Startup of the McClean uranium mill in Canada
June 28, 1999
After obtaining final approval from Canadian authorities, COGEMA Resources Inc., the operator and largest shareholder (70%) in the McClean Lake mining site in northern Saskatchewan, has announced that milling operations have begun at the uranium ore processing plant there.
The first batches of uranium concentrate should be ready in 10 to 15 days. COGEMA was granted a license to develop the McClean ore deposits, which were discovered in 1979. These deposits contain about 20,000 tons of ore, with a concentration of 28 kg of uranium per ton. The uranium mill, called JEB, has an annual processing capacity of 2,300 tons. COGEMA's partners in the McClean mining operations are Denison Mines Limited (22.5%) and OURD (Canada) Co. Ltd. (7.5%).
Further development of this site is expected. If the required licenses are granted, the mill is likely also to process the ore from the Midwest deposit and a portion of Cigar Lake's production. This would ultimately lead to a doubling of the plant's capacity and a significantly longer operational life.
COGEMA, which has uranium reserves in Niger, Gabon, Canada, the USA and Australia, is a leading uranium supplier, with an output of more than 6,000 tons in 1998, or about 20% of world production.