by nuclear energy, and that number is expected to grow. Another by-product of mined ore is uranium oxide, which is used in glass, ceramics and for optic applications.

10 largest uranium-producing countries

Due to its significance in energy generation, it’s important to know where uranium is mined and which nations are the largest uranium-producing countries.

Kazakhstan is the leader by a long shot, and has been since 2009. Last year, it was followed by Australia and Namibia in second and third place, respectively.

For investors interested in following the uranium space, having familiarity with these uranium production hotspots is essential. Read on to get a closer look at 2020’s largest uranium-producing countries. All statistics are from the World Nuclear Association’s most recent report on uranium mine production.

1. Kazakhstan

Mine production: 19,477 tonnes

As mentioned, Kazakhstan had the highest uranium production in the world in 2020. In fact, the country’s total output of 19,477 tonnes accounted for 41 percent of global uranium supply.

When last recorded in 2019, Kazakhstan had 906,800 tonnes of known recoverable uranium resources, second only to Australia. Most of the uranium in the country is mined via an in situ leaching process. Kazataprom (LSE:KAP), the country’s national uranium-mining company, is the world’s largest uranium producer with a number of projects and partnerships in various jurisdictions.

2. Australia

Mine production: 6,203 tonnes

Australia’s uranium production decreased slightly in 2020 to 6,203 tonnes, down from 2019’s 6,613 tonnes. The island nation holds 28 percent of the world’s known recoverable uranium resources.

Uranium mining has been a contentious and often political issue in Australia. While the sector is heavily regulated, the future of the industry is often called into question. Recently, the Western Australian government decided to allow existing projects to go ahead, but was clear that no new domestic uranium-mining projects will be approved. This decision has left a number of companies in limbo.

Australia is home to Olympic Dam, the largest-known deposit of uranium in the world. While the country permits some uranium-mining activity, it is opposed to using nuclear energy. A new partnership between Australia, the US and the UK that will allow the Oceanic country to acquire nuclear submarines has renewed debate over whether the country should develop its own nuclear energy capacity.

3. Namibia

Mine production: 5,413 tonnes

Namibia’s uranium production has been steadily increasing after falling to a low of 2,993 tonnes in 2015. In fact, the African nation overtook longtime frontrunner Canada to become the third largest uranium-producing country in 2020, putting out 5,413 tonnes of the material.

The country is home to two uranium mines that are capable of producing 10 percent of the world’s output. Uranium miner Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN,OTCQX:PALAF) owns the Langer Heinrich mine, and mining major Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO,ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO) controls the majority of the Rössing mine.

In 2017, Paladin took Langer Heinrich offline due to weak uranium prices. In 2020, the uranium spot price began to rise, prompting the uranium miner to ramp up restart efforts.

4. Canada

Mine production: 3,885 tonnes

Canada’s uranium output has fallen dramatically in recent years since hitting a peak of 14,039 tonnes in 2016. After producing 6,938 tonnes of yellowcake in 2019, Canadian uranium production sank to 3,885 tonnes in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic led to operational shutdowns.

Saskatchewan’s Cigar Lake and McArthur River are considered the world’s two top uranium mines. Both projects are operated by sector major Cameco (TSX:CCO,NYSE:CCJ).

Uranium exploration is also very prevalent in Canada, with the majority occurring in the uranium-dense Athabasca Basin. That particular area of Saskatchewan is world renowned for its high-quality uranium deposits and friendly mining attitude. The province’s long history with the uranium-mining industry has helped Saskatchewan assert itself as an international leader in the uranium sector.

5. Uzbekistan

Mine production: 3,500 tonnes

In 2020, with an estimated 3,500 tonnes of output, Uzbekistan became one of the top five uranium-producing countries. Domestic uranium production has been gradually increasing in the Central Asian nation since 2016. Previously the seventh in terms of global uranium output, it is expanding production via Japanese and Chinese joint ventures.

Navoi Mining & Metallurgy Combinat is part of state holding company Kyzylkumredmetzoloto, and handles all the mining and processing of the domestic uranium supply.

6. Niger

Mine production: 2,991 tonnes

Niger’s uranium production has declined year-over-year over the past decade, with output totaling 2,991 tonnes in 2020. The African nation has two uranium mines in production, SOMAIR and COMINAK, which account for 5.5 percent of the world’s uranium production.

Both projects are operated by subsidiaries of Orano, a private uranium miner with projects in top uranium-producing countries Kazakhstan and Canada.

Niger is also home to the flagship project of explorer GoviEx Uranium (TSXV:GXU,OTCQB:GVXXF). The uranium company is presently developing its Madaeouela asset, as well as projects in Zambia and Mali.

7. Russia

Mine production: 2,846 tonnes

Russia was in seventh place in terms of uranium production in 2020. Output has been steady in the country since 2011, usually coming in near the 3,000 tonne range.

