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 64.9 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, 2018)
Production(As of December 31, 2018)

2018 Q4 Update


Total packaged production from Cigar Lake was 18.0 million pounds U3O8; our share was 9.0 million pounds, achieving our forecast.

During the year, we:

  • advanced the freeze plant expansion project, achieving substantial completion of construction and commencement of the commissioning phase
  • implemented an extended summer shutdown, during which maintenance activities were completed as well as a capital upgrade to process pumps underground
  • refurbished a JBS unit and brought two new production tunnels online
  • extended our surface brine distribution infrastructure and expanded our ground freezing program ensuring continued frozen ore inventory growth in alignment with our long-term production plans

Cigar Lake Production

Cameco's Share (million lbs)

3 months ended
December 31
Year ended
December 31
2018 2017 2018 2017 2018 Plan 2019 Plan
2.5 2.5 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0

Underground development

In alignment with our production plans, limited underground mine development was undertaken in 2018. Mine development required to sustain long-term production will re-commence in 2019.

Planning for the future

In 2019, we expect to produce 18 million packaged pounds at Cigar Lake; our share is 9.0 million pounds.

In alignment with our continued efforts to reduce costs, our 2019 production plan for the Cigar Lake mine includes an extended shutdown during the third quarter, which is expected to result in reduced flight and camp costs. The shut-down will consist of a four-week vacation period, preceded by a two-week maintenance period with mine start-up planned before the end of the third quarter.

In 2019, we expect to:

  • continue surface freeze drilling and complete construction and commissioning of the freeze plant infrastructure expansion in support of future production
  • resume underground mine development and complete two new production tunnels as well as expand ventilation and access drifts in alignment with the long-term mine plan

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.