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 August 24, 2016
Top Uranium-producing Companies in the World
    Publisher: U3O8.biz
    Author: Jocelyn Aspa

 Uranium prices have been at an all-time low lately, causing analysts to speculate when the uranium sector will pick back up again. With its low cost, there are a number of uranium producers who have managed to keep costs low and survive during tough times.  While sizable uranium deposits are located worldwide, many countries only allow state-owned companies the rights to mine; that means there are fewer publicly traded producers in countries like Kazakhstan and Russia, both of which are high on the list of top uranium-producing countries. There are nevertheless numerous publicly traded uranium-producing companies that investors may want to be aware of. [text_ad]

Current producers

Here's a brief overview of some of the top producing companies in 2015.

Cameco (TSX:CCO)

2015 uranium production: 14,200 tonnes Cameco accounts  for approximately 18 percent of  global uranium production from its mines in Canada, the US and Kazakhstan. In the US, there is the Smith Ranch-Highland mine in Wyoming's Powder River basin and the Crow Butte mine in Nebraska.  In Canada, the company has 69.8-percent ownership of the world's largest uranium mine, McArthur River, and a 50-percent stake in the world's second-largest high-grade uranium deposit, Cigar Lake, in the Athabasca Basin. Total uranium production for 2015 was 14,200 tonnes, a 22 percent increase from the previous year. The McArthur River is allegedly the world's largest high-grade uranium mine while the Key Lake is the largest uranium mill. Between 2000 and 2015, Cameco's total production from the McArthur River/Key Lake totals roughly 291.1 million pounds with 234.9 million pounds of estimated reserves. In 2015, production at Cigar Lake was 5.7 million pounds. Cameco has a licensed capacity of 9 million pounds per year (a 50 percent interest of 18 million pounds). Cameco also holds a 60-percent interest in the Inkai ISR mine in Kazakhstan, with the remaining 40 percent owned by Kazatomprom. In 2015, total production was 5.8 million pounds, with Cameco's shares being 3.4 million pounds. The mine's production was 17 percent higher than it was in 2014.

AREVA (EPA:AREVA)

2015 uranium production: 11,002 tonnes AREVA is active in five continents exploring for new deposits as well as mining and milling uranium ore. According to its website, the company had a market share of close to 16 percent in 2015, making it one of the largest uranium producers in the world.  Currently, AREVA has operating mines in Canada, Kazakhstan and Niger, and currently has projects under development in Africa. AREVA owns a 51-percent stake in the world's second-largest mines, Tortkuduk and Myunkum in Kazakhstan. The mines are operated through a joint venture between AREVA and Kazatomprom, a partnership that is known as KATCO and was formed in 1996. In 2015, AREVA produced 11,002 tonnes of uranium--a significant increase from its 8,959 tonnes produced in 2014.

BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP)

2015 uranium production: 3,144 tonnes BHP's Olympic Dam uranium mine in Australia is one of the largest in the world, having produced 3,144 tonnes of uranium for BHP's 2015 fiscal year. However, times are tough for the world's biggest miner, having announced a net loss of $6.4 billion for 2015-2016. The loss is reportedly the company's worst ever full-year result, in part due to weak commodity prices. In July 2016, BHP announced the reaffirmation of an underground expansion pathway for the Olympic Dam copper-uranium mine.

Uranium One (TSX:UUU)

2015 uranium production: 6,250 tonnes Uranium One holds the Willow Creek ISR mine in Wyoming, which includes the licensed and permitted Irigaray ISR central processing plant, the Christensen Ranch satellite ISR facility and associated uranium ore bodies. Commercial production at Willow Creek began in 2012 and its current design capacity is 1.3 million pounds of U3O8 per year. Total attributable production of uranium by Uranium One in 2015 was 6,250 tonnes, which is an increase from its 5,200 attributable production in 2014. [text_ad]

Paladin Energy (TSX:PDN)

2015 uranium production: 2,457 tonnes Paladin Energy is a uranium production company with projects currently in Australia and two mines in Africa. Its Langer Heinrich mine, located in Namibia, is another massive uranium producer, and its accounting production totaled roughly 2,457 tonnes in 2015. Ur-Energy also owns the rights to two other uranium projects in Wyoming: Lost Soldier and Lucky Mc.

Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO)

2015 uranium production: 1,057 tonnes Rio Tinto's 68.58-percent-owned Rössing mine in Namibia is the world's longest-running open-pit uranium mine. It began operating in 1976 and has produced the most uranium of any single mine to date. [text_ad]

Ur-Energy (NYSE:URG)

2015 uranium production: 391.77 tonnes Ur-Energy operates the Lost Creek in-situ recovery uranium facility, which is located in Wyoming.  The facility has a two million pounds per year of physical design capacity. In 2015, the company captured 391.778 tonnes of uranium. Despite tough market conditions, the company continued its focus on moving production into sales at the Lost Creek mine, and plans to complete its repayment of RMB and begin developing its next planned mine unit for production in 2016.

Energy Fuels (TSX:EFR)

2015 uranium production: 234 tonnes Energy Fuels is the second-largest supplier of uranium in the US and the owner of the White Mesa mill, the only fully licensed and operating conventional uranium mill located in the US. The company has various uranium properties in the US, including the Roca Honda project in New Mexico, Sheep Mountain in Wyoming, the Wate project in Arizona and Henry Mountains, La Sal and Daneros, all located in Utah. Don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates! Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. Editorial Disclosure: Energy Fuels is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid for content.
 
 

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