Saskatchewan is now the world’s second-highest producer of uranium, surpassing Namibia and Australia, according to the latest data from the World Nuclear Association. Kazakhstan maintains the number one spot.
All of Canada’s uranium production takes place in the one prairie province, employing over 1,800 people.
Saskatchewan’s uranium industry generates nearly $1 billion in revenue
Saskatchewan’s uranium industry, which generates nearly $1 billion in annual revenue and accounts for 15% of global supply, has overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19 lockdowns and increased production significantly in 2022, a government press release states.
The Cigar Lake Mine and McClean Lake Mill ran continuously throughout the year. The Cigar Lake Mine was the world’s top-producing mine in 2022.
Meanwhile, the McArthur River Mine and Key Lake Mill resumed operations in February 2022 after being shut down since 2018 because of low uranium demand.
As a result, Saskatchewan produced about 13 million kilograms of uranium concentrate (also known as yellowcake) in 2022, up from 7.8 million kilograms in 2021.
In 2023, the province expects to produce 15 million kilograms of yellowcake, almost doubling its output from last year.
Saskatchewan’s Energy and Resources Minister Jim Reiter sang the praises of the industry.
“Saskatchewan’s uranium is key as the world looks to transition to sustainable power generation and source minerals from secure, democratic regions,” he said.
Saskatchewan’s premier remains defiant against Trudeau’s anti-energy agenda
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has been wrestling with the anti-energy Trudeau Liberals over the future of resource development in the province.
When environment minister Steven Guilbeault suggested that failing to shut down coal-fired power plants by 2030 will be a Criminal Code offense, Moe replied, “come get me.”
Moe has argued that Guilbeault’s plan to demand net-zero electrical grids by 2035 would lead to absurdly high bills for Saskatchewanians, saying the cost could be four times as high.
“I want to be very clear about this in Saskatchewan, we will not attempt the impossible when it comes to power production,” Moe has stated previously.
“We’re not going to risk plunging our homes, our schools, our hospitals, our businesses, that are operating and creating wealth in our communities into a cold and dark evening because of the ideological winds up of another level of government.”