KazAtomProm will reduce planned uranium production by 20% for a period of three years beginning in January 2018. Cameco (Canada) announced a 10-month temporary suspension of production from the McArthur River mining and Key Lake milling operations in northern Saskatchewan by the end of January “due to continued uranium price weakness”.
Kazakhstan has 12% of the world’s uranium resources and has been the world’s leading uranium producer since 2009. Its 2015 production of 24,560 tU accounted for 39% of world production. The McArthur River and Key Lake operations together produced 11.1 million pounds of uranium (4270 tU) in the first nine months of 2017, with Cameco’s share being 7.8 million pounds. Cameco is the operator of both the McArthur River mine and the Key Lake mill that processes all the ore from McArthur River, and owns 70% of McArthur River and 83% of Key Lake. Areva Resources Canada Inc. owns the remainder.
A total of 37 million pounds (18,500 tons) of uranium will removed from world supply in 2018.