Uranium in Canada
Canada's share of known world uranium resources is currently about 8%, but it produces approximately 20% of the mined uranium supply. Currently, Canada is the world's second largest producer of uranium behind Kazakhstan (33%), but for many years it was the undisputed world leader in uranium production. Nowadays, over 60% of the world uranium production comes from Canada, Australia and Kazakhstan. Most of Canada's produced uranium is exported, but approximately one fifth is used domestically.
Canada's uranium reserves contain nearly four times the amount of energy contained in all known oil reserves (not including the oil sands) in Canada. Canada has a vast supply of uranium in high-concentration deposits, mostly in the prolific mining region of Northern Saskatchewan known as the Athabasca Basin. The Athabasca Basin is home to Cameco's McArthur River mine, which started production in 1999 and is currently the world's largest uranium mine in the world. The McArthur River mine currently accounts for 14% of world uranium production. According to the Fraser Institute Mining Survey (which covers 79 jurisdictions in total), Canada has four provinces in the Top 10 Best Mining Jurisdictions in the World: Alberta (1st), Saskatchewan (3rd), Quebec (4th) and Manitoba (9th).
The total number of full-time jobs that are either directly or indirectly or from spin-offs related to nuclear power production in Canada is 71,000 involving over 150 companies. This number does not include uranium mining which contributes approximately 5,000 full time jobs to Canada's economy. Canada's economy earns $6.6 billion annually from the production of goods and services in the nuclear industry, $5 billion annually from the electricity that is generated through nuclear technology and $1.2 billion in exports. Nuclear power plants in Canada currently produce about 15% of the country's electricity.
*Source: World Nuclear Association, Fraser Institute Mining Survey (2011)