Recent data shows that the largest countries that produce uranium are Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia, Niger, Russia, Namibia, Uzbekistan, China, United States, and Ukraine.
Uranium Production Spotlight is on Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is one of the leaders in uranium mining because of its rich mineral resources. It is said to have more than 10% of uranium deposits in the world. Kazakhstan produces more than 20,000 tons of uranium on a yearly basis, and it seems to be increasing its production on a regular basis.
Kazakhstan became the world’s largest uranium producer in 2009. Since then, its domestic uranium mining industry has dominated global competitors. In 2012, Kazakhstan eclipsed its closest pursuer, Canada, by more than twofold in annual uranium production.
A notable company in uranium production industry in the nation is that of Kazatomprom, a producer that is controlled by the government of Kazakhstan.
Popular mines in the nation include the following:
Inkai Uranium Project
South Inkai Mine
Central Mykuduk Mine
West Mykuduk Mine
East Mykuduk Mine
The earliest mine, Inkai Uranium Project, was discovered in 1976 and it is still producing today. The latest count for production for this mine was more than 1600 tons, which it makes it a major player for uranium mining.
As of now, Kazakhstan is expected to continue to be a big player in the uranium production and uranium energy industry but it will be ramping down a bit in production to address a variety of concerns.
Kazakhstan and Yellowcake
A couple of large events will take place for Kazakhstan. Moves that will be big for uranium production and for the nation of Kazakhstan as well.
The first event is that of the opening up of its main mining operation. As noted earlier, KazAtomprom was nationalized (in the direct control of the government) but it seems that the nation understands the value of globalization and wants to bring in more investment into the company and the nation as well.
The nation of Kazakhstan is working with large financial organizations such as J.P Morgan Chase and others to sell more than 20% of shares of the company to worldwide investors. This is a very important move for the nation as Kazakhstan is major player in the uranium production industry.
Many people will be watching this move as Kazakhstan has trade ties with China, Russia and other nations that have a tumultuous relationship with the United States.
It will be an interesting dynamic in other ways as well, as uranium energy is not necessarily the most streamlined topic. Questions will arise as to the nature of conflicts of interest, will a state-owned corporation be beneficial for potential investors? Will the governance of the company be in line with what the investors want or will it be in line with what the government wants? Will the heads of the company be able to make decisions that are best for the company or for the government of Kazakhstan?
This will be an interesting funding round, as there are more dynamics involved than that of a tech company offering or another consumer company’s fundraising round.
Which denotes to that one line of thought: significant events are taking place in the uranium production industry – we have all got to pay attention to them to stay on top of where and how uranium mining will be taking place in the future.