Cigar Lake project delayed again

September 10, 2013

The start up of Cameco Corp’s Cigar Lake project in Sakatchewan, Canada has been pushed back to the first quarter of 2014, the company announced on Sept. 9.

Cameco Corp, Canada’s largest uranium producer, also said more mill modifications were needed before the ore can be processed at the nearby McClean Lake mill, which is operated by Areva SA. It now expects processing to start in the second quarter of 2014, Reuters reported.

The latest delay will have a minor impact on forecast uranium production in 2013, but Cameco said it did not expect a material effect on the capital cost of the project.

“Cigar Lake is among the most technically challenging mining projects in the world and we continue to make solid progress,” Cameco chief executive Tim Gitzel, said in a statement. “Cameco and Areva are fully committed to bring this exceptional ore body into production in a safe and sustainable way.”

Cigar Lake, located in the uranium-rich Athabasca Basin in Saskatchewan, was originally expected to open in 2007, but was twice delayed by flooding. Construction of the mine is now 97 percent complete.

Due to the flooding risk, the ore body must be frozen before mining, with the ore removed by a jet boring process. Cameco said it identified additional work during the commissioning process that will delay jet boring of the ore.

The company said it planned to provide an update on production and costs at Cigar Lake in early 2014.


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