The top uranium-producing country is expected to increase its production in the coming years to meet its energy needs and growing uranium demand around the world. However, Russian uranium has been an area of controversy in recent years, with the US conducting a Section 232 investigation around the security of uranium imports from that region.

In terms of domestic uranium production, Rosatom, a subsidiary of ARMZ Uranium Holding, owns the country’s Priargunsky underground mine and is working on developing the Vershinnoye deposit in Southern Siberia through a subsidiary.

8. China

Mine production: 1,885 tonnes

China’s uranium production rose from 885 tonnes in 2011 to 1,885 tonnes in 2018, and has been holding steady since then. China General Nuclear Power, the country’s sole domestic uranium supplier, is looking to expand nuclear fuel supply deals with Kazakhstan and additional foreign uranium companies.

China’s goal is to supply one-third of its nuclear fuel cycle with uranium from domestic producers, obtain one-third through foreign equity in mines and joint ventures overseas and purchase one-third on the open uranium market. China is also leading the way in nuclear energy generation; Mainland China has 51 nuclear reactors with an additional 18 in construction.

9. Ukraine

Mine production: 400 tonnes

After reaching a high of 1,200 tonnes in 2015, uranium production in Ukraine slid to 800 tonnes in 2016. After a few more years at around the 800 tonne level, output dropped to 400 tonnes in 2020.

Ukraine is heavily dependent on nuclear power, and has 15 reactors that meet about half of the country’s electricity requirements. Most of its uranium demand is met through Russian uranium.

Ukraine holds just 2 percent of the world’s known uranium reserves; in comparison, neighboring Russia accounts for 8 percent of the world’s uranium reserves.

10. India

Mine production: 400 tonnes

Rounding out the list is India, which produced 400 tonnes of the energy fuel in 2020. The country’s uranium output has held steady between 300 and 420 tonnes over the past decade.

As of 2018, the country had uranium stockpiles of 71,000 tonnes dedicated to its domestic nuclear energy sector. India currently has 23 operating nuclear reactors with another seven under construction. “The Indian government is committed to growing its nuclear power capacity as part of its massive infrastructure development programme,” according to the World Nuclear Association.

“The government has set ambitious targets to grow nuclear capacity.”

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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Australia is the second largest producer of uranium in the world. Here's a look at the mines that are producing today, and the significant ones that are being developed.

Despite sitting on the largest known recoverable resources of uranium worldwide — 1.69 million metric tonnes in 2019 — Australia uses no part of it for energy. Instead, Australia exports the valuable resource, which accounts for one-quarter of its energy exports.

In fact, Australia was the second largest producer of uranium in 2020, producing 6,203 metric tonnes. It was only beaten by Kazakhstan, which produced nearly 20,000 metric tonnes that year.

Australian uranium production has centred around three mines in recent years — Olympic Dam, Beverly Four Mile and Ranger — until the Ranger mine ceased operations in 2021.
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Catch up and get informed with this week's content highlights from Charlotte McLeod, our editorial director.

Top Stories This Week: Powell Gets Fed Nomination, Using Gold in a Market Correction youtu.be

We're back after a break last week with quite a bit to cover in the gold space.

After running up past the US$1,860 per ounce mark midway through November, the yellow metal has taken a tumble. At the time of this writing on Friday (November 26) afternoon, it was sitting just under US$1,790.

Gold's losses this week have been attributed to elements like a stronger US dollar and better Treasury yields, although Jerome Powell's US Federal Reserve chair renomination has pulled other factors into play — some market watchers believe he may move to taper and raise interest rates faster than anticipated.


If the Fed follows its previously laid out timeline for tapering, it will wrap up in mid-2022; the central bank has said it won't raise rates until after that. It has also emphasized that its roadmap may change if necessary.

Looking at the larger picture for gold, I heard recently from Nick Barisheff of BMG Group, who believes the stock market is due for a major correction.

"The market is due for a major correction. What will cause it and when it will happen is anybody's guess — it could be tomorrow, it could be six months from now" — Nick Barisheff, BMG Group

It's impossible to know when this correction will happen, but Nick emphasized the importance of acting before it's too late. He pointed out that investors are typically slow to get out of the market once a crash actually begins — they wait for a turnaround, and by the time it's clear there won't be one, they've experienced big losses.

In his opinion, the solution is to get out of the stock market early and transfer money into gold.

Here's how Nick explained it:

"Instead of taking your money off the table and going into cash … you go to gold (because cash is devaluing daily). Gold will at least hold its own and probably appreciate … so by sitting it out in gold you can wait until the market finishes correcting and then buy back in" — Nick Barisheff, BMG Group

With gold's future in mind, we asked our Twitter followers this week what price they think the metal will be at the end of 2021. By the time the poll closed, most respondents had voted for the US$1,800 to US$1,900 range.

