- Cigar Lake is the world's highest grade uranium mine and is located in northern Saskatchewan, Canada.
- Since commissioning in 2014, the site has produced a total of 105 million pounds (100% basis). Commercial operation began in May 2015.
- As the operator, Cameco developed an innovative jet-boring technique specifically for this challenging deposit.
- Cigar Lake's ore is processed 70 km northeast, at the McClean Lake mill, operated by Orano.
2022 Q2 Update
Cigar Lake Production
Cameco's Share (million lbs)
ended June 30
1 At Cigar Lake, we now expect production of 18 million pounds (100% basis) in 2022 (previously 15 million pounds) as we have been successful in catching up on development work that had been deferred from 2021. However, the potential for supply chain challenges impacting the availability of construction materials, equipment and labour remains uncertain and could reintroduce production risk.
As announced in May 2022, we along with Orano acquired Idemitsu Canada Resources Ltd.’s 7.875% participating interest in the Cigar Lake Joint Venture. Our ownership stake in Cigar Lake now stands at 54.547%, 4.522 percentage points higher than it was prior to the transaction.
Production for the second quarter in 2022 was 2.8 million pounds (our share) compared to 1.3 million pounds in the second quarter of 2021. Our share of production in the first six months of 2022 was 4.7 million pounds compared to 1.3 million pounds in the first six months of 2021. Production was impacted by suspensions until mid-April in 2021 as a precautionary measure due to COVID-19. Our share of production has been updated to reflect the ownership increase effective May 19.
In 2022, we now expect to produce 18.0 million packaged pounds at Cigar Lake; our share is approximately 9.5 million pounds. We have been successful in catching up on development work that had been deferred from 2021. However, the potential for supply chain impacts on construction materials, equipment and labour remains uncertain and could reintroduce production risk in 2022 and future years.
Continuing to align our production with the market conditions and our contract portfolio, starting in 2024, we will target production from Cigar Lake that is 25% below the licensed capacity, or 13.5 million pounds (100% basis) per year. This will remain our production plan until we see further improvements in the uranium market and contracting progress, demonstrating that we continue to be a responsible supplier of uranium fuel.
McClean Lake Mill Collective Agreement
The collective agreement between Orano and unionized employees at the McClean Lake mill expired on May 31, 2022. Work continues under the terms of the expired collective agreement while negotiations to reach a new agreement proceed. There is a risk to the production plan if Orano is unable to reach an agreement and there is a labour dispute.
Environment & Safety
Worker safety, protection of the environment and proper decommissioning after mining is completed, are of the utmost importance to Cameco.
Reserves & Resources
Our mineral reserves and resources are the foundation of our company and fundamental to our success.
Caution about forward-looking information
This page may contain forward-looking information that is based upon the assumptions and subject to the material risks discussed on page 2 of Cameco's most recent Quarterly MD&A.