Typical high Level Uranium Ore sample
Uranium is one of the most abundant elements found in the Earth’s crust. It 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 illustration shows known conventional resources of uranium.
Reasonably Assured Resources plus Inferred Resources, to US$130/kg U, 1/1/05, from OECD NEA & IAEA, Uranium 2005: Resources, Production and Demand (“Red Book”).
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.
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.