The fuel that powers the world is a valuable and precious resource. From the energy it produces to its versatile applications in military and space settings, uranium is a precious commodity and the underlying topic of national and global policy discussions. As the demand for it grows each year, our thoughts turn to the top uranium mines and how they are helping fuel our world.
In 2021, the top ten uranium mines in the world, based on production, are located in some of the most remote corners of the planet from Kazakhstan to Canada. Each of these ten mines provides essential needs for industries like power generation, nuclear medicine, and the development of nuclear weapons. These mines are operated by some of the world’s most influential companies, including Orano, Kazatomprom, Cameco, and Energy Resources of Australia. Here are some of these important mines and what they provide.
Number one on our list is the McArthur River mine in Saskatchewan, Canada. Owned and operated by Cameco, McArthur River is the world’s highest productive uranium mine. Created in the 1980s, the mine is responsible for nearly 20% of the world’s uranium production.
The Cigar Lake mine in northern Saskatchewan, Canada is the second most productive uranium mine in the world. First discovered in 1975, this mine is operated by Cameco and supplies the world with 13% of its uranium. The mine employs a combination of conventional and innovative mining techniques in order to operate profitably in such a remote region.
Number three on our list is the Inkai mine in Kazakhstan. Owned and operated by Orano, this mine supplies 10% of the world’s uranium needs. The mine employs a combination of open-pit and underground mining techniques and has been in operation since 1977.
The Hidden Valley mine in Canada is number four on our list. Owned and operated by Energy Resources of Australia, the mine supplies 10% of the world’s uranium needs. Hidden Valley is the first uranium mine to be accredited with the International Organization for Standardization and provides resources to medical, security, aerospace, and energy industries.
The Rossing mine in Namibia is number five on our list. Owned and operated by Rio Tinto Group, Rossing supplies 8% of the world’s uranium needs. This mine has been in operation since 1973 and employs predominantly open-pit mining methods.
Our sixth entry is the US’s only operating uranium mine, Pinenut in Arizona. The mine is owned and operated by Uranium Energy Corporation and is a leader in eco-friendly mining techniques. It supplies 8% of the world’s uranium needs to a variety of industries.
Number seven on our list is the Rabbit Lake mine in Saskatchewan, Canada. Owned by Cameco and operated by Areva Resources Canada, this mine supplies 7.5% of the world’s uranium needs. Rabbit Lake is a shallow open-pit mine and employs industrial robots to increase safety and efficiency.
Our eighth entry is the Akdala mine in Kazakhstan. Owned and operated by Kazatompom, this mine is responsible for extracting 5% of the world’s uranium needs. Akdala is a combination open-pit and underground mine and was the recipient of one of the largest investments in nuclear technology in Kazakhstan in 2021.
Number nine on our list is the Ranger mine in Australia. Owned and operated by Energy Resources of Australia, this mine is responsible for gathering 4% of the world’s uranium needs. The mine has been in operation since the 1980s and is a leader in environmental protection and responsible mining practices.
The last entry on our list is the North Butte mine in Wyoming, USA. Owned and operated by Uranium One, this mine provides 3% of the world’s uranium needs and employs longhole mining techniques to excavate uranium ore.
From Canada to Australia, these are the top ten uranium mines in the world. Together, these operations provide essential resources to a variety of industries while increasing safety and efficiency for workers and businesses globally. As nuclear energy continues to grow in increasingly environmentally sustainable ways, mines like these will play an important role in our future.