Uranium is one of the major chemical elements present globally. About 85% of naturally occurring uranium is extracted from ten mines located at six countries namely, Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia, Niger, Russia and Namibia. Uranium is also recovered in low concentration as a by-product from other mineral treatment processes. Typically, the raw product extracted from mines is termed as U308, which has about 85% uranium content. Uranium is mined through open pit and underground mining and involves processes such as dust suppression technique and remote handling technique which is carried out in case of higher radiation exposure.
Presently, majority of mined uranium finds application in power generation industry along with small amount being used in medical & research sector and naval & spacecraft/rocket propulsion. More than 80 of total mined uranium is supplied to nuclear power stations globally. Uranium is anticipated to play a critical role in fulfilling global energy deficit which is also resulting in improvements in nuclear power technology.
Safety has been the major concern for nuclear energy produced from uranium. Especially, after nuclear disaster in Fukushima Daiichi in 2011, nuclear energy sector is facing some outcast globally, which is impacting the uranium market significantly.
In addition, uranium is also used as a fuel in nuclear arsenals. Consequently, production and export of uranium is governed by stringent regulations. For example, countries like Canada and Australia that are two of the major uranium producing countries adhere to stringent policies on uranium use. Uranium producing companies adhere to safeguard policies to make sure that the uranium is not diverted towards production of nuclear weapons.
Setting up uranium mining operations is expensive and time consuming as obtaining uranium mining permit is a lengthy process owing to its health and environmental concerns. This is expected to deter growth of uranium mining market.
Uranium mining market is highly concentrated because of limited companies operating in the sector.
ASDReport.com provides a good collection of reports on uranium mining industry. These reports cover various products and sub-segments related to the market like uranium one, thorium, U238, uranium isotope and among others.