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Top Uranium Producing Countries in the World in 2024

Uranium is a radioactive element with the atomic number 92 symbol U. It is a heavy metal found in most rocks, soil, water, and even in our bodies. This element was discovered in 1789 by Martin Klaproth. Primarily, uranium is not just utilized in industries but also as a fuel in nuclear reactors, where the heat produced by its gradual radioactive decay is used to generate power. Interestingly, a small amount of uranium fuel, equivalent to a chicken egg in size, can generate as much electricity as 80 to 90 tons of coal.  

Today, several countries need uranium because of its role in empowering industries and the manufacturing of nuclear weapons and warheads. On the other hand, some nations are also using uranium to strengthen their militaries. 

Read this article to explore the top five uranium-producing countries worldwide. Uncover their production levels, resources, and reserves, and influence on the global uranium market.  

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List of Top 5 Uranium Producing Countries Worldwide 

  • Kazakhstan
  • Canada
  • Namibia
  • Australia
  • Uzbekistan

1- Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, located in Central Asia, is a top player in the global uranium market. As the world’s top producer of uranium, Kazakhstan accounted for around 40% of worldwide production in 2022 because of its enormous uranium resource base and well-established mining sector.

The dominance of Kazakhstan in the uranium market is expected to continue in 2024, with the country’s National Atomic Company Kazatomprom predicting production levels of 21,000-22,500 tons of uranium. 

Kazakhstan’s uranium reserves and resources are substantial, with the country holding 12% of the world’s recoverable uranium resources. With total reserves estimated at 1.4 million tons, it is a significant uranium supplier for the world’s nuclear power sector. The country’s uranium is extracted primarily through in-situ leaching (ISL), a low-cost method that has contributed to Kazakhstan’s competitive edge in the market.

The Kazakh uranium industry is dominated by Kazatomprom, the national atomic company, which owns and operates the majority of the country’s uranium mines. Kazatomprom is also responsible for the processing and marketing of Kazakh uranium.

The company’s strategic partnerships with international entities, such as Centrus Energy and Converdyn, have helped to diversify Kazakhstan’s supply options and expand its reach in global markets.

Kazakhstan’s influence on the uranium market extends beyond its production levels. The country’s uranium is exported to a wide range of countries, including China, the United States, South Korea, the European Union, India, and Canada. This has made Kazakhstan an important supplier of uranium to the global nuclear power industry, which relies heavily on the metal for electricity generation.

The expansion of Kazakh uranium production has had a significant impact on the global uranium market. The country’s increased production has led to a surplus of uranium, which has put downward pressure on prices. The lower prices of Kazakh uranium have made it more challenging for other uranium producers to operate profitably, particularly those with higher production costs.

Kazakhstan’s uranium industry is expected to continue growing in the coming years. The country’s strategic plans, including its “Strategy Kazakhstan-2050,” aim to increase the share of alternative and renewable energy sources in the power sector, including nuclear energy. 

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2- Canada

Canada is a rich country in uranium resources. It has a long history of exploration, mining, and generation of nuclear power. With known uranium resources of 694,000 tons of U3O8 (588,500 tU), Canada has a significant role in meeting future world demand.

Canada’s uranium production levels have been relatively constant over the last few years, worth about $2 billion. The majority of Canada’s uranium resources are in high-grade deposits. Many of these have difficult mining conditions that require ground freezing, but this has not deterred the country’s uranium industry from continuing to evolve and adapt to changing circumstances both within Canada and abroad.

The Canadian uranium industry is dominated by Cameco and Orano Canada (formerly Areva Resources Canada), which are the main uranium producers in the country. Cameco was formed in 1988 and issued its first public shares in 1991 and was fully privatized in 2002.

Canada’s uranium industry has a long and interesting history, dating back to the early days of nuclear power. The country was once the world’s largest uranium producer and represented about 22% of world output, but in 2009 it was overtaken by Kazakhstan. 

The Canadian uranium industry has faced challenges in recent years, including declining production levels and decreased revenues. However, there are now encouraging signs that the industry may be on the verge of a modest recovery.  

The Canadian government has also recognized the importance of the uranium industry by releasing The Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy, which identified uranium as a critical mineral to cover industrial activities from geoscience and exploration to mineral processing, manufacturing, and recycling applications, including support for research, development, and technological deployment.

3- Namibia

Namibia, a country located in southern Africa, has been a significant player in the global uranium production scene for several years. In 2024, it is the third largest producer of uranium worldwide., accounting for almost 10 to 15% of global production.

The uranium mining industry in Namibia is a crucial component of the country’s economy. It contributes approximately 10% to the country’s GDP and 50% to its total exports. As a result, the industry is vulnerable to economic fluctuations, particularly when uranium prices or demand fall.

