SASKATCHEWAN - Saskatoon-based CAMECO CORPORATION has signed an agreement with POINTS ATHABASCA CONTRACTING LTD. (PACL) to purchase high-strength concrete tunnel liners for the Cigar Lake project (see the February 2006 issue of CMJ). The agreement will lead to development of a manufacturing facility with seasonal employment for 15 people at Points North, about 800 km north of Saskatoon.
Under the agreement, Cameco will purchase tunnel liners manufactured at Points North for up to 15 years. The concrete segments are used to reinforce tunnels underground to ensure safe mining conditions. The estimated value of the work is $40 million.
Cameco's purchases of services from companies partly or entirely owned by northern people have more than tripled in the past decade, rising to $163 million in 2005, or 85% of total purchases for the company's Saskatchewan operations.
"This will be the first significant manufacturing operation developed in northern Saskatchewan to serve the uranium mining industry," said Jerry Grandey, Cameco's president and CEO. "It will supply critical components for the Cigar Lake project and will create capacity for PACL to develop other regional business opportunities."
PACL is a joint venture industrial construction company owned 75% by seven northern communities through the Athabasca Basin Development Limited Partnership and 25% by Graham Group Ltd.