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Cigar Lake waste rock disposal in Sue C pit

Environment assessment (EA) start date: October 11, 1999
Type: Screening
FEAI reference number: 19651
Proponent: COGEMA Resources Inc. (currently AREVA Resources Canada Inc.) and Cameco Corporation
Location: Cigar Lake and McClean Lake, Saskatchewan

Latest update

Project description

The CNSC has received notice from COGEMA Resources Inc. and Cameco Corporation of their intent to apply for authorization for the handling, transport and disposal of Cigar Lake waste rock in the McClean Lake Operation's Sue C pit in northern Saskatchewan.

The Cigar Lake and the McClean Lake Operations are located near the eastern edge of the Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan. Cigar Lake, currently an underground test mine, is located 660 km via air north of Saskatoon. McClean Lake, a producing uranium mining and milling facility, is located 700 km via air north of Saskatoon. The two sites are approximately 70 km apart by existing roads.

Before the CNSC makes its decision on the application, an 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 to determine whether these effects can be mitigated before the project is allowed to proceed.

The EA process on this project began in October 1999, and has since included extensive public consultation. Presentations and discussion sessions were held with key target groups, such as the Athabasca Environmental Quality Committee, the Athabasca Working Group, and the Athabasca Economic Development and Training Corporation. Project-related information was broadly distributed through publications in the Athabasca communities. A public meeting was also held with interested stakeholders in Saskatoon. As well, regular discussions with regulatory agencies were held.

The EA screening report will be made available to the public on May 9, 2003 and a commission hearing will be held on June 25, 2003, to consider the EA screening report. In order for the project to move forward, amendments to Cigar Lake's excavating licence and McClean Lake's operating licence will be required; the Commission will hold public hearings to make decisions on the licence amendments at a later date. Cameco Corporation and COGEMA Resources Inc. have advised the CNSC that they do not plan to transport waste rock to McClean Lake's Sue C pit until the year 2019. COGEMA Resources Inc. has advised the CNSC that it will apply for amendments to McClean Lake's operating licence to include Cigar Lake waste rock disposal in a few years when they apply for other amendments.

Steps ahead

  • Commission hearing on EA screening report
  • Commission decision on EA Screening report
  • Commission hearings on licence applications
  • Commission decisions on licence applications

Further information

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

For questions or information directly related to the environmental assessment of this project, contact the CNSC.

The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment, and 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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