From the Canadian Nuclear FAQ, maintained by Dr. Jeremy Whitlock (http://www.ncf.carleton.ca./~cz725/)
Canada is the world's leading uranium producer, with about 25% of global production in 1999, plus 14% of global reserves. Australia is the next largest producer, with 19% of global production and 25% of global reserves.
All uranium now produced in Canada comes from five mines, all in the province of Saskatchewan. These mines are listed below, with comparisons to other world producers. Note the unusually high grade of the Canadian ore, particularly that found at McArthur River and Cigar Lake (the 1997 Mining Magazine article "McArthur River Uranium" details the special requirements of mining such high-purity ore).
About 85% of Canada's production is exported for nuclear energy production in the U.S., Japan, and Western Europe, bringing in about $1 billion annually. Canadian policy forbids the export of uranium or nuclear technology for use in nuclear weapons.
URANIUM ORE RESERVES/GRADES AND PRODUCTION CAPACITY
Mine - Reserves - Average Grade - Annual Capacity
(tonnes U3O8) (% U3O8) (tonnes U3O8)
Key Lake (Canada) 5,600 1.12 4,381
Rabbit Lake (Canada) 16,800 1.28 3,190
Cluff Lake (Canada) 6,000 0.70 1,456
McClean Lake (Canada) 23,000 3.30 2,700*
McArthur River (Canada) 115,000 17.33 8,200*
Ranger (Australia) 63,600 0.27 3,860
Olympic Dam (Australia) 72,600 0.06 3,200
Rossing (Namibia) 117,900 0.40 2,270
Akouta Arlit (Nigeria) 90,720 0.46 3,180
Krasnokomonsk (Russia) 90,720 0.15 2,270
Highland (USA) 9,000 0.15 450
(WORLD AVERAGE ORE GRADE: 0.15%)
In addition, Canada has three projects under development: Cigar Lake (13.60% U3O8, 160,300 tonnes reserves), Midwest (4.5% U3O8, 16,240 tonnes reserves), and Dawn Lake (1.68% U3O8, 10,000 tonnes reserves). Cigar Lake is expected to produce 8,200 tonnes/yr starting around 2002, and Midwest is expected to produce 2,600 tonnes/yr starting around 2004.
By about 2004 it is predicted that Canada will be be producing half the world's uranium ore supply.
Most recently (fall 1999), it was announced that a high-grade uranium deposit had been discovered at La Rocque Lake in Saskatchewan, with a U3O8 grade between 8% and 30%.
R. Steane, "Uranium Update", CNS Bulletin, 18,1, pp.28-31, Winter 1997.
Nuclear Issues Breifing Paper #3, Uranium Information Centre, April 2000.
J.Chadwick, "McArthur River Uranium", Mining Magazine, October 1997.