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5 Biggest Uranium Mining Stocks in 2024

Uranium stocks are benefiting from uranium's strong price performance in 2024 due to it emerging as an important energy transition metal and more countries committing to building and expanding their nuclear energy supply.

The reliable, clean electricity produced by the nuclear energy sector is adding to uranium’s underlying value, which is also attracting investor interest.

Positive market fundamentals early in 2024 pushed the spot uranium (U3O8) price to 16-year highs in January when values rose to US$106 per pound. The almost two decade high proved unsustainable as prices contracted to a Q1 low of US$85.17 in mid-March.

Values began clawing back lost ground alongside news that production out of Kazakhstan could be impacted by a sulfuric acid shortage.

The investment thesis was further strengthened when US President Joe Biden signed the Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act into law in early May. The measure, which is aimed at further sanctioning Russia and its invasion of Ukraine, will take effect on August 11.

As the largest end user of uranium for nuclear fuel, the US is now poised to increase domestic supply while also strengthening partnerships with ally nations Canada and Australia.

All this bodes well for uranium mining stocks, which are likely to benefit from rising demand and energy security concerns.

“When physical uranium is in play, the uranium miners behind the scenes provide a crucial element of support,” a Sprott special report from April notes. "There is no uranium without mining, and we believe miners will continue to provide a strong foundation for the continued growth of uranium markets.”

The list below provides an overview of the five largest uranium companies by market cap. All data was current as of May 28, 2024.


Market cap: US$151.91 billion

Mining major BHP owns and operates Australia’s Olympic Dam mine, considered one of the world's largest uranium deposits. While the site is included in the company’s Copper South Australia Operations portfolio and copper is the primary resource extracted, the mine also produces significant quantities of uranium, gold, and silver.

In its financial results announcement in February, BHP reported that higher average realized prices for copper, uranium, gold and silver had added an additional US$100 million of value to the Copper South Australia operations.

According to BHP’s March 2024 fiscal Q3 2024 results, uranium production at Olympic Dam totaled 863 metric tons for the three month period and 2,674 metric tons for the first nine months of its fiscal year.

While BHP shelved plans to expand the Olympic Dam mine in 2020, opting instead to invest in the existing infrastructure at the underground site, the company is currently evaluating options for a new two-stage smelter, with a final investment decision expected between fiscal years 2026 and 2027.

2. Cameco (NYSE:CCJ,TSX:CCO)

Market cap: US$23.49 billion

Uranium major Cameco holds significant stakes in key uranium operations within the Athabasca Basin of Saskatchewan, Canada. This includes a 54.55 percent interest in the Cigar Lake mine, the world's most productive uranium mine. The company also owns 70 percent of the McArthur River mine and 83 percent of the Key Lake mill. Orano Canada is Cameco's primary joint venture partner across these operations.

Weak spot uranium prices between 2012 and 2020 weighed heavily on pure-play uranium producers. In 2018, Cameco closed the McArthur River and Key Lake operations, reducing annual uranium output from 23.8 million pounds in 2017 to 9.2 million pounds in 2018.

Improving market dynamics and an ascending uranium spot price prompted the company to restart MacArthur Lake in 2022.

As a full nuclear fuel cycle provider Cameco, in partnership with Brookfield Renewable Partners and Brookfield Asset Management, purchased Westinghouse Electric Company — a leading provider of nuclear power plant services and technologies — in November 2023.

In the company's Q1 2024 results, Cameco reported producing 5.8 million pounds of uranium, up from 4.5 million pounds in the same period of 2023. Cameco anticipates combined full year uranium production of 18 million pounds from its McArthur River/Key Lake and Cigar Lake operations.

“Our strategy continues to demonstrate the benefits of aligning our operational, marketing, and financially focused decisions in a market where we are seeing sustained, positive momentum for nuclear energy like never before,” Tim Gitzel, Cameco’s president and CEO, said during a Q1 conference call. “We remain in the enviable position of having what we believe are the world’s premier, tier-one assets operating in stable geopolitical regions, along with our investments across the fuel cycle and reactor life cycle.”


