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The Gold Series: Unearthing the World’s Supply (Part 2 of 5)

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Gold Series Part 2 infographic

Part 1: The Most Sought After Metal on EarthPart 2: Unearthing the World's Gold SupplyPart 3: The Eclipsing Demand of the EastPart 4: Five Reasons To Own GoldPart 5: 2014 Gold Trends and Beyond

The Gold Series Part 2: Unearthing the World’s Gold Supply

This infographic, part two in our 2014 Gold Series, covers the full supply picture behind the yellow metal.Within the planet’s crust, there is only 1 gram of gold for every 250 tonnes (550,000 lbs) of earth.

Gold’s rarity means that finding economic deposits is extremely difficult. To understand how gold mining and supply work, we must first unearth how deposits form.

Over time, gold dissolves in hot water deep in the crust under immense pressure. It is then transported and deposited upwards as the water travels up cracks and fissures towards the surface. Generally, the major deposit types include: placer, volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS), epithermal, porphyry, carlin-type, and orogenic deposits.

Check out Part 3 of The 2014 Gold Series on rising demand in Asia.

Presented by: Goldcorp

Also made possible by: Falco Pacific, Balmoral Resources, Brazil Resources, Eastmain Resources, and Brixton Metals.

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Energy

Charted: Global Uranium Reserves, by Country

We visualize the distribution of the world’s uranium reserves by country, with 3 countries accounting for more than half of total reserves.

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A cropped chart visualizing the distribution of the global uranium reserves, by country.

Charted: Global Uranium Reserves, by Country

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

There can be a tendency to believe that uranium deposits are scarce from the critical role it plays in generating nuclear energy, along with all the costs and consequences related to the field.

But uranium is actually fairly plentiful: it’s more abundant than gold and silver, for example, and about as present as tin in the Earth’s crust.

We visualize the distribution of the world’s uranium resources by country, as of 2021. Figures come from the World Nuclear Association, last updated on August 2023.

Ranked: Uranium Reserves By Country (2021)

Australia, Kazakhstan, and Canada have the largest shares of available uranium resources—accounting for more than 50% of total global reserves.

But within these three, Australia is the clear standout, with more than 1.7 million tonnes of uranium discovered (28% of the world’s reserves) currently. Its Olympic Dam mine, located about 600 kilometers north of Adelaide, is the the largest single deposit of uranium in the world—and also, interestingly, the fourth largest copper deposit.

Despite this, Australia is only the fourth biggest uranium producer currently, and ranks fifth for all-time uranium production.

CountryShare of Global
Reserves
Uranium Reserves (Tonnes)
🇦🇺 Australia28%1.7M
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan13%815K
🇨🇦 Canada10%589K
🇷🇺 Russia8%481K
🇳🇦 Namibia8%470K
🇿🇦 South Africa5%321K
🇧🇷 Brazil5%311K
🇳🇪 Niger5%277K
🇨🇳 China4%224K
🇲🇳 Mongolia2%145K
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan2%131K
🇺🇦 Ukraine2%107K
🌍 Rest of World9%524K
Total100%6M

Figures are rounded.

Outside the top three, Russia and Namibia both have roughly the same amount of uranium reserves: about 8% each, which works out to roughly 470,000 tonnes.

South Africa, Brazil, and Niger all have 5% each of the world’s total deposits as well.

China completes the top 10, with a 3% share of uranium reserves, or about 224,000 tonnes.

A caveat to this is that current data is based on known uranium reserves that are capable of being mined economically. The total amount of the world’s uranium is not known exactly—and new deposits can be found all the time. In fact the world’s known uranium reserves increased by about 25% in the last decade alone, thanks to better technology that improves exploration efforts.

Meanwhile, not all uranium deposits are equal. For example, in the aforementioned Olympic Dam, uranium is recovered as a byproduct of copper mining occurring at the same site. In South Africa, it emerges as a byproduct during treatment of ores in the gold mining process. Orebodies with high concentrations of two substances can increase margins, as costs can be shared for two different products.

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