Cigar Lake

  • 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 93 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.
Operation(As of December 31, 2020)
Production(As of December 31, 2020)

2021 Q2 Update


Cigar Lake Production

Cameco's Share (million lbs)

Three months
ended June 30
  Six months
ended June 30
2021 2020 Change 2021 2020 Change 2021 Target
1.3 - - 1.3 2.1 (38%) up to 6

In December 2020, we safely suspended production at the Cigar Lake mine a second time as a precaution due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mine remained suspended through the first quarter of this year until its restart in mid-April. As such, our share of production in the first six months of 2021 was 1.3 million pounds compared to 2.1 million pounds in the first six months of 2020 which was also impacted by a production suspension in the second quarter of 2020 as a COVID-19 precautionary measure.

On July 1 all non-essential personnel from the Cigar Lake mine were evacuated and production was temporarily suspended as a precaution due to the proximity of a forest fire. With the risk subsided and all infrastructure intact, the workforce returned on July 4 and production resumed in the first week of July.

In 2021, we expect to produce up to 12.0 million packaged pounds at Cigar Lake; our share is up to 6.0 million pounds.

As a result of the suspension in production, we have also experienced delays and deferrals in project work, including lower capital expenditures, which introduces potential risk to the production rate in 2022. Furthermore, the potential for post pandemic impacts on construction materials, equipment and labour remains uncertain and could further exacerbate production risk in future years.

Our share of the cash and non-cash costs while Cigar Lake was on care and maintenance was approximately $8 million in the second quarter, including our contribution to the care and maintenance costs at McClean Lake.

Licence Renewal

On June 28, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission granted a renewal of our Cigar Lake operating license. The renewed license is valid until June 30, 2031.

See full Quarterly Report

Environment & Safety

Worker safety, protection of the environment and proper decommissioning after mining is completed, are of the utmost importance to Cameco.

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Reserves & Resources

Our mineral reserves and resources are the foundation of our company and fundamental to our success.

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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.