Unfavourable market conditions, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, led to a sharp decrease in investment in the development of new and existing mines. However, the report notes that a number of projects at very advanced stages of development are waiting for an improved supply-demand market situation in order to begin uranium production.
The depressed uranium market has caused not only a sharp decrease in uranium exploration activities – by 77% from $2.12bn in 2014 to nearly $483m in 2018 – but also the curtailment of uranium production at existing mines, with more than 20,500 tonnes of annual production being idled.
Uranium production volumes at existing mines are projected to remain fairly stable until the late 2020s, then decreasing by more than half from 2030 to 2040.
According to the report, here are more than adequate project extensions, uranium resources and other projects in the pipeline to accomplish this need, but it is essential for the market to send the signals needed to launch the development of these projects.