Cameco expects that the Cigar Lake mine will produce between 6 and 8 million pounds of uranium oxide (2308 to 3077 tU) this year. The mine produced 340,000 pounds U3O8 in 2014, its first year of operations.
Cameco said it was providing its 2015 forecast for Cigar Lake production in order to co-ordinate with the disclosure of information by Denison Mines Corp.
Mining commenced at Cigar Lake in 2014. The proven and probable ore reserves at Cigar Lake are extremely large and very high grade. A 480-metre-deep underground mine was developed in very poor ground conditions – the orebody is actually in the soft Athabasca sandstone. Hence it uses ground freezing and remotely-controlled high pressure water jets at this level to excavate the ore. Known resources are 130,000 tonnes U3O8 at about 17% average grade, and with other resources the mine is expected to have a life of at least 30 years. Production is expected to ramp up to 8,200 t/yr U3O8 (7,000 tU/yr) over four years from late 2014.
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