However, the growing global demand for uranium, driven by the increasing use of nuclear energy as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels, has led to a surge in the price and demand for uranium. It has incentivized further exploration and investment in the extraction of uranium in Namibia.

The country’s uranium reserves are primarily located in the Erongo Region, where two large operating mines are currently in operation. There are also various exploration projects planned to advance to production in the coming years. 

The government has been proactive in promoting the development of the uranium industry to drive economic growth. For example, the government has established the state-owned mineral exploration company Epangelo Mining, which is responsible for exploring and developing new uranium deposits. 

One of the key challenges facing the Namibian uranium industry is the need to balance economic growth with environmental and social sustainability. The country has been working to implement best practices in uranium mining, including the adoption of the World Nuclear Association’s (WNA) policy document “Sustaining Global Best Practices in Uranium Mining and Processing: Principles for Managing Radiation, Health and Safety, Waste and the Environment.” 

This policy aims to ensure that the industry operates in a responsible and environmentally conscious manner.

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4- Australia

Australia has consistently maintained its position as one of the top uranium producers worldwide. With its vast reserves and resources, the country has been a reliable supplier of uranium to nuclear power plants globally. 

Australia’s uranium production levels are expected to see a significant increase in 2024. According to GlobalData’s Uranium Outlook to 2030 report, the country’s output is predicted to grow by an estimated 8% year-on-year. The growth is largely attributed to the development of new mines and the expansion of existing operations.

Australia is home to some of the world’s largest uranium deposits, with the majority concentrated in South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory. The country holds the largest share of the world’s recoverable resources, with estimates suggesting that it holds more than 1,684 kilotonnes (kt) of recoverable uranium. The Olympic Dam mine in South Australia is the world’s largest uranium resource.

The Australian uranium mining industry has a long history, dating back to the 1950s when significant quantities of uranium were exported to the UK and US for nuclear weapons development. 

Today, the industry is driven by the growing demand for nuclear power globally, particularly in Asia. China, for instance, has been rapidly expanding its nuclear power capabilities, with 24 reactors under construction as of September 2023. As a result, Australian uranium producers will have a big chance to meet the rising demand if this trend continues.

Australia’s influence on the global uranium market is substantial. As one of the world’s largest producers, the country plays a crucial role in fuelling the world’s nuclear power plants. The country’s low-cost production and reliable supply have made it a preferred choice for nuclear power plant operators.

5- Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan has been steadily increasing its uranium production levels to meet ambitious targets. The country produced 3,300 tons of uranium in 2022, which represents 6.4% of the world’s total production. 

The country aims to ramp up its uranium production by 1.5 times, with plans to boost production from 3,300 tons in 2022 to 7,000 tons by 2030. The expansion is a component of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s larger plan to improve uranium mining and other industries.

The Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combine (NMMC) is a natural uranium mining company in Uzbekistan that plays an important role in the country’s uranium industry. 

NMMC is recognized globally for its leadership in uranium mining and primarily exports uranium products, with key trading partners including companies from France, the USA, Japan, and China. At 99.5% of total exports, the company’s export portfolio is dominated by uranium products.

Recently, Uzbekistan’s uranium reserves surpassed 100,000 tons and positioned the country as the 10th largest holder of uranium reserves globally. The nation’s identified resources include 49,200 tU in reasonably assured recoverable resources and 49,220 tU inferred recoverable resources in sandstones, along with 32,900 tU in black shales. 

In terms of market influence, Uzbekistan’s uranium production levels and reserves contribute significantly to the global uranium supply. Uzbekistan’s collaboration with China Nuclear Uranium and France’s Orano, with investments reaching up to $500 million, highlights the country’s efforts to enhance its uranium mining capabilities and explore new uranium resources. 

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The top five uranium-producing countries worldwide play crucial roles in global nuclear energy and industrial sectors. Kazakhstan leads in uranium production due to its rich reserves and mining operations, followed closely by Canada, known for its advanced mining technologies. Namibia and Australia also contribute significantly to global supply. Uzbekistan, while a smaller producer, is gaining traction with its growing uranium output. The contributions of these nations not only meet domestic nuclear energy needs but also support international markets. 


1- Which Country is the Largest Producer of Uranium?

Kazakhstan, located in Central Asia, is a top player in the global uranium market. 

2- Which Continent is Rich in Uranium?

Australia holds the largest share of the world’s recoverable resources, it holds more than 1,684 kilotonnes (kt) of recoverable uranium.

3- Who is the Biggest Consumer of Uranium in the World?

The United States, China, and France are some of the biggest consumers of uranium worldwide. 

4- What Color is Uranium?

Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element. 

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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