Like the “Energizer” bunny that “keeps going and going,” Cameco’s Rabbit Lake operation has been in production since 1975, earning its status as the longest operating uranium production facility in North America.
Located about 700 kilometres north of Saskatoon, the mine’s five ore bodies have been mined to produce more than 182.5 million pounds of uranium. Cameco continues to invest in the Rabbit Lake operation, including the refurbishment of the operation’s acid plant in 2011, and expects to sustain production for many years to come.
Currently at a licensed capacity of 11 million pounds (maximum capacity is 16.9 million pounds), Cameco has extended its underground drilling reserve placement program and has added to its mineral reserves to extend the estimated mine life by two years to 2017.
With established reserves of 24 million pounds, the company is preparing for the future by expanding its tailings storage capacity and modifying its water treatment circuits to improve environmental performance; and it’s continually monitoring the environment to verify that improvements in mill effluent treatment processes are working.
Keeping the plant working properly is a priority for Cameco, and it’s also important to about 300 Cameco employees and contract workers employed by the company to keep it producing so it remains one of the longest operating facilities of its kind in North America.