TORONTO, March 14 (Reuters) - With Japan in a race to prevent a catastrophic meltdown at a quake-hit nuclear reactor, investors punished the shares of companies that build nuclear power plants and mine the uranium that fuels them. [ID:nL3E7EE1D3]
Here is a list of the top global producers of uranium:
1. Kazatomprom - The state-owned operator for Kazakhstan’s uranium production. The company produced 39.2 million pounds of uranium in 2010, as Kazakhstan overtook Canada as the world’s No. 1 producer of uranium.
2. Cameco (CCO.TO) - Canada’s top uranium producer mines most of its uranium from the Athabasca basin, the highest grade uranium deposit in the world. The company produced 22.8 million pounds of uranium in 2010.
3. Areva CEPFi.PA - France’s nuclear power giant produces uranium and builds reactors. The company has projects in Canada, Africa and Kazakhstan. It produced about 17 million pounds in 2009.
5. Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ) - ARMZ is the mining arm of Russian state-owned nuclear giant Rosatom. The company produces primarily in Russia and it holds a 51 percent stake in Canada’s Uranium One. It produced about 12 million pounds in 2009.
6. BHP Billiton (BHP.AX) BLT.L - The diversified mining giant produces uranium at its Olympic Dam project in Australia. The company produced 5 million pounds of uranium in 2010.
Other top players include Uranium One UUU.TO, which produced 7.4 million pounds in 2010 and Paladin Energy (PDN.AX), which produced 6.3 million pounds in 2010.
Source: Company websites (Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)