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Annual capacity of idled mines stands at almost 30,000 tonnes Kazakhstan has limited output in recent years in response to a depressed uranium market, but is still the largest producer. Courtesy Kazatomprom. Global uranium mine production decreased by nearly 12% from 2018 to 2020 with major producing countries including Canada and Kazakhstan limiting total production in recent years in response to a depressed uranium market, according to the Nuclear Energy Agency.

In the latest edition of Uranium Resources, Production and Demand, known as the Red Book, the NEA says uranium production cuts deepened suddenly with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.

Overall, world uranium production decreased from 53,501 tonnes of uranium (tU) in 2018 to 47,342 tU in2020 as producers instituted production cuts, followed by a slight increase to 47,472 tU in 2021. These planned reductions were greatest in Canada and Kazakhstan.

As of 1 January 2021, the annual production capacity of idled mines amounted to over 29,400 tU. These operations, which have all the necessary licences, permits and agreements for operation and have produced commercially in the past, could potentially be brought back into production relatively rapidly given appropriate market conditions.

Date: Friday, 07 April 2023
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Ukraine war has not led to restrictions on supply, says state company Kazatomprom The shipment was of uranium Kazatomprom owns through a joint venture with Canadian uranium miner Cameco. Courtesy Kazatomprom. Kazakhstan has completed a first shipment of uranium to Canada using an alternative route that does not cross Russian territory.

State nuclear company Kazatomprom, the world’s largest producer and seller of natural uranium, said the shipment was of uranium it owns with the Inkai joint venture with Canadian uranium miner Cameco.

The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route was originally developed in 2018 to mitigate the risk should the usual primary route via St Petersburg in Russia be unavailable.

The alternative route was developed because the Port of St Petersburg was temporarily unavailable to some categories of nuclear material when the city was to host football matches as part of the 2018 World Cup.

Date: Thursday, 22 December 2022
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