Mining activities in detail
AREVA is active on five continents, exploring for new deposits, mining and milling uranium ore, and rehabilitating sites at the end of mining operations.
With a market share of close to 16% in 2015, AREVA is the one of the world's leading uranium producer in the world. The group has a diversified portfolio of operating mines in Canada, Kazakhstan and Niger as well as projects under development in Africa.
Goals and outlook
- Be a responsible mining player respecting the highest international standards in the field of safety, health, and societal and environmental responsibility,
- Secure AREVA’s presence at its traditional locations for the long-term,
- Develop sources of supply favoring competitiveness and profitability over volumes,
- Maintain all mining key competencies,
- Offering supply security for AREVA’s customers and contributing to the group’s performance.
Synergistic Business Units
Exploration involves discovering new uranium deposits.
Prospecting is done in stages: a geological survey of the region, interpretation of aerial or satellite images, geophysics, radiation measurements in the field, and analysis of ground and water chemistry.
Mining in done in open pit or underground mines, or by drilling.
AREVA’s mining experts regularly test and use innovative techniques to improve personnel safety and the performance of existing mines.
The uranium ore is converted into a solid concentrate called “yellowcake” due to its color and appearance.
Milling operations include ore crushing and grinding, solubilization, purification, rinsing, precipitation, drying and calcination.
At the end of the mine’s operating life, the mill is dismantled and the site is rehabilitated and replanted in compliance with applicable environmental standards, while dialogue with the local community continues.
AREVA performs radiological and environmental monitoring of these sites for a period of at least 10 years.
An international market ..
The uranium market is a commodity market involving a limited number of players. 58,200 metric tons of uranium* was produced in 2014. Of that quantity, more than 70% came from the five main producers, including AREVA.
Demand for uranium has decreased due to the events at Fukushima, with a particular decline in consumption in Germany and Japan, and due to competition from shale gas in the USA.
In the longer term, the market is nevertheless expected to grow, with 25% higher demand in 2025 compared to 2015, according to the WNA. This will be driven mainly by the restart of Japanese reactors and the increasing requirements of the China reactor fleet. The expected rise in market prices due to increasing demand will enable new projects to be launched.Source: Ux Consulting (UxC)