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Key Lake Extension Project


Environment assessment start date: May 14, 2010
CEAR reference number: 55518
Proponent: Cameco Corporation
Location: Key Lake, Saskatchewan

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Project description

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has received a project description from Cameco Corporation (Cameco) to extend the lifespan of the Key Lake milling operation in northern Saskatchewan by undertaking a variety of extension activities all within the area of the surface lease.

Cameco is proposing the following extension activities:

  • an increase to the approved storage capacity of the existing Deilmann Tailings Management Facility (DTMF)
  • an increase in the average annual production capacity of the Key Lake mill from 7.2 million kilograms of uranium (18.7 million pounds U3O8) up to an average annual production capacity of 9.6 million kilograms (25 million pounds U3O8) including any physical changes required to allow uranium processing and waste-handling and treatment systems at this higher production rate
  • installation/modification of infrastructure and mill process equipment to permit receipt and treatment of a wider range of ore and waste rock types from other deposits
  • modification and conversion of the mill processes to use a strong acid strip solvent extraction and to use hydrogen peroxide for uranium precipitation

All activities would occur within the existing boundaries of the Key Lake operation surface lease.

CNSC authorization is required for Cameco to carry out the proposed extension project. This requires an amendment to Cameco's uranium mill operating licence, pursuant to subsection 24(2) of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA).

Before the CNSC can consider any licensing actions under the NSCA regarding Cameco's proposal, a screening level EA must be completed in compliance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The purpose of an EA is to identify the possible environmental effects of a proposed project, and determine whether these effects can be mitigated before the project is allowed to proceed.

Further information

The CNSC maintains a public registry of documents related to its environmental assessments. Lists and copies of documents may be obtained upon request. For questions or information directly related to this environmental assessment, contact the CNSC.

The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment; to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public.

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