Our exploration program is directed at replacing mineral reserves as they are depleted by our production, and ensuring our growth beyond 2018. We have maintained an active exploration program even during periods of weak uranium prices, which has helped us secure land with exploration and development prospects that are among the best in the world, mainly in Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan and the US. Globally, our land holdings total 3.7 million hectares (9.3 million acres). In northern Saskatchewan alone, we have direct interests in 584,000 hectares (1.4 million acres) of land covering many of the most prospective exploration areas of the Athabasca Basin. Many of these prospects are located close to our existing operations where we have established infrastructure and capacity to expand.
For properties that meet our investment criteria, we will partner with other companies through strategic alliances, equity holdings and traditional joint venture arrangements. Our leadership position and industry expertise in both exploration and corporate social responsibility make us a partner of choice.
For more on Cameco's exploration strategy see the 2012 Annual Report