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 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.
Operation(As of December 31, 2021)
Production(As of December 31, 2021)

2022 Q1 Update


Cigar Lake Production

Cameco's Share (million lbs)

Three months
ended March 31
2022 2021 Change 2022 Plan
1.9 -- n/a 7.51

1 At Cigar Lake, we expect production of 15 million pounds (100% basis) in 2022 due to the delays and deferrals to development work experienced in 2021 related to the suspension of production noted above and ongoing pandemic and supply chain challenges impacting the availability of construction materials, equipment and labour.

Production for the first quarter in 2022 was 1.9 million pounds (our share). In 2022, we expect to produce 15.0 million packaged pounds at Cigar Lake; our share is 7.5 million pounds. As a result of the suspension in production in 2021, we have experienced delays and deferrals in project work, which reduced capital expenditures, but introduced risk to production in 2022. Furthermore, the potential for supply chain impacts on construction materials, equipment and labour remains uncertain and could further exacerbate 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. Extending the mine life at Cigar Lake by aligning production with the market opportunities and our contract portfolio is consistent with our tier-one strategy and is expected to allow more time to evaluate the feasibility of extending the mine life beyond the current reserve base while continuing to supply ore to Orano’s McClean Lake mill.

McClean Lake Mill Collective Agreement

The collective agreement between Orano and unionized employees at the McClean Lake mill expires on May 31, 2022. There is a risk to the production plan if Orano is unable to reach an agreement and there is a labour dispute.

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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.