We'll be asking another question on Twitter next week, so make sure to follow us @INN_Resource or follow me @Charlotte_McL to share your thoughts.

Finally, in the cannabis space, INN's Bryan Mc Govern spoke with Dan Ahrens of AdvisorShares to get his thoughts on 2021 trends and what's ahead in 2022.

Dan was candid, and said if he had to choose one word to describe the cannabis market in 2021, it would be "painful." Like many others, he's been disappointed in the industry's performance — while positivity initially ran high due to excitement about potential federal changes in the US, ultimately progress has been slow.

"Cannabis started with a big run-up in January and February ... and things dragged from there" — Dan Ahrens, AdvisorShares

Still, Dan has hope for 2022 and said it will be a "huge year" for cannabis. He believes US reforms will come sooner rather than later, and in his opinion those widely anticipated changes will bring a wave of M&A activity.

Specifically, he expects to see alcohol, tobacco and other consumer packaged goods companies making deals with cannabis players, not just cannabis entities doing transactions with each other.

"Those big alcohol companies, tobacco companies, other consumer packaged goods product companies — they're waiting. They're waiting on the US" — Dan Ahrens, AdvisorShares

Want more YouTube content? Check out our YouTube playlist At Home With INN, which features interviews with experts in the resource space. If there's someone you'd like to see us interview, please send an email to cmcleod@investingnews.com.

And don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

cannabis plant layered with German flag graphic
Dmytro Tyshchenko / Shutterstock

Catch up on some of the biggest news of the week for the cannabis investment world.

Three political parties have formed a coalition in Germany, leading to a new government, and it has promised cannabis reform in the European nation.

Meanwhile, a popular cannabis retailer confirmed consumers will now find its products available for delivery on the Uber Eats mobile application in Ontario.

Keep reading to find out more cannabis highlights from the past five days.


Coalition of parties promises forward-looking cannabis policy

Germany, a country with comprehensive and elaborate medicinal rules for cannabis, is in a time of transition as a new government is set to begin to take over after 16 years of Angela Merkel.

Olaf Scholz, the proposed next chancellor of Germany, leads a three party coalition that will become the country's governing body. As part of its promises, talk of adult-use cannabis regulation has now gained even more momentum. A report from MJBizDaily quotes a German policy document that shows the coalition's stance:

"We are introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption purposes in licensed shops. This controls the quality, prevents the transfer of contaminated substances and guarantees the protection of minors."

However, despite the promise and excitement, it remains to be seen how these ideas will be applied since no formal regulations have been drafted or approved yet.

Canadian cannabis retailer partners with popular delivery app

Tokyo Smoke, a cannabis retail operator in Canada owned by Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC,TSX:WEED), announced a collaboration agreement with Uber Canada (NYSE:UBER) whereby cannabis consumers will be able to use the Uber Eats app to order products before they visit stores.

While the app won't let consumers get cannabis delivered to them, this new method opens the doors to more dynamic ways of buying cannabis.

"As a market leader in innovation and a platform used by so many Canadians, we believe this is the ideal next offering that can be done safely and conveniently on the Uber Eats app," Mark Hillard, vice president of operations with Tokyo Smoke, said in a press release.

A report from the Canadian Press indicates Ontario is considering allowing dispensaries to have delivery and pickup options made available to consumers permanently. The province allowed some of these purchasing options at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but then removed them.

Lola Kassim, general manager of Uber Eats Canada, said this new end-to-end experience will provide consumers with responsible access to legal cannabis products.

Cannabis company news

  • Organigram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI,TSX:OGI) issued financial results for its Q4 2021 period. In its report, the company notes a net loss of C$26 million despite a 22 percent uptick in net revenue to C$24.9 million. Beena Goldenberg, the newly appointed CEO of the firm, is encouraged by the market share position earned by the company, which said it became the fourth biggest producer in Canada during the reporting period.
  • Halo Collective (NEO:HALO,OTCQB:HCANF) confirmed the decision for Akanda, its spinoff company focused on international cannabis opportunities, to begin trading on a US exchange. "The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined," the company told investors in a press release.
  • High Tide (NASDAQ:HITI,TSXV:HITI) announced the acquisition of 80 percent of NuLeaf Naturals, a CBD product wellness developer, for an estimated US$31.24 million. The deal includes a three year option clause for High Tide to complete a total acquisition. "As international markets open up and as export regulations evolve, NuLeaf's cGMP-certified facility positions us to take advantage of the global CBD business opportunity," Raj Grover, president and CEO of High Tide, said.
  • Humble & Fume (CSE:HMBL,OTC Pink:HUMBF) released the financial report for its first 2022 fiscal quarter to shareholders and the market. "As the legal cannabis market in North America continues to mature, Humble remains agile and focused on providing a leading solution for brands to scale quickly and retailers to focus on their customers," Joel Toguri, CEO of Humble, said.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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