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Acid Plant Database  March 21, 2022

Owner Orano Canada Inc. - McClean Lake JV



570 kilometres north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan by air on the southern rim of the uranium-rich Athabasca Basin.The nearest village by road is Pinehouse, 220 kilometres south of Key Lake.

Background McClean Lake JV
Orano: 70%

Denison Mines Inc: 22.5%
OURD Canada Co. Ltd: 7.5%
Operator: Orano

Cigar Lake (mining)
Orano: 37.1%

Cameco Corporation: 50.025%
Idemitsu Uranium Exploration Canada Ltd: 7.875%
TEPCO Resources Inc: 5%
Operator: Cameco

McArthur River
Orano: 30.2%

Cameco Corporation: 69.8%
Operator: Cameco Corporation

Key Lake
Orano: 16.7%

Cameco Corporation: 83.3%
Operator: Cameco Corporation

2018 Formerly New Areva
Website www.cameco.com
Plant Plant No. 1 Plant No. 2
Coordinates* 57° 12' 46" N, 105° 40' 17" W (site)
Type of Plant Sulphur Burning Sulphur Burning
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur Elemental Sulphur - Molten from Alberta
Plant Capacity 200 MTPD (Pressure Plant)
160 MTPD (as Conventional Plant)
300 MTPD
Emissions ~ 300 ppm SO2 (as Conventional Plant) ~ 12 ppm SO2
75 ppm SO2 max
Status Operating
To be demolished when new plant is operating
Year Built - 2011
Technology - MECS
Contractor - FENCO/Wardrop
Mechanical Installer: Points Athabasca Contracting Limited

Plant originally designed as a pressure plant but operates at normal pressures (i.e. < 15 psi)

Storage: 1259 m3 - 93% acid

Plant to be equipped with a tailgas reverse jet caustic scrubber

New Storage: 2 x 1240 m3 - 93% acid
                     98% storage
                     Molten sulphur

Pictures Cameco - Key Lake 1.jpg (169048 bytes)  Cameco - Key Lake 2.jpg (1614184 bytes)  Cameco-Key-Lake-3.JPG (120436 bytes)       Areva - McClean Lake PFD.jpg (86021 bytes)  Areva - McClean Lake 3.jpg (223471 bytes)  Areva - McClean Lake 2.jpg (66450 bytes)  Areva - McClean Lake 1.jpg (117046 bytes)
General Orano Canada Inc. is a subsidiary of the multinational Orano group.  Orano transforms nuclear materials so that they can be used to support the development of society, first and foremost in the field of energy.  Orano Canada and its predecessor companies have been exploring for uranium, developing uranium mines and producing uranium concentrate since 1964 — that’s over 50 years!
References -
News December 14, 2020 - Cameco, as operator of the Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan in Canada, announced today that in the coming weeks it will be temporarily suspending production on this site. Cameco underlines that the provincial recent evolution of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic requires such decision in order to protect the safety of the local communities and of its employees, and secure its facilities. In conjunction with that decision, Orano Canada Inc. as the operator of the McClean Lake JV is announcing a similar temporary suspension of the production at the mill.The 2020 financial outlook announced by Orano on July 31st remains unchanged.The Cigar Lake operation is owned by Cameco (50.025%), Orano Canada Inc. (37.1%), Idemitsu Canada Resources Ltds. (7.875%) and TEPCO Resources Inc. (5.0%) and is operated by Cameco.The McClean Lake JV is owned by Orano Canada Inc. (77.5%), Denison Mines (22.5%) and is operated by Orano Canada Inc.

