Cameco confirms Cigar Lake won't start until at least 2011
Uranium company Cameco Corp. confirmed Wednesday its flooded Cigar Lake mine in northern Saskatchewan won't be ready to go into production until 2011 at the earliest.
The Saskatoon-based firm said the mine was roughly 60 per cent finished when it flooded in October 2006. Cameco said it will now complete a second shaft prior to finishing some of the underground mine development program. The company also said some remediation work is taking longer than expected.
Cameco said it will be able to provide a firmer production startup date after the mine has been dewatered and the condition of the underground development has been assessed.
The company also gave investors an update on its Port Hope, Ont., uranium hexafluoride conversion plant facility, which was closed in July after soil contamination was discovered at the site.
Cameco said it and independent consultants have developed plans that will stop further spread of the contamination and prevent a recurrence. The company said the health of employees and the public have not been jeopardized.
Uranium hexafluoride production at the plant is now expected to resume late in the first quarter of 2008, pending regulatory approvals.
In its third-quarter financial report, Cameco said it's made a $91-million profit, up from $73 million a year ago. The company's revenues jumped to $681 million from $360 million, largely due to record-high prices for uranium.
The company has trimmed its 2007 growth forecast to 30 per cent over 2006, from its earlier forecast of 40 per cent growth. The company said the reduction was due to a decline in the forecast average spot price for uranium from $120 US per pound to $80 US.
Shares of Cameco fell $1.63 to close at $46.55 on the TSX.