The uranium industry is small compared to other commodity industries, in particular other energy commodity industries. Uranium demand is international in scope but supply is characterized by a relatively small number of companies operating in only a few countries. Production by four producers accounted for approximately 62% of the estimated world production in 2015. In total, nine producers represent 88.3% of the world's production. The industry is also geographically concentrated with about 70% of the world's production coming from only three countries: Kazakhstan, Canada, and Australia. Kazakhstan is the largest producer, with production of approximately 40% of the total primary production in 2015.
Competition is somewhat different amongst exploration & development companies focused on the discovery or development of a uranium deposit. Exploration for uranium is being carried out on various continents, but expenditures by public companies have been generally concentrated in recent years in Canada and in Africa. In Canada, exploration has focused on the Athabasca Basin region in northern Saskatchewan. Explorers have been drawn to the Athabasca Basin region by the high-grade uranium deposits that have produced some of the most successful uranium mines operating in the world today. Within the Athabasca Basin region, exploration is generally divided between activity that is occurring in the eastern portion of the Basin and the western portion of the Basin. The eastern Basin is a district that is defined by rich infrastructure associated with the existence of several operating uranium mines and uranium processing facilities. Infrastructure includes access to the provincial power grid and a network of provincial all weather highways. By comparison, in the western Basin, there are no operating uranium mines or processing facilities and access to the provincial power grid is not currently available. Several uranium discoveries have been made in the Athabasca Basin region in recent years, and competition for capital can be intense. In Africa, exploration activity has slowed in recent years as investment has been difficult to come by to fund the relatively low-grade and potentially high-cost operations that are expected to emerge from African uranium deposits.