Cameco Corp., Canada’s largest uranium producer, started output from its Cigar Lake underground mine in northern Saskatchewan.
Ore from the mine is being transported to the McClean Lake mill, which is owned by Areva SA. The plant is expected to start processing the ore by the end of the second quarter, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Cameco said today in a statement.
Construction of the mine fell several years behind schedule after a series of technical problems, including an underground flood in 2006. The mine sits atop what had been the world’s largest untapped, high-grade uranium deposit. The total capital cost of Cigar Lake is estimated at C$2.6 billion ($2.4 billion), Cameco said.
Cigar Lake is 50 percent owned by Cameco, 37 percent by France’s Areva, 5 percent by Tepco Resources Inc. and 8 percent by Idemitsu Canada Resources Ltd., according to Cameco’s website.
Cameco rose 2.6 percent to C$27.61 at the close in Toronto, it’s highest price since June 2011.