Cigar Lake uranium mine coming back online after evacuation

FILE -- The underground mine during a Cameco media tour of the uranium mine in Cigar Lake, Wednesday, September 23, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards)

After a mine site evacuation because of a nearby wildfire northern Saskatchewan, Cameco announced it’s resuming operations at the Cigar Lake mine.

Around 230 workers were evacuated from the uranium mine site on July 1 as a precaution due to the proximity of a wildfire near the mine, Cameco said in a news release on Sunday.

Following consultations with Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) and improved weather and smoke conditions Cameco said the risk to the Cigar Lake mine by fire has eased, according to the news release.

Cameco is now in the process of transporting employees and contractors back to mine site. Final inspections and preparation of equipment will occur over the days ahead to ready the operation for a return to production, the company said.

Cigar Lake is about 880 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

On Saturday the SPSA said there are two wildfires of concern in the northern part of the province, the Lock fire between the Alberta border at Buffalo Narrows and the Briggs fire near Cigar Lake. The province said the Lock fire has covered 4,700 hectares while the Briggs fire has covered 22,000 hectares. 

There are currently 25 wildfires in Saskatchewan according to the province's website.