Cameco has reached the main mine workings with the second shaft at the Cigar Lake uranium mining project in northern Saskatchewan. Miners removed the final section of rock connecting shaft 2 with the mine workings 480 m below surface on January 3, 2012. The second shaft will provide for increased ventilation of the underground workings as well as an additional means of entering and exiting the mine.

“The breakthrough is a key milestone on our path to safe, clean and reliable production from this exceptional orebody,” said President and CEO Tim Gitzel. “We expect to resume full mine development and construction activities in 2012 and remain on track to start ore mining by mid-2013.”

Cameco made steady progress at Cigar Lake during 2011. In addition to the successful sinking of the second shaft, the company restored underground mine systems, infrastructure and development areas, secured regulatory approval and started construction of systems to increase discharge capacity for treated water, initiated orebody freezing from surface, and developed and secured regulatory approval for a revised mine plan.