The public hearing regarding the application for amendment was held on October 4, 2021 and included submissions from Orano, CNSC staff, McClean Lake Joint Venture partner Denison Mines, Cameco Corporation, and interventions from the English River First Nation, the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, and the Athabasca Joint Engagement and Environmental Subcommittee, among others.
“The hearing and resulting decision was many years of work in the making, and I am very proud of the great teamwork I’ve witnessed over the years,” said Orano Canada President and CEO Jim Corman. “Through detailed technical work, monitoring and ongoing community dialogue and engagement, we successfully demonstrated that we have the ability to safely expand the existing JEB TMF, allowing the operation to maintain a similar footprint. This positive tailings decision secures McClean Lake’s future as a regional milling centre for decades of operation on the east side of the Athabasca Basin.”
Nicolas Maes, CEO of Orano Mining added: “It also reinforces Orano’s strategy which includes further development of the rich Canadian uranium resources in order to guarantee our customers security of supply. Moreover, with milling capacity in eastern Athabasca now secured for such a long time, it defers the need for any new development in western Athabasca and validates our strategy to refocus our exploration effort in the McClean and Cigar Lake areas, which we implemented two years ago.”
The Commission considered the adequacy of the proposed measures for protecting the environment, the health and safety of persons, national security and other international obligations. The operation’s operating performance, environmental protection, radiation protection, Indigenous consultation and engagement, decommissioning plans and other safety and control areas were examined. This facility is designed in line with the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management developed by the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM).
The amended licence remains valid until June 30, 2027. To see the full record of decision and related press release, please see the CNSC website at: http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca