Orano Canada Celebrates Successful Reclamation of Cluff Lake Mine with Investment in the Future of Nuclear in Saskatchewan

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, May 02, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Orano Canada Inc. (Orano) is pleased to announce that following the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC) Record of Decision on May 11, 2023 to revoke the Cluff Lake Project’s mine and mill operating licence, the Province of Saskatchewan has subsequently released the property from decommissioning approvals and its associated surface lease.

With the recent acceptance of a long-term monitoring and maintenance plan, and the provision of adequate funds by Orano to the Province of Saskatchewan to carry out the efforts (in perpetuity), the Cluff Lake property will be transferred into the provincial Institutional Control Program. The area has unrestricted public access, with no restrictions on traditional land use. Numerous studies have concluded that the area is safe today and into the future for hunting, fishing, drinking water and the gathering of berries.

The Cluff Lake Mine produced over 62 million pounds of uranium concentrate during its operation from 1979 to 2002. The operation consisted of two underground mines, four open pit mines, a tailings management facility, a mill and other support facilities.

The Institutional Control Program allows for coordination between the provincial ministries of Environment and Energy and Resources, and provides clear direction for mining companies on what is necessary for a property to be transferred. The program also ensures that any long-term monitoring, maintenance or response to overseen events is funded by the company.

“We are proud of Orano’s 60-year legacy in our province,” said Minister of Energy and Resources, Jim Reiter. “Our government is pleased with the contributions they have made to our economy and global energy security. Saskatchewan is home to the highest-grade uranium in the world and has consistently ranked as one of the top global jurisdictions for mining investment.”

“The achievement of full decommissioning of the Cluff Lake site and its return to nature is something that we as Orano are very proud to celebrate. The project shows that we, as responsible miners, have the ability and the experience to bring a uranium mining project through the entire life cycle successfully,” said Orano Mining Chief Executive Officer Xavier Saint Martin Tillet.  

“Over the past 20 years many employees, past and present, contractors and community members have been involved in making this a reality and we thank them for their dedication, commitment and expertise,” said Orano Canada’s President and CEO, Jim Corman.

In celebration of our past, and to demonstrate this lasting commitment to future uranium projects and the value of nuclear in Saskatchewan, Orano is announcing three programs to support students with an interest in mining and clean energy. Through endowments and scholarships totaling $300,000 Orano will support students at the University of Saskatchewan, Northlands College and Saskatchewan Polytechnic who show an interest and passion for mining and clean energy to build their careers in Saskatchewan. It is anticipated that this fund will support in excess of 85 separate scholarships over the next 15 to 20 years.

The Cluff Lake Mine is a modern example of how uranium mining can be done both safely and responsibly, and how it can contribute to the global supply of clean energy. Orano is proud of this achievement, and is committed to continued development of the sustainable uranium industry in Canada and abroad.

About Orano Canada

Headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Orano Canada Inc. is a leading producer of uranium, accounting for the processing of more than 15 million pounds of uranium concentrate in Canada in 2023. Orano will celebrate 60 years of exploring for, mining and milling uranium in Canada in 2024. Orano Canada is the operator of the McClean Lake uranium mill and a major partner in the Cigar Lake, McArthur River and Key Lake operations. The company employs over 450 people in Saskatchewan, including about 320 at the McClean Lake operation where over 46% of employees are self-declared Indigenous. As a sustainable uranium producer, Orano Canada is committed to safety, environmental protection and contributing to the prosperity and well-being of neighbouring communities.

Orano Canada Inc. is a subsidiary of the multinational Orano group. As a recognized international operator in the field of nuclear materials, Orano delivers solutions to address present and future global energy and health challenges. Its expertise and mastery of cutting-edge technologies enable Orano to offer its customers high value-added products and services throughout the entire fuel cycle. Every day, the Orano group’s 17,000 employees draw on their skills, unwavering dedication to safety and constant quest for innovation, with the commitment to develop know-how in the transformation and control of nuclear materials, for the climate and for a healthy and resource-efficient world, now and tomorrow.

Visit Orano at www.oranocanada.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter: @oranocanada

Press Contact
Carey Hyndman
T: +1-306-343-4503
C: +1-306-291-4236

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/7b5dd707-3d4f-452c-8777-60cab7316707

Decommissioned Cluff Lake Project Saskatchewan - aerial 1