Once an economic uranium deposit is found, preparation for the first stage of the fuel cycle – mining and milling – can begin.
Today, uranium is mined in 19 countries around the world. The leading producer is Kazakhstan, followed by Canada and Australia. These three countries account for about 64% of world production. International trade in uranium is controlled by a regime of safeguards administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure that it is used exclusively for peaceful purpose.