Our company acquires interests in uranium projects overseas and conducts exploration, development, operations, and sales in order to stably supply the uranium fuel necessary for nuclear power generation in Japan.
On May 15, 1970, our company was established with investments from electric power companies, non-ferrous resource companies, heavy electrical machinery manufacturers, trading companies, and banks in order to acquire interests in the Akouta uranium mine in Niger, Africa. Later, an economic evaluation of the mine was conducted and development work was carried out. Since 1978, we have sold our entire portion of uranium produced to Japanese power companies.
In 1991, we acquired a stake in the Midwest Project in Canada from the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (currently the Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute), and later exchanged its stake to acquire a stake in the McLean Lake mine. All of the uranium products from the McLean Lake Mine, where production began in 1999, were sold to Japanese power companies. In 2000, we acquired 14 Canadian exploration interests from the former Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation, conducted exploration activities, and expanded the scope of our business.
In the first half of the 2000s, we supplied up to 15% of the uranium fuel consumed at Japanese nuclear power plants, meaning that power for one hour a day was generated with the uranium fuel we supplied. However, the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 greatly impacted Japan's nuclear power generation, reducing demand from electric power companies, who are our customers, which has really put our company to the test.
Although there is uncertainty about the future of nuclear power generation, the Japanese national policy states, according to the Energy White Paper released by the government in 2019, that nuclear power will serve as a base of electrical power supply, providing 20% to 22% of Japan’s power generation in 2030. The White Paper also presents the idea of looking again at the importance of nuclear power as a measure against global warming. As a result, I am confident that nuclear power will continue to play an important role as an energy source in Japan.
As the only private mining company in Japan that supplies a stable supply of uranium fuel for the nuclear power generation, our aim is to continue to contribute to the Japan's energy policy and solve the global warming issue.