The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has allowed AREVA to process in the McClean Lake mill high-grade ore from the Cigar Lake mine, expected to begin operations later in 2013. The CNSC also allowed McClean Lake mill to increase production from 3600 to 5900 tonnes per year of uranium concentrate.
AREVA operates McClean Lake and is a 70% owner alongside Denison Mines Corp., which has a 22.5% stake, and Overseas Uranium Resources Development (OURD) Company Ltd of Japan, which owns 7.5%.
The McClean Lake mill is the only mill in the world able to process very high-grade ore without dilution, AREVA said. It will eventually have a production capacity of 10,900 tonnes of uranium concentrate per year.