What is Uranium?

Uranium is one of the more common elements in the Earth’s crust — it is more common than tin, about 40 times more common than silver and 500 times more common than gold.

Uranium can be found almost everywhere — in soil and rock, in rivers and oceans. Traces of uranium are even found in food and human tissue. However, concentrated uranium ores are found in just a few places, usually in hard rock or sandstone.

Uranium deposits are found all over the world. The largest deposits of uranium are found in Australia, Kazakhstan and Canada. High-grade deposits are only found in Canada. The following table shows known conventional resources of uranium.

Reasonably Assured Uranium Resources
Country
Tonnes U
Percentage of Total
Australia
1,661,000
31%
Kazakhstan
629,000
12%
Russia
487,200
9%
Canada
468,700
9%
Niger
421,000
8%
South Africa
279,100
5%
Brazil
276,700
5%
Namibia
261,000
5%
USA
207,400
4%
China
166,100
3%
Ukraine
119,600
2%
Uzbekistan
96,200
2%
Mongolia
55,700
1%
Jordan
33,800
1%
Other
164,000
3%

Canada is the world’s leading producer of Uranium. In 2009 the Uranium mines in Saskatchewan accounted for approximately 20% of the world’s total uranium production.

G_Labine
Gilbert Labine.

Canada’s uranium journey began in 1931 at Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories where veteran prospector Gilbert Labine discovered the country’s first uranium deposit. Labine’s discovery gave birth to Eldorado Nuclear Limited, a forerunner of Cameco Corporation. Today, Cameco dominates the uranium market as the majority owner of the world’s largest and highest-grade uranium deposits.

Source:

Cameco, http://www.cameco.com/.