August 20, 2020 - Cameco is planning to restart its Cigar Lake mine in northern Saskatchewan early September, a move greeted with anticipation by employees who have been off work since March.  The Canadian uranium major put Cigar Lake mine, about an eight-hour drive north of La Ronge, into temporary shutdown in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its partner Orano Canada Inc., simultaneously shuttered its McClean Lake mill, where ore from Cigar Lake is processed. As a result, no uranium was mined in Canada during this time, driving supply down and prices up.  Plans to restart operations were met with “cautious optimism” by Brooke Dobni, professor of strategy at the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business.  “I don’t think they’re jumping the gun. I think they’re very cautious. They’re more optimistic than they have been in the past. So this is a good sign for the industry and for Cameco,” Dobni said.  Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel announced the reopening plan for Cigar Lake along with second quarter results at the end of July.  “While health and safety are the primary considerations for the timing of our Cigar Lake mine restart decision, there were also commercial considerations, including market-related factors and the impact on our cost structure,” Gitzel said.  Dobni told Canada’s National Observer at the time of the mine closures that the price of uranium would likely increase following the shutdown due to decreased supply. Those predictions came true.  “When you’re dealing with a market like uranium, it's feast or famine,” Dobni said Wednesday.  “Their stock price has gone up because the price of uranium has gone up and their revenues have gone up. I still don’t think they’re profitable. They just had their earnings report not long ago and they’ve lost money,” Dobni said.  Reopening of the mine and mill mean big changes for northern residents who work there, as well as surrounding communities.  Cameco spokesperson Jeff Hryhoriw told Canada’s National Observer that roughly 50 per cent of the company’s 320 employees and another 240 contractors at Cigar Lake are from communities in northern Saskatchewan.  The number of employees dropped to 75 during care and maintenance. The workforce at Orano’s McClean Lake mill was reduced from 160 to 50.  Orano president and CEO Jim Corman said McClean Lake mill is ready to "shift gears to efficiently move back into production" and that safety measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  “I’m excited to get back to work. We’ve been off since March so September 16 is our call back date,” Christopher Merasty, who works on the production team at Cigar Lake, told Canada’s National Observer on Wednesday.

March 23, 2020 -
Orano Canada Inc. is suspending production at its McClean Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan and putting the operation into care and maintenance in response to growing concern over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  While there are no confirmed cases of the virus at Orano operations, this action is being taken to preserve the health and safety of employees, contractors, and their home communities due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The decision was made in conjunction with Cameco’s Cigar Lake mine decision to suspend production and the partners will continue to assess the situation and determine future action.  The decision to suspend production took into account the challenges of maintaining all necessary precautions in light of the COVID-19 threat at a fly-in/fly-out site and concern for the welfare of vulnerable northern communities where many employees live.  “We are all in this together,” said Orano Canada Inc. President and CEO Jim Corman.  “This is a difficult time for many and we understand the concerns we are hearing. McClean Lake will safely be put into care and maintenance within the next few days and we will continue to assess the situation, always keeping health and safety at the forefront.  ”While it is difficult to determine the duration of this temporary suspension, it is estimated that it will last at least four weeks.  Orano Canada and its partners in the McClean Lake joint venture, in conjunction with Cameco’s Cigar Lake mine operation, will work to determine the restart date and conditions in due course.  By reducing the number of people at the operation, the amount of travel and close proximity of workers will also be substantially reduced, allowing for better physical distancing.

October 13, 2017
- There were no injuries or measurable environment impact when a small propane explosion took place at Cameco’s Key Lake mill, the company said Friday.  According to Cameco, the start-up of the acid plant’s sulphur furnace was being initiated when the explosion occurred.  “The facility safety systems functioned as designed,” the company said in a statement.  The plant produces acid for uranium processing purposes within the mill. According to Cameco, “there are no uranium processes within the acid plant” and the event “has no radiological association.”  The company’s emergency response team at Key Lake “responded appropriately to the event,” Cameco said in the statement, notifying both the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and provincial regulators.  Cameco is investigating the cause of the incident and “possible damage to the internal workings of the sulphur furnace.”  CNSC “will be provided with a summary of the investigation and corrective actions.”  Key Lake is located almost 600 kilometres by air north of Saskatoon.

MTPD - Metric Tonne per Day           STPD - Short Ton per Day
MTPA - Metric Tonne per Annum      STPA - Short Ton per Annum
SA - Single Absorption
DA - Double Absorption

* Coordinates can be used to locate plant on Google Earth