[Saskatchewan Uranium Mining] A restart 15 years in the making – by Trish Saywell (CIM Magazine – May 02, 2024)


Mining at the McClean Lake uranium mine in Saskatchewan, which has been suspended since 2009, will restart in 2025 using technology developed to extract high-grade ore from small ore bodies

After spending 15 years and more than $100 million on research and development, partners Orano Canada Inc. and Denison Mines have built mining equipment that is deployed from surface to extract high-grade uranium ore. They plan to use it to restart mining operations at their McClean Lake property in northern Saskatchewan; Orano owns a 77.5 per cent stake and is the operator of the McClean Lake Joint Venture (MLJV), while Denison owns 22.5 per cent.

Restarting uranium production at McClean Lake is a major milestone. Mining operations at the site began in 1995 and the MLJV extracted ore from five open pits, producing approximately 50 million pounds on a 100 per cent basis, before operations were suspended in 2009 due to low uranium prices.

The McClean Lake mill shut down in 2010 after milling the remains of the stockpiled ore. However, when the Cigar Lake uranium mine—located 69 kilometres southwest of McClean Lake—came into production in 2014, the mill restarted operating as a toll miller of Cigar Lake feed. Orano has a 40.45 per cent participating interest in the Cigar Lake joint venture, with 54.55 per cent owned by Cameco Corporation and the remaining five per cent stake owned by Tepco Resources Inc.

For the rest of this article: https://magazine.cim.org/en/projects/a-restart-15-years-in-the-making-en/