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[cdn-nucl-l] Flooded mine may open by August: Cameco
Posted in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix on May 6, 2003 and at:
Flooded mine may open by August: Cameco
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
More water continues to be pumped out of Cameco Corp.'s flagship uranium
mine than is flowing in, and production should resume by late July or early
August, company executives said Monday.
"We are still in a crisis mode, but the emergency nature of it has passed,"
Cameco chief operating officer Terry Rogers said on a conference call with
analysts. "The water inflow, while not yet abated or even slowed, is
manageable and significant progress has been made in dewatering the mine."
Production at the McArthur River mine, about 620 kilometres north of
Saskatoon and responsible for about 80 per cent of Cameco's annual uranium
production, has been halted since early April as a result of flooding.
The flooding began in an area of the mine that was being dug out for future
production. Water began gushing into the mine at up to 900 cubic metres an
hour and the company had to scramble to boost its pumping capacity to keep
ahead of the flow. Some equipment at the lower levels of the mine was
Cameco, based in Saskatoon, said its net profit would drop by between $4
million and $5 million for each month McArthur River was out of production.
The company estimates the shutdown at McArthur River will cut its production
for 2003 to between 15 million and 17 million pounds of uranium from a
previous estimate of 20.9 million pounds.
Rogers said employees are now assessing the extent of damage to equipment
that had been submerged but is now "high and dry." The company expects to be
dealing with excess water until mid-June, after a concrete barrier has been
built and other fractures in the rock sealed.
C Copyright 2003 The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon)