Cameco reports that crews safely re-entered the main working level of the Cigar Lake mine in northern Saskatchewan, 480 m below surface, on February 10. Prior to re-entry, the mine was fully dewatered and the main shaft refurbished, including installation of the ladderway, replacement of electrical and mechanical components, and extension of the in-shaft pumping system. The workings at the 420-m level, where the last inflow occurred, have been inspected and secured. Safe access to the 480-m level has been established and work to inspect, assess, and secure the underground development has begun. This work will be followed by restoration of underground mine systems and infrastructure in preparation for resumed construction activities.
Cameco re-started the dewatering of underground development at Cigar Lake in October 2009 (E&MJ, Dec. 2009, p. 8). Underground development at the mine is primarily between the 465-m and 500-m levels. The original flooding in October 2006 occurred in a development drift on the 465-m level. Mine development has been halted since that time.
Cameco expects work to secure the Cigar Lake underground to be complete before October 2010, depending upon the condition of the mine.