Tag Archives: McClean Lake

Guest Blog Mining Nuclear Education Nuclear Energy Nuclear Pride Nuclear Safety

Going Deep Underground: Cameco and AREVA Uranium Mine and Mills Tour

This is a guest blog by the CNA’s Regulatory Affairs Officer, Matthew Hickman. Looks like it was a great tour at a truly impressive set of facilities!

AREVA’s McClean Lake mill in northern Saskatchewan is the only facility in the world capable of processing high-grade uranium ore without diluting it.

On June 13, 2012 AREVA and Cameco hosted the staff and Board of Directors of the Canadian Nuclear Association on a tour of their mining facilities in northern Saskatchewan.  Tour participants had the incredible opportunity to see the mining and milling operations at the McArthur River uranium mine and McClean Lake mill.

 

The day started at AREVA’s McClean Lake site after a quick flight from Saskatoon. The McClean Lake site is located approximately 700 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, and is comprised of several uranium mines and the newest, most technologically advanced uranium mill in North America.  Our tour guide Glenn was very knowledgeable and provided us with a tour of the entire uranium milling process, from extraction to final packaging.  The milling facility was as impressive as it was complex and the safety features and processes were evident.

Cameco's McArthur River Operation: The main McArthur River head frame houses the hoist over the main (Pollock) shaft which deliver miners and equipment as deep as 680 metres below surface.

 

Our next stop was the Cameco McArthur River site, which is also located within the Athabasca Basin approximately 60 kilometers west from the McClean Lake site.  The first thing that stuck out to me was the small footprint of the entire mining operation – only about 4 square kilometers.  Equally fascinating was that the McArthur River site is the world’s largest high-grade uranium mine, with the average ore grade of 16.89%.

The primary themes that I have extracted from this tour are the unique and innovative mining techniques, employee pride and evident safety culture.  I can definitely say that the tour surpassed my expectations and would highly recommend it to anyone if they ever have the opportunity.  Finally, I would like to graciously thank our hosts, AREVA and Cameco for providing such an amazing opportunity to the CNA.

Mining Nuclear News

AREVA Canada on AREVA in Canada (and Why They’ll be Sticking Around)

AREVA Canada Exec VP Jean-Francois Béland

AREVA Canada Executive Vice President Jean-Francois Béland appeared on Business News Network (BNN) today.

Mr. Béland talked about AREVA Canada’s involvement in the Canadian nuclear industry. They employ roughly 600 employees in Canada with projects on the go or planned in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nunavut, Quebec and New Brunswick. AREVA Canada services nuclear facilities in all the nuclear provinces.

The interviewer asked about the “big business” of nuclear (i.e. the economic contributions of the nuclear industry). We know that through the efforts of our people, the Canadian nuclear industry is a $6.6 billion per year industry, contributing $1.5 billion in tax revenues and $1.2 billion in export revenues.

And, as Mr. Béland mentioned, it provides roughly 71,000 direct and indirect jobs.

We also know that refurbishing nuclear facilities at Bruce and Darlington will create 25,000 jobs in the next decade and inject $5 billion into the Ontario economy annually. Big business, indeed!

The Cigar Lake mine in northern Saskatchewan, the world’s second-largest high-grade uranium deposit, is on track to start producing in 2013. 100% of its production will be processed at the McClean Lake mill.

AREVA Canada’s has some exciting mining projects in Saskatchewan too. The Cigar Lake mine, which they partner on with Cameco, contains what is considered among the best grade uranium in the world. AREVA and its partners are also investing $150 million to improve the McClean Lake mill, a project that when completed will create over 100 jobs in Northern Saskatchewan.

AREVA’s McClean Lake mill in northern Saskatchewan is the only facility in the world capable of processing high-grade uranium ore without diluting it.

Mr. Béland also talks about AREVA’s international business and the politics of energy in France, after the recent election that saw a change in the head of state.

Watch the full interview here.