Two Canadian uranium projects - Midwest in Saskatchewan and the Kiggavik mine and mill complex in Nunavut - will progress following decisions by their respective joint venture partners.
The partners in the Midwest project - Areva Resources Canada Inc (69.16%), Denison Mines Corp (25.17%) and OURD Canada Co Ltd (5.67%) - announced the formal decision to proceed with development of the project.
The Midwest project is some 15 km west of the McClean Lake operation. The deposit was discovered in 1978 following ten years of exploration activity. Areva Resources is the operator of both McClean Lake and Midwest. The Midwest project involves draining part of the Mink Arm of South McMahon Lake to construct an open pit mine. The open pit is anticipated to cover an area of some 45 hectares and to be up to about 215 metres deep. The mine is expected to produce some 16,300 tonnes U3O8 (13,850 tU). The ore will be transported by a dedicated road to the McClean Lake mill for processing.
The total capital cost including mine development and the related McClean Lake mill expansion of about C$100 million ($99.6 million) will be some C$400 million ($398.4 million). Subject to regulatory approvals, site construction could begin in mid-2009. Stripping of the rock over the ore would start in early 2010, with ore removal between mid-2011 and 2013.
Meanwhile, the partners in the proposed Kiggavik project - Areva Resources Canada, JCU (Canada) Exploration Co Ltd and Daewoo Corp - have decided to proceed with a two-year feasibility study and to initiate the regulatory process to obtain the necessary approvals for a uranium mine and mill complex.
The Kiggavik project is said to be at an advanced exploration stage, with a resource estimate of some 57,000 tonnes of uranium at an average grade of about 0.24%. Areva will submit a project description in early 2008, commencing the regulatory process. The environmental assessment process is expected to take about four years, followed by several years of construction, before mining could begin as early as 2015.
Areva Resources Canada
WNA's Canada's Uranium Production & Nuclear Power information paper
WNN: Canadian Inuit group issues uranium policy