sk-cameco-miner-file

An underground miner for Cameco is seen in this undated photo.

Three years after water poured into a northern Saskatchewan uranium mine being developed by Cameco Corp., the company reports that it has finally pumped out the unwanted mess.

Cameco, based in Saskatoon, is one of the world's largest producers of uranium, with significant holdings in Saskatchewan's north.

It had been developing the Cigar Lake mine when the water problem forced work to stop.

On Thursday, the company said all the water had been pumped out and crews had safely re-entered the mine's main working level 480 metres underground.

It said work has begun to inspect, assess and secure the underground development. That would be followed by the restoration of mining systems and infrastructure in preparation for the resumption of construction activities.

Cameco said it would take several months to get through all that and expects to be finished by the fall of 2010.

Once Cigar Lake is up and running, it is expected to produce 18 million pounds of uranium annually. Cameco owns 50 per cent of the mine and is the operator of the project.

Cameco has uranium mines, mills, conversion plants and exploration projects in Saskatchewan, Ontario, the United States and Australia.

It is also a key partner in the Bruce Power nuclear power plant on the shores of Lake Huron in southwestern Ontario.

Shares in Cameco gained 76 cents or 2.7 per cent to $29.43 in Thursday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.