Orano Canada operates on the full range of mining activities, from exploration to decommissioning, mining and treatment. The Canadian subsidiary is a shareholder in the Mc Arthur River and Cigar Lake mines, operated by Cameco, and runs the McClean Lake processing plant. It has also successfully completed the first uranium mine redevelopment after the uranium reserves at the Cluff Lake site were depleted.

Man and the environment, top priorities at all sites

Safety for individuals, respect for the environment and biodiversity

A responsible mining company
Mining activities require responsible, transparent and environmentally responsible management. Orano applies a CSR policy in Canada, as at its other mining sites, in line with the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) and contributes to reinforcing these international standards. Its 10 principles of sustainable development derived from the sector's best practices form the foundation of Orano's responsible approach.

Health and safety, top priorities
● Accident frequency rate down for over 10 years
● Measures to protect operators from ionising radiation and to monitor their working environment
● Exposure to radiation steadily decreasing. In 2016, McClean Lake's employees were exposed to annual average radiation levels of 1.04 millisieverts per year (mSv/yr), less than the natural radiation rate in Canada (1.80 mSv/yr).

Responsible environmental management

Environmental monitoring of sites throughout the mine's life cycle
At Canadian sites and throughout the mining cycle, Orano Mining conducts environmental impact assessments (EIAs) in line with regulatory requirements and subject to public consultation.


● Before: right from the exploration stage, Orano Mining's teams draw up an initial inventory of the site's environmental components - physical, radiological, biological and socio-economic.  They also carry out environmental impact studies of the future mine (water, air, fauna and flora) and evaluate the societal impact of the activities to define a rehabilitation plan for the site.
● During: over the course of the preliminary studies of infrastructures with a high environmental stake, the environment teams ensure that standards and good practices are taken into account. As early as the project phase, they institute environmental monitoring (air, water, food chain and soil) systems, ramped up as operations progress.  
● After: during and after the redevelopment of the sites on which mining has now ceased, they continue to carry out analyses to re-integrate the sites into their natural environment.

Contributing to the local and social economy
In Canada, Orano Mining's activities contribute to the Saskatchewan economy, the only uranium-producing province in the country. In 2017, Orano amounted to:

● Payments of over $18 million in royalties and taxes to the province of Saskatchewan.  
● Purchases of over $74 million in goods and services from companies established in the region (more than 60% of total spending).
● 54% of purchases made from Aboriginal and northern communities in the province.

An involved corporate player
● Contributions to multiple teaching programmes in mining technologies (Saskatchewan Polytechnique and NORPAC, Northern Professional Institute)
● Donation to the Saskatchewan Children's Hospital Foundation, which welcomes families of sick children.
● Instituting dialogue with the Aboriginal communities through regular meetings with local leaders, public meetings and participation in events organized by these communities.

Cluff Lake, a model decommissioning and redevelopment project, recognised internationally

A successful experience in redevelopment

Since 2013, the former Cluff Lake mining area has been fully reintegrated into the natural landscape. The checks and risk assessment carried out show the site to be stable and safe for the long-term .  Today, the site is considered a model for the redevelopment of a modern uranium mine.

● An exemplary mine reconversion project in line with the strictest environmental standards to limit the site's impact on the population and the environment
● Site redevelopment and re-vegetation, (replanting trees with local plant species, etc.)
● Radiological and environmental monitoringacross the site, with changes tracked over time
● A project to transfer responsibility for the site to the State of Saskatchewan.

By clicking “I accept Cookies”, you agree with the cookies use to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage and compile statistics. To get more information, please read our Cookies Policy in the Legal Notice