Uranium has become one of the
most important and sought-after energy minerals in
the world for the last half a century.
key importance has been identified in the production
Many companies are also seeking
reserves for the rising demand for production of
The radioactive element is also
known as a significant ingredient in many nuclear
weapons, a use that is not encouraged by any
democratic and progressive government globally.
Uranium deposits comprise up
to 2.8 parts per million of the planet’s crust.
Everywhere, there are just traces of the element.
In general, uranium is considered
more abundant than silver, mercury, and gold. It is
less abundant than molybdenum, lead, and cobalt, but
is as abundant as tin.
There are also vast amounts
of the element in oceans, albeit in a lower
concentration. Australia is the biggest miner,
producer, and exporter of uranium. The country is
currently producing up to 24% of the mined uranium
in the world.
Other countries with significant uranium
production are Kazakhstan (17%), Canada (9%), the US
(7%), South Africa, Brazil (6%), and Nigeria (5%).
Australia uranium was first produced in Northern
Territory’s state government-owned Rum Jungle mining
project in 1954. Other mines followed suit,
including South Australia’s Radium Hill and
Queensland’s Mary Kathleen. Australia uranium is
basically exported to many other nations in the form
of ‘yellow cake,’ a khaki-colored oxide called
ammonium diuranate. Some of the popular mining projects
and firms that discovered and mined Australia uranium were
Northern Territory-based Nabarlek, Jabiluka, and Ranger;
Western Australia’s Yeelirrie; and South Australia’s Olympic
Dam. Most of Australia’s uranium produce are sourced from
underground mines. A small portion comes from open cut mines
and in situ leach or ISL mining.
Uranium is one of the country’s most important and lucrative
mining products. Australia has committed not to use its
yellowcake produce for nuclear power plants locally. The
biggest contractor and buyer of the element so far is China.
The two countries have standing agreements about the trading
and usage of uranium. Australia maintains responsibility by
making a contract to ensure that any country it supplies
will not in any way use uranium exports in nuclear weaponry
development and testing.
Aside from Australia, Canada also has set strict conditions
for uranium exports and use. Both countries want to put
proper safeguards against uranium exportation for
anti-humanitarian purposes. The two nations conduct separate
inspections and materials accounting procedures in an effort
to account for every uranium supply used by buyers. The
world wants to make sure uranium will be used in peaceful
and productive purposes rather than for military or weaponry
activities. The International Atomic Energy Agency is also
active in closely monitoring global demand and usage of the