Saskatoon-based mining company Cameco Corporation, operator of the Cigar Lake Mine, reports it is on track to reach its production goal of 18 million pounds of uranium at the mine by 2017 — less than 18 months after the mine’s official opening last fall.

One of the world’s richest uranium deposits, the ore body at Cigar Lake, some 700 kilometres north of Saskatoon, was discovered back in 1981. Since then companies, mainly Cameco, have spent more than three decades overcoming challenges and inventing new mining techniques to finally reach the production stage. But Cameco’s president and CEO, Tim Gitzel, is confident that his company has hit the jackpot in Saskatchewan’s ore-heavy landscape.