Cameco Provides Update on the Cigar Lake Project
SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN -- (Marketwired) -- 09/09/13 --
ALL AMOUNTS ARE STATED IN CDN $ (UNLESS NOTED)
Cameco (TSX:CCO) (NYSE:CCJ) provided an update today on the Cigar
Lake uranium mining project in northern Saskatchewan.
The Cigar Lake project is owned by Cameco (50.025%), AREVA (37.1%),
Idemitsu Canada Resources Ltd. (7.875%) and TEPCO Resources Inc.
(5.0%) and is operated by Cameco. Ore from Cigar Lake will be
processed at the McClean Lake mill, which is majority owned and
operated by AREVA Resources Canada Inc. (AREVA).
Construction of the Cigar Lake mine is 97% complete and commissioning
of mining systems is well advanced. During commissioning of the
underground ore handling facilities in the mine, Cameco identified
additional work that will delay jet boring in ore. Based on current
information, Cameco expects to begin ore production during the first
quarter of 2014.
In addition, AREVA has advised Cameco that it has determined that
further mill modifications are required and that the mill is expected
to begin processing Cigar Lake ore by the end of the second quarter
As a result of these developments, Cameco will not meet its forecast
production of 300,000 pounds U3O8 from Cigar Lake during 2013. Cameco
plans to revise its five-year production forecast as part of its
annual reporting for 2013 when further progress on commissioning of
the mine and mill is made.
"Cigar Lake is among the most technically challenging mining projects
in the world and we continue to make solid progress," said Tim
Gitzel, Cameco's president and CEO. "Cameco and AREVA are fully
committed to bring this exceptional orebody into production in a safe
and sustainable way."
The capital cost of the Cigar Lake project will not be materially
impacted by the additional work required at the mine. Based on
preliminary information, the capital cost of the mill modifications
is not expected to be material. Cameco will provide updates as
further information becomes available.
The Cigar Lake deposit occurs at depths ranging between 410 to 450
metres below the surface where water-saturated Athabasca sandstone
meets the underlying basement rocks. Due to geological conditions, it
is necessary to freeze the deposit and surrounding rock to improve
the ground stability and prevent groundwater inflows to the mine.
This has proven to be effective.
The jet boring mining method was selected for the Cigar Lake deposit
after extensive testing. Operated from tunnels in the basement rock
below the orebody, the jet boring mining system (JBS) will use
high-pressure water jets to mine out cavities in the orebody. A
mixture of ore and water will be piped away from the cavities to
underground processing circuits where it will be ground and thickened
and pumped to the surface for transportation to the McClean Lake mill
for processing to uranium concentrate.
Investors and media are invited to join a conference call to discuss
progress on the Cigar Lake project with Cameco's president and CEO
Tim Gitzel, Cameco's senior vice-president and chief operating
officer Robert Steane, and AREVA Resources Canada Inc.'s
vice-president, operations and projects Jim Corman on Monday,
September 9, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time.
To join the call, please dial (866) 223-7781 (Canada and US) or (416)
340-8018. An operator will put your call through. A live audio feed
of the conference call will be available from a link on our website
A recorded version of the proceedings will be available on our
website, shortly after the call, and on post view until midnight,
Eastern time, October 9, 2013 by calling (800) 408-3053 (Canada and
US) or (905) 694-9451 (passcode 6512390#).
Cameco is one of the world's largest uranium producers, a significant
supplier of conversion services and one of two Candu fuel
manufacturers in Canada. Our competitive position is based on our
controlling ownership of the world's largest high-grade reserves and
low-cost operations. Our uranium products are used to generate clean
electricity in nuclear power plants around the world, including
Ontario where we are a limited partner in North America's largest
nuclear electricity generating facility. We also explore for uranium
in the Americas, Australia and Asia. Our shares trade on the Toronto
and New York stock exchanges. Our head office is in Saskatoon,
As used in this news release, "Cameco" or the "company" means Cameco
Corporation, a Canadian corporation and its subsidiaries and
affiliates unless stated otherwise.
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Statements
Certain information contained in this news release constitutes
"forward-looking information" or "forward-looking statements" within
the meaning of Canadian and U.S. securities laws. These include the
statements that: Cameco expects to begin ore production during the
first quarter of 2014; AREVA has advised Cameco that it has
determined that further mill modifications are required and that the
mill is expected to begin processing Cigar Lake ore by the end of the
second quarter of 2014; the capital cost of the Cigar Lake project
will not be materially impacted by the additional work required at
the mine; and based on preliminary information, the capital cost of
the mill modifications is not expected to be material. This
information is based upon a number of assumptions, that, while
considered reasonable by management, are subject to significant
uncertainties and contingencies. We have assumed that: there is no
material delay or disruption in our plans as a result of ground
movements, cave ins, additional water inflows, natural phenomena,
delay in acquiring critical equipment, equipment failure, labour
disputes, failure to obtain or maintain regulatory approvals, or
other causes; our Cigar Lake mining and production plans succeed,
including the success of the jet boring mining system; mill
modifications and commissioning of the McClean Lake mill are
completed as planned and the mill is able to mill Cigar Lake ore as
expected; and that any technical challenges at the Cigar Lake mine
and McClean Lake mill will be resolved in a timely manner as they
arise. This forward-looking information also involves known and
unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual
results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or
implied. They include the risks that: unexpected geological,
hydrological, underground condition, or ground movements and cave ins
or an additional water inflow delays or disrupts our plans; natural
phenomena, labour disputes, technical challenges, equipment failure,
failure to obtain or maintain regulatory approvals, delay in
obtaining the required equipment or other reasons cause a material
delay or disruption in our plans; estimates of capital cost prove to
be inaccurate; our mining or production plans for Cigar Lake are
delayed or do not succeed for any reason, including technical
difficulties with the jet boring mining system; and the plan to mill
Cigar Lake ore at the McClean Lake mill is delayed or does not
succeed for any reason, including technical difficulties with mill
modifications or commissioning or milling Cigar Lake ore. We are
providing this forward-looking information to help you understand
management's views regarding Cigar Lake production and it may not be
appropriate for other purposes. Cameco does not undertake any
obligation to update or revise forward-looking information, whether
as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to
the extent legally required.
The above scientific and technical information related to the Cigar
Lake project was approved by Grant Goddard, vice-president,
Saskatchewan mining north, Cameco, who is a qualified person for the
purposes of NI 43-101.
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