JEB Tailings Management Facility Expansion Project Overview
The JEB Tailings Management Facility (TMF) is an existing repository for waste products (tailings) resulting from processing of uranium at the McClean Lake JEB mill in northern Saskatchewan.
JEB Tailings Management Facility Expansion Project
The JEB TMF is a facility designed to minimize the migration to the environment of soluble constituents of waste products during milling operations and post-decommissioning. This facility is currently licensed and assessed for a consolidated tailings elevation of 434 metres above sea level (mASL).
With the current milling and mining plans for the next 25 years at McClean Lake’s JEB Mill we estimate that about 5 million cubic metres of tailings will potentially be generated. There is currently 0.5 million cubic metres of tailings storage capacity left in the existing JEB TMF. As a result, an additional 4.5 million cubic metres of storage capacity will be needed to support the forecasted production for the next 25 years and ensure jobs for mill operators, maintenance and other mill workers.
Therefore, AREVA Resources Canada is proposing to:
- Optimize the placement of tailings within the existing and approved JEB TMF environmental footprint, while meeting Saskatchewan Environment Surface Water Quality Objectives in adjacent Fox Lake and Pat Lake in the long term;
- Expand the existing JEB TMF by creating an additional 4.5 million cubic metres of storage capacity.
To meet these objectives, the project requires:
- An increase of the elevation of placed tailings to 465.5mASL and consolidated to 462mASL from 434mASL
- Construction of an embankment around the TMF pit perimeter to an elevation of 468mASL from the current 450mASL on the low side and 462mASL on the high side
- Maintain a minimum 10-metre set back between the toe of the embankment and the adjacent Fox Lake high water mark to provide a stable embankment slope
- Line the inside slope of the embankment with a crushed waste rock/till bentonite amended liner to ensure containment of the pond throughout operations
- Construct 2 new waste rock run-off ponds and 1 new JEB mill site run-off pond to compensate the loss of overflow water storage capacity currently provided by the JEB TMF
In order to proceed with this project AREVA Resources Canada needs to obtain the following regulatory approvals:
- Approval to modify a pollutant control facility from the Province of Saskatchewan
- Amendment to the existing McClean Lake Operating Licence from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)
Proposed TMF expansion project schedule:
- Project Description submission to regulatory agencies — August 26, 2011
- Licensing approvals — End 2014 (estimated)
- Existing TMF infrastructure changes — January 2017 to August 2018
- Stage 1 construction — Summer 2017 — creating up to 200 construction jobs
- Stage 2 construction — Summer 2022 — creating up to 100 construction jobs
- Stage 3 construction — Summer 2026 — creating up to 100 construction jobs