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AREVA RESOURCES CANADA: FROM EXPLORATION TO RECLAMATION

Shaft at the Cigar Lake underground mine

MAJ april 2017

Present in Canada since 1964, through predecessor entities, AREVA Resources Canada Inc. (ARC) covers all the group's mining activities in Canada. ARC specializes in exploration for uranium deposits and uranium mine and processing operations in Canada.


The company works as a main operator and a partner in multiple projects. It also successfully completed the first complete decommissioning of a modern uranium mine, once the reserves had been exhausted. ​

AREVA Resources Canada Inc employs more than 470 people in Saskatchewan. On the McClean Lake site, more than 50% of employees are from the North of Saskatchewan, the majority of them are of Aboriginal descent.

Activities

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Mines in Operation: the Largest high-grade deposits in the world

AREVA Resources Canada Inc.'s mining assets are mainly located in northern Saskatchewan. In this region, the company acts as:

  • the operator of the McClean Lake uranium ore processing mill,
  • a partner in the McArthur River and Cigar Lake mines and Key Lake mill.

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McArthur River

​The largest world uranium mine (11% average grade of uranium ore)

The mine, which is more than 400 m deep, is operated by​ Cameco Corporation, which holds a 69.8% share, ​with AREVA Resources Canada owning the remaining 30.2%. In view of the high uranium content, operations are conducted using remote controlled equipment in order to avoid any direct contact between the miners and the ore. The raise boring extraction method is used on this site. The ore is processed ​ 80km away at the Key Lake mill in which AREVA holds a 16.7% share.

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Cigar Lake

​World’s highest grade uranium mine and second largest (17% an average grade of uranium ore)

The mine, which is more than 650m deep, is operated by Cameco Corporation, which holds a 50% share. AREVA Resources Canada has a 37.1% stake while the Japanese partners Idemitsu Uranium Exploration Canada Ltd and TEPCO Resources Inc. hold the remaining 7.9% and 5%.

All of the ore extracted from the mine is processed at the McClean Lake mill, 80 km away, operated by AREVA. Operations at the mine started in March 2014.

Located in unstable rock saturated with water, this deposit demanded the use of the innovative jet boring method. This method contributed to the development of a technology to reinforce terrains by freezing the rock and extract the ore using a high-pressure jet of water.

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McClean Lake

The only mill in the world capable of processing high grade uranium ore without dilution

The average uranium grade of the ore processed in 2015 was ​17.5%, with peak of 25 %, whereas it was less than 1% between 2005 and 2010.

The McClean Lake Mill has a lincensed production capacity of 25 Mlbs U3​O8. The mill underwent an upgrade and expansion between 2012 and 2016 to be able to safetly processed all the high grade ore from the Cigar Lake Mine and increase its capacity from 13 Mlbs to 24 Mlbs.

75% of this capacity will be used to process all the ore from the Cigar Lake mine (18 Mlbs U308). The remaining 25% ​may be used for ore coming from other potential deposits.

Exploration to guarantee future operations in Canada

The teams are continuing a massive mining program - in particular in the Athabasca Basin, which has strong potential. Their aim: to better define known deposits and find new deposits that will make it possible to supply the McClean Lake mill for many years to come.

Exemplary Rehabilitation of a mining site

  • The Cluff Lake deposit, which is fully owned by AREVA Resources Canada, was active for more than 20 years from the 1980s. The mine stopped producing uranium in 2002, once the reserves had been exhausted.
  • Cluff Lake is now considered as an exemplary model of the rehabilitation of a modern uranium mine.

The last facilities were dismantled in 2014, in keeping with the applicable legislation in Canada. The site has been rehabilitated and replanted. Trees and local vegetation have been planted on the site. The site is still under environmental surveillance by AREVA, which is monitoring it over time. The site will eventually be managed by the province of Saskatchewan according to a program of institutional control.

Contact

AREVA Resources Canada Inc
817 45th Street West
PO Box 9204 S7K 3X5
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Canada
Tel. (1) 306-343-45-00
Fax. (1) 306-653-38-83

Visit the AREVA Resources Canada page at:
http://www.arevaresources.ca

AREVA annual sustainability review
Welcome to McClean Lake
AREVA in Canada