Market cap: US$4.29 billion

NexGen Energy, a company specializing in uranium exploration and development, is primarily focused on the Athabasca Basin. Its flagship project is the Rook I project, which includes significant discoveries such as Arrow and South Arrow.

The company also owns a 50.1 percent interest in Canadian exploration-stage company IsoEnergy (TSXV:ISO,OTCQX:ISENF).

In late May, NexGen completed the purchase of 2.7 million pounds of U3O8 for US$250 million. This acquisition was financed through the issuance of US$250 million in five-year, 9 percent unsecured convertible debentures.

In a company release Leigh Curyer, CEO, stated that the recent transaction enhances the progress of ongoing offtake negotiations, aiming to maximize the value of NexGen Energy's substantial uranium inventory in preparation for future production and sales. He highlighted the strategic importance of having 2.7 million pounds of uranium in inventory following the enactment of the Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act.

Also in May, the company announced it had begun an expanded summer drill campaign to evaluate the extensive hydrothermal system at its Patterson Corridor East discovery at Rook and broaden the mineralized area. The initiative involves over 22,000 meters of diamond drilling with four drill rigs.

4. Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN)

Market cap: US$3.11 billion

Paladin Energy ranks fourth overall by market capitalization and also holds the title of the largest ASX-listed primary uranium miner. The company owns a 75 percent stake in the Langer Heinrich uranium mine in Namibia and has exploration projects in Canada and Australia.

Operations at Langer Heinrich were halted in 2018 due to low uranium prices, but the company initiated the restart process in 2022. In its Q1 2024 results, Paladin Energy reported successfully achieving commercial uranium concentrate production at Langer Heinrich in late March.

Additionally, the milestone was completed on schedule and within the US$125 million budget, according to the company's press release.

Paladin will now focus on ramping up production and building inventory for customer shipments.

5. Uranium Energy (NYSEAMERICAN:UEC)

Market cap: US$3.03 billion

Uranium Energy Corp (UEC) has two production-ready in-situ recovery (ISR) uranium projects — its Christensen Ranch uranium operations in Wyoming and its Texas Hub and Spoke operations in South Texas — as well as two operational processing facilities. The company plans to restart uranium production in Wyoming in August and resume South Texas operations in 2025.

The company has built one of the largest US-warehoused uranium inventories, and in 2022 it secured a US Department of Energy contract to supply 300,000 pounds of U3O8 as part of the country's move to establish a domestic uranium reserve.

UEC also holds a wide portfolio of uranium projects in the US and Canada, some of which have major permits secured. In August 2022, UEC completed its acquisition of uranium company UEX. That same year, UEC also acquired both a portfolio of uranium exploration projects and the Roughrider uranium project from Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,NYSE:RIO,LSE:RIO).

In May, the company released a statement in support of the US government’s decision to ban Russian uranium imports. In the announcement Amir Adnani, UEC's president and CEO, expressed gratitude for the bipartisan bill, emphasizing its role in bolstering US energy and national security by ending reliance on Russian uranium imports.

He went on to note that this new law, along with the Nuclear Fuel Security Act, supports the growth of the US uranium industry, ensuring a reliable supply of clean energy.

FAQs for uranium investing

What is uranium?

First discovered in 1789 by German chemist Martin Klaproth, uranium is a heavy metal that is as common in the Earth's crust as tin, tungsten and molybdenum. Named after the planet Uranus, which was also discovered around the same time, uranium has been an important source of global energy for more than six decades.

What country has the most uranium?

Australia and Kazakhstan lead the world in both terms of uranium reserves and uranium production. Australia takes first prize for the world's largest uranium reserves, representing 28 percent globally at 1,684,100 MT of U3O8. However, the Oceanic country ranks fourth in global uranium production, putting out 4,087 MT of U3O8 in 2022.

For its part, Kazakhstan controls 13 percent of global uranium reserves and leads the world in uranium production with 2022 output of 21,227 MT. Last year, Canada passed Namibia to become the second largest uranium producer, putting out 7,351 MT of U3O8 in 2022 compared to Namibia's 5,613 MT. The countries hold 10 percent and 8 percent of global reserves respectively.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


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