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Primary Uranium Supply

According to the Q4 Outlook, uranium production increased slightly year over year from 145.3 million pounds U3O8 in 2014 to an estimated 151.3 million pounds U3O8 in 2015. Factoring out the additional production associated with the ramp up of activities at the Cigar Lake mine, global production declined by roughly 5.3 million pounds U3O8, representing a decline of 3.6% from 2014. Production from Africa, and the United States declined in 2015, while production from Australia, Russia and Kazakhstan remained relatively consistent. Cigar Lake increased production from Canada. Canada remains the second largest producing nation with nearly 22% of the world's production from 2015 coming from within Canada. Kazakhstan continues to be the world's largest producer of uranium, representing nearly 40% of production in 2015.

UxC has estimated in its Q4 Outlook that existing mine production, plus new planned and potential mine production, will increase primary uranium supply from an estimated 151.3 million pounds U3O8 in 2015 to 168.7 million pounds U3O8 by 2025. This represents an increase of approximately 11.5%, as compared to the dramatic increases in uranium demand noted above. In past years, UxC projected that Kazahstan was expected to continue to be one of the principal drivers for the increases in primary mine production. In the Q4 Outlook, the main drivers are now limited to the Cigar Lake mine in Canada, which is expected to increase production up to 18 million pounds U3O8, per year, and the Husab mine in Namibia, which is being built by a Chinese utility as a source of captive supply, and continues to be projected to start production in 2016. For other projects to move forward to meet the production forecasts, uranium prices will need to increase appreciably to support their higher cost production profiles and the significant capital expenditures that will be required.  
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