SASKATCHEWAN – Partners Cameco Corp. of Saskatoon and Areva Canada celebrated the official opening of the Cigar Lake uranium mine and revamped McClean Lake mill on Sept. 23, 2015. The mine site is 660 km north of Saskatoon.
Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel, and Olivier Wantz, member of the executive committee and senior executive VP mining and front end business group for Areva, welcomed dignitaries including Saskatchewan Economy Minister Bill Boyd and community leaders from northern Saskatchewan, before leading a tour of the underground workings.
The Cigar Lake deposit has some of the highest uranium oxide grades in the world. To protect miners from radiation, an innovative jet boring technique was created to mine it. At the end of 2014, proven and probable reserves were 597,200 tonnes averaging 17.82% U3O8 and containing 234.9 million lb of uranium oxide.
Development was about 60% complete when it was delayed for more than five years. The workings flooded in October 2006. After remediation, ground freezing and an increased pumping capacity, all of which cost well in excess of $100 million, Cigar Lake produced its first ore in March 2014. Mine life is 15 years.
More information about Cigar Lake is available at Cameco.com.