According to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), in 2022, the world’s total uranium production amounted to 48,888 tonnes, which is an increase of 2.3% over 2021 (47,808 tonnes).
WNA said that last year, mined uranium covered only 74% of the global demand, with the rest covered by secondary sources.
In 2022, Kazakhstan produced the largest share of uranium from mines (43% of the world supply), followed Canada (15%) and Namibia (11%).
According to the report, in situ recovery, ISR mining technology has been steadily increasing its share among other uranium mining methods, mainly due to its widespread use in Kazakhstan, and in 2022 it accounted for 56% of global production.
Kazakhstan was the largest uranium producing country with 21,227 tU mine-produced in 2022, which is 2.7% less compared to the country’s output of 21,819 tU in 2021.
Canada was the world’s largest uranium producer for many years, accounting for about 22% of world output, but in 2009 was overtaken by Kazakhstan.
In 2022, Canada ranked second and produced 7,351 tonnes of uranium, which is 56.6% more than in 2021 (4,693 tonnes).
Uranium production increase in Canada was primarily due to the resumption of production at the Cigar Lake mine in Saskatchewan after the COVID-19 related suspension was lifted in July 2021.
Moreover, after being held in safe care and maintenance since 2018, on February 9, 2022 Cameco announced plans for the McArthur River/Key Lake operation’s gradual return to production, which was achieved on November 9, 2022.
Namibia lost one position and landed third in 2022. The country produced 5,613 tonnes of uranium in 2022, which is 2.4% lower than in 2021 (5,753 tonnes). Chinese companies have taken control over two uranium producing mines in Namibia, Husab and Rössing.
Australia is fourth with 4,087 tonnes of uranium produced in 2022, which is 2.5% less than in 2021 (4,192 tonnes).
Uranium production ceased at Rio Tinto’s Ranger mine in January 2021. However, Australia’s known uranium resources are the world’s largest – almost one-third of the world total.
Uzbekistan sits fifth. This resource-rich Central Asian nation produced 3,300 tonnes of uranium in 2022, which is a decline of 6.3% compared to 2021 (3,520 tonnes). Uzbekistan does not process uranium locally and exports its entire produced stock to other countries.
Kitco.com / ABC Flash Point News 2023.
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