Production freeze at Cigar Lake uranium mine

22 July 2014

Innovative ground freezing that is being used at Canada's Cigar Lake uranium mine is not working as quickly as expected and has prompted Cameco to temporarily halt jet boring operations at the site.

Mine operator Cameco said that the operations would be suspended 'temporarily' to allow the ore body to freeze more thoroughly in some localized areas of the mine.

Early indications anticipate delays of a couple of months to the production schedule, but will allow more continuous production at the mine once the McClean Lake mill is operational, it says.

The first uranium ore from the Cigar Lake mine in northern Saskatchewan, Canada, was delivered to AREVA's McCLean Lake mill in March. However milling, which was due to begin in June after completion of modifications to the mill has not yet started.

Cameco said that the 'minor changes' to the production schedule would impact its 2014 production target, as ore that was expected to be milled at the end of the year will shift into early 2015.

AREVA said in March that it expected to produce 770 to 1100 tonnes of uranium concentrate from Cigar Lake ore in 2014. Cameco will provide an update to its 2014 production target at the end of July.

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