Global uranium production to return to growth in 2021

Global uranium production is expected to grow by 3.1% to 512,000 tonnes this year due to the return to operations at Cigar Lake in Canada and other key mines suspended during 2020, according to GlobalData.

The UK-based data and analytics company’s latest report sees output growth from Kazakhstan (+15.5%) and Russia (+5.2%) driving the uranium market upwards, despite Australia’s production declining by 21.2% due to the closure of the Ranger mine.

“Global uranium production has been limited in recent years, mainly due to a sluggish market,” said Vinneth Bajaj, associate project manager at GlobalData.

“This was further impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic from early 2020. In fact, global production of uranium fell by 9.2% to 497,000 tonnes in 2020. The most significant declines were observed in Canada (43.9%) and Kazakhstan (14.6%) – globally, almost 60% of uranium originates from these two countries.”

Looking forward, GlobalData estimates worldwide uranium production will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2% over the forecast period (2021–2025) to reach 652,000 tonnes in 2025.

This forecasted growth in uranium production comes against a backdrop of improving sentiments towards the global nuclear power industry, with several governments incorporating nuclear energy within their plans for reaching climate goals.