|9/21/2016 by mdc|
|1. McArthur River Mine, Canada|
2015 mine production: 7,354 tonnes
Located in Saskatchewan, Canada, the McArthur River mine is the largest uranium mine, and its annual output dwarfs that of other projects. Production at the McArthur River mine dropped slightly from 7,356 in 2014 to 7,354 in 2015. In 2015, the mine accounted for 12% of uranium mined worldwide.
Major miner Cameco holds a 69.8% stake in McArthur River and is its operator. It is entitled to 234.9 million pounds in proven and probable uranium reserves. AREVA Resources Canada, a subsidiary of AREVA owns the other 30.2% of McArthur River.
McArthur River became operational in 2000, and expansion into other prospective deposits near the mine could prolong its life. To date, McArthur River has yielded 291 million pounds of U3O8.
2. Cigar Lake Mine, Canada
2015 mine production: 4,345 tonnes
Cigar Lake is the world highest-grade uranium mine currently in production, located in northern Saskatchewan. Commercial production at themine began in May 2015, with a total of 11.3 million pounds produced by the end of the year with a ramp-up of 18 million pounds per year expected by the end of 2017. Cigar Lake accounted for 7% of worldwide production of uranium in 2015.
3. Tortkuduk and Myunkum Mines, Kazakhstan
2015 mine production: 4,109 tonnes
Production dropped from 4,322 tonnes in 2014 to 4,109 tonnes in 2015 at the Tortkuduk and Myunkum mines. The two mines are located in Kazakhstan, and are operated through a joint venture between AREVA and state-owned nuclear energy company Kazatomprom. Areva owns a 51% stake in these mines, while Kazatomprom has 49% ownership. They are expected to increase production in 2016.
4. Olympic Dam Mine, South Australia
2015 mine production: 3,161 tonnes
BHP Billiton owns the Olympic Dam Cu and U mine in Roxby Downs, Australia. The mine has been producing almost 30 yrs, and in 2015 its output accounted for 5% of the global uranium, producing 3,161 tonnes.