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McArthur River uranium mine, Saskatchewan, Canada
McArthur River is the world's largest high-grade uranium mine. Ore grades within the deposit are 100 times the world average, which means the operation can produce more than 18 million pounds of uranium each year by mining only 150 to 200 tonnes of ore per day.
The McArthur River deposit was discovered in 1988. The property is located 620 air
kilometers north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and 80
kilometers northeast of the Key Lake
mill in the uranium rich Athabasca
Basin. Mine construction began in 1997,
with production commencing in 1999. The
mine achieved full commercial production
in November 2000.
The mine is owned by Cameco Corporation (70%) and AREVA Resources Canada Inc (30%), formerly COGEMA Resources Inc. Cameco is the mine operator. Source:
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons.
The uranium nucleus binds between 141 and 146 neutrons, establishing six isotopes, the most common of which are U-238 (146 neutrons) and U-235 (143 neutrons). All isotopes are unstable and uranium is weakly radioactive.
Uranium has the second highest atomic weight of the naturally occurring elements, lighter only than plutonium-244. Its density is about 70% higher than that of lead, but not as dense as gold or tungsten.
It occurs naturally in low concentrations of a few parts per million in soil, rock and water, and is commercially extracted from uranium-bearing minerals such as uraninite. Source