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Opened in 1983, Key Lake remains the world's largest high-grade uranium mill. Initially built to process two large open pit mines on the lease, the mill was converted by 1999 to handle the even higher grade of ore shipped to the operation in slurry form from the McArthur River mine 80 kilometres to the north.

Key facts

  • licensed annual milling capacity of 18.7 million pounds makes Key Lake the largest high-grade uranium milling operation in the world
  • our operating licence for the Key Lake mill gives us flexibility in annual milling capacity. If production is lower than 18.7 million pounds in any year, we can mill up to 20.4 million pounds (100% basis) until we recover the shortfall.
  • operated by Cameco
  • historic Key Lake open pit uranium production (1983 to 2002): 209.8 million pounds
  • began processing ore from McArthur River in January 2000
  • ore transported for milling over an 80-kilometre, all-weather road
  • the Key Lake and McArthur River operations together employ approximately 900 Cameco staff and almost 750 long-term contractor employees
  • located 570 kilometres north of Saskatoon by air on the southern rim of the uranium-rich Athabasca Basin
  • nearest village by road is Pinehouse, 220 kilometres south of Key Lake
  • long-term plan to increase tailings management capacity, increase mill production capacity and refurbish mill facilities to maintain operational flexibility and improve environmental performance was submitted to regulatory authorities in 2009 as the Key Lake extension project
  • achieved International Standards Organization (ISO 14001) Certification in 2003



Key Lake Mill

Key Lake, the world's largest...

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