SASKATCHEWAN – CAMECO CORP. of Saskatoon said that production at the Cigar Lake uranium mine may be delayed six months by an inflow of water in the second shaft. The second shaft was being developed for ventilation. Underground development is not impacted by the water because there is not yet access between the shaft and the workings.
The inflow of water began at 5 p.m. on April 5 at the bottom of the six-metre-wide shaft, 392 metres below the surface. A worker noticed a leak in a valve, that broke when it was tightened, allowing water to run into the shaft. Workers and equipment were safely evacuated. Cameco has begun an investigation into the problem, and in the meantime it will allow the water to fill the shaft to its natural level. The water will not damage the concrete-lined shaft.
Cameco is reviewing the capital costs of the Cigar Lake project. The company will provide updated cost projections on April 28, 2006. The results of the capital cost review and the costs for dealing with the delays caused by the flooding are expected to increase the current estimate of $520 million by 10% to 20%.
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