SASKATCHEWAN Saskatoon-based CAMECO CORPORATION has received permission from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to dewater the flooded Cigar Lake project in the northern part of the province. Development was halted in October 2006 due to water inflows. The operator has the okay to pump out the underground openings and remediate them, but not to restart underground construction.
Pumping has begun and will take several months. That will allow Cameco to equip the shaft with a ladder way, ventilation ducting, power and communication cables, water pipes and other necessary equipment as the water level goes down. The integrity of the cement plug that stopped the flooding will also be assessed.
The earliest production could begin is 2011, says Cameco.
Cameco (www.Cameco.com) is the operator and 50% owner of the Cigar Lake project. The remaining 50% is held by AREVA RESOURCES CANADA.