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 Q1 Update


Cigar Lake Production

Cameco's Share (million lbs)

3 months ended
March 31
2021 2020
- 2.1


In December we safely suspended production at the Cigar Lake mine as a precaution due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mine remained suspended through the first quarter of the year and until its restart in April. As such, there was no production in the first three months of 2021 compared to 2.1 million pounds in the first quarter of 2020.

As announced, we restarted the Cigar Lake mine in April and production at the mine resumed, with the first shipment of ore sent to the McClean Lake mill at the end of April. The further safety measures we implemented, the licensed COVID-19 testing facility at the mine site and the ongoing provincial vaccine rollout program provided us with greater certainty around our ability to operate safely and sustainably.

We will closely monitor the COVID-19 case counts and the ongoing success of the vaccine rollout and will continue to have regular dialogue with public health authorities and northern Saskatchewan leaders.

We will not be in a position to provide additional outlook for 2021 until we know the rate at which we will be able to sustainably operate the Cigar Lake mine.

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.

Our share of the cash and non-cash costs while Cigar Lake was on care and maintenance was approximately $33 million in the first quarter, including our contribution to the care and maintenance costs at McClean Lake.

The hearing for our application to renew the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission licence for Cigar Lake mine took place on April 28-29, 2021.

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.