Jet boring to start at very highgrade Cigar Lake uranium mine

first_imgThe CNSC has granted Cameco a uranium mining licence authorising construction and operation of the Cigar Lake project. The Cigar Lake orebody is being frozen prior to mining to improve ground conditions, prevent water inflow and improve radiation protection. The high grade ore will be removed by a non-entry method jet boring system that will be deployed within access tunnels being developed about 25 m beneath the orebody. Jet boring involves using water under high pressure to carve out cavities in the orebody and then collecting the resulting ore slurry through pipes. The Cigar Lake mining process also involves backfilling the cavities in the orebody with concrete once the ore is removed.The licence will be valid from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2021. “We are pleased with this decision,” said Tim Gitzel, Cameco’s President and CEO. “This licence will allow Cameco to advance the Cigar Lake project into production and shows Canada’s nuclear regulator has confidence in our team. As planned, we expect to begin jet boring in ore this summer, with the first packaged pounds expected in the fourth quarter of this year.”Cigar Lake is the world’s second largest known high-grade uranium deposit, with grades that are 100 times the world average. Cameco is 50% owner and the mine operator. Its share of the deposit’s Proven and Probable reserves is 108.4 Mlb U3O8 at an average grade of 18.3%.Ore collected by the jet boring system will be taken to underground grinding and thickening circuits and then pumped to surface as slurry. At the surface, the ore will be loaded in special containers for truck transport to the mill.Cigar Lake ore will be processed through a toll milling arrangement at Areva’s McClean Lake operation, located 70 km to the northeast of Cigar Lake.last_img

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