Canadian Gold & Uranium Head Top-Ranked Mines

Uranium mines have prospered as more governments turn to nuclear energy
Mining Journal Intelligence 2024 mines report shows gold, uranium, copper & lithium dominating in wake of clean energy drive
World’s top-ranked mines for 2024
  • 1) Phoenix (uranium). Saskatchewan, Canada. Owned by Denison & JCU Exploration Company
  • 2) Rook I (uranium), Saskatchewan, Canada. Owned by NexGen
  • 3) Eskay Creek (gold), British Columbia, Canada. Owned by Skeena
  • 4) Ikkari (gold), Finland. Owned by Rupert Resources
  • 5) Tenas (coal), British Columbia, Canada. Owned by Bathurst Resources
  • 6) Blackwater (gold). British Columbia, Canada. Owned by Artemis Gold

Canadian gold and uranium mines dominate the world’s top-ranked mines for 2024, as revealed by an in depth annual industry report.

These and other mines are featured in the Project Pipeline Handbook 2024, published by Mining Journal Intelligence as an in-depth annual review of mining investments and business affairs.

With uranium prices surging – as governments look to nuclear power as a way to meet emissions targets and end reliance on fossil fuels – uranium mines have prospered, the report says. At the 2022 COP28 UN climate conference, the US and 20 other countries committed to tripling nuclear energy capacity by 2050.

It’s a similar story with gold, only for different reasons. Over the past six months, the price of gold has risen by 20%, to more than $2,000 per ounce, which is close to its all-time high of $2,075. The biggest catalyst for gold in 2023 has been high interest rates, which historically have always driven up the price of gold. 

A brace of uranium assets – Denison Mines’ Phoenix and NexGen Energy’s Rook I – rose to the top of the table, while Skeena Resources’ Eskay Creek gold mine in British Columbia, and Rupert Resources’ Ikkari asset in Finland, were not far behind. 

As well as a strong focus on precious and base metals mining in Canada, Australia, the US and South America, this year’s report shows a shift in overall focus, with clean-energy metals, copper and lithium, heading gold at the top of the pack.

Two Arizona copper recovery assets – Taseko Mines’ Florence and Excelsior Mining’s Gunnison – were the top base-metals mines.

Lithium mines boosted by move to electric vehicles

The world’s top-ranked battery mineral mine, meanwhile, has been named as the James Bay lithium project in Quebec, Canada, owned and operated by Allkem Limited, an Australian-based global lithium company.

The James Bay project includes the Whabouchi lithium mine and the Whabouchi lithium plant, which combine to produce lithium concentrate – a key material used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems.

The Whabouchi lithium deposit is one of the highest-grade and largest hard-rock lithium resources in North America. The project has an estimated mine life of 19 years, and is expected to produce around 115,000 tonnes of lithium per year when at full capacity.

Report Editor, Sam Williams, says that identifying quality in the vast pool of global mining projects “has long been a daunting task for mining companies and investors”.

He also points out the transition to cleaner energy has added another dimension to the challenge.

“Where are the deposits that will supply the minerals needed for a low-carbon economy while providing investors with more bang for their buck?” he asks. “The Project Pipeline Handbook offers an initial ‘leg up’ in this identification process.”