McArthur River uranium mine

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McArthur River Uranium Mine
McArthur River Uranium Mine is located in Saskatchewan
McArthur River Uranium Mine
McArthur River Uranium Mine
Location in Saskatchewan
LocationAthabasca Basin
Coordinates57°45′45″N 105°03′07″W / 57.76250°N 105.05194°W / 57.76250; -105.05194Coordinates: 57°45′45″N 105°03′07″W / 57.76250°N 105.05194°W / 57.76250; -105.05194
ActiveNovember 2000 - January 2018
CompanyCameco(70%) and Areva Resources Canada(30%)

The McArthur River Uranium Mine, in northern Saskatchewan, Canada, is the world's largest high-grade uranium deposit.

The McArthur River deposit was discovered in 1988. The property is located 620 air kilometres north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and 80 kilometres northeast of the Key Lake mill in the uranium rich Athabasca Basin. Mine construction began in 1997, with production commencing in 1999. The mine achieved full commercial production in November 2000. Production is regulated at 18.7 million pounds of yellowcake a year with the ore being processed through the Key Lake mill.

Between 2000 and 2013, the McArthur River/Key Lake operation has produced 250.6 million pounds U3O8.[1] Note that this production figure includes production from the former Key Lake mine as well as that derived from the McArthur River mine.

In 2012, McArthur River was the world's largest producing uranium mine, accounting for 13% of world mine production.[2] (Canada, as a whole, produces 15% of the world's uranium production.)

In late 2017, citing "continued low uranium prices," Cameco announced that the McArthur River/Key Lake operation would suspend production for approximately ten months starting by the end of January 2018.[3] In July 2018 Cameco announced that this shut-down would extend for an indefinite period of time pending an upswing in the uranium market.[citation needed]

McArthur River Uranium Mine aerial view


As of December 31, 2013, the mine has proven and probable reserves of 1,037,400 tonnes at an average grade of 15.76% U3O8.[4] (360.5 Million pounds)


During the most hazardous mining operations, remote controlled underground mining systems in this mine[5][6] are used to reduce personnel exposure to rock particulates, radon gas, and other hazards.[7] A video detailing the operations at the mine is provided by CAMECO.[8]

The McArthur River mine has been awarded the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum's John T. Ryan Trophy for the best safety record for metal mines several times. This award is given to the metal mine with the best safety record for the previous year.

National Trophy

Regional Trophy - Prairies and Northwest Territories

  • 2011


The mine is owned by Cameco (70%) and Areva Resources Canada (30%), formerly COGEMA Resources Inc. Cameco is the mine operator.


The mine is serviced by the McArthur River Airport to the northeast. It is also connected to the south by a restricted access haulage road. According to Google Maps, this road is Saskatchewan Highway 914, however the official 2011 highway map of Saskatchewan indicates that 914 terminates at a checkpoint at Key Lake mine, while the road that continues to McArthur is not a public highway (owned by Cameco) and does not appear on maps.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "McArthur River - Summary". Cameco Corporation. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  2. ^ "World Uranium Mining". World Nuclear Association. July 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  3. ^ "Cameco to suspend McArthur River and Key Lake". World Nuclear News. 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  4. ^ "Annual Report 2013- Mineral Reserves". Cameco Corporation. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  5. ^ Uranium — How Is It Mined? By: Dana S. Ulmer-Scholle
  6. ^
  7. ^ Mining the high grade McArthur River uranium deposit - International.IAEA. Jamieson
  8. ^ Cameco McArthur River Virtual Tour
  9. ^ SAFETY WINNER: Cameco awarded national Ryan safety award
  10. ^ Canadian Safety Reporter May 31, 2010 Mining industry now a ‘safety leader’

External links[edit]