Mining at Cigar Lake started in March 2014, nine years after construction began. Uranium concentrate from the mine is produced at the McClean Lake facility, 70 kilometers from the mine. The first packaged uranium concentrate from the mine was produced at McClean Lake in October 2014 and the mine was declared in commercial operation in May.
Cameco said that Cigar Lake achieved its initial 2015 production target range – 6 million to 8 million pounds U3O8 (2308 to 3077 tU) – during the third quarter of the year. Full 2015 production will be reported in the company’s fourth quarter results, due to be released on 5 February 2016.
“Cigar Lake is performing beyond our expectations,” Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel told World Nuclear News. “Surpassing 10 million pounds in the mine’s first full year of production gives us full confidence that we will achieve our targeted production rate of 18 million pounds by 2018.”