Rook I Project

The Rook I Project is a proposed new underground uranium mine and mill development that is located in the southwestern area of the Athabasca Uranium Basin of northwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. The resource base for the Project is the land-based, basement-hosted, Arrow Deposit which is the largest development-stage uranium deposit in Canada. The Deposit is 100% owned by NexGen Energy Ltd. and the Project will be developed and operated by NexGen.



Rook I is situated approximately 155 km north of La Loche and 80 km south of the former Cluff Lake uranium mine. The site is connected by access road to existing provincial road 955. The project envisions an airstrip to fly in personnel and a 500-person permanent camp.

NexGen is committed to achieving environmental excellence throughout all phases of project construction, operation, and decommissioning.

Engagement with public and Indigenous communities closest to the project began as early as 2013. NexGen is committed to meaningful engagement through all phases of the project.

A preliminary feasibility study was completed in 2018 with a full feasibility study now underway.

Baseline environmental studies to characterize features of the local and regional environment surrounding the Project site have begun and the potential effects of the Project will be comprehensively evaluated as part of the environmental assessment. The Project features and operational controls necessary to ensure that the Project will not have a significant environmental effect will be reflected in the final facility design.

Questions about the Rook I project can be directed to:



Audio: Executive Summary, Dene


Audio: Executive Summary, Cree


Audio: Executive Summary, French


Audio: Executive Summary, English



PFP Funding


On May 25, 2020, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced the first round of the Participation Funding Program for the Rook I Project. The funding is for the review of the draft Environmental Impact Statement, a document developed in support of the ongoing environmental assessment, once the Environmental Impact Statement is submitted by NexGen.

Indigenous communities, members of the public, and any other persons with an interest in the Rook I Project can apply for funding through the Participant Funding Program. The application period is open until August 28, 2020.

For more information on the Participant Funding Program please visit the following link.

2019 Community Info Sessions


Four public Community Information Sessions were held in the northwest Saskatchewan communities of La Loche, Buffalo Narrows, Birch Narrows Dene Nation and Buffalo River Dene Nation. Thank you to all who attended these information sessions.

Information shared at the session is available by clicking the image on the left.

La Loche Community Hall
Birch Narrows Arena
Buffalo River Arena
Buffalo Narrows Lakeview Complex


Economic Benefits   Community   Environment   Underground Tailings  
2019 PDAC Environmental and Social Responsibility Award Winner
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NexGen Energy Ltd. Dog Fostering Program
NexGen Energy Ltd. Workplace and Economic Development
NexGen Energy Ltd. Breakfast Club Program
NexGen Energy Ltd. Summer Student Internship Program

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How long has NexGen been active in exploration work in Saskatchewan?

NexGen has been actively exploring in northern Saskatchewan in the southwest Athabasca Basin since 2013. The Arrow Deposit was discovered on the Rook I project February 14th, 2014.

What is uranium from Canada used for?

All Canadian uranium exports are solely used for clean energy production and sold to countries that have Nuclear Cooperation Agreements (NCA) in place with Canada. NCAs establish reciprocated obligations to minimize risk associated with major nuclear items including assurances that exports are properly protected, safely handled and used for peaceful purposes only.

How did a new company develop such a significant uranium deposit in such a short time?

The Arrow Deposit is a near vertical vein hosted uranium deposit, localized in the crystalline basement rocks. There are multiple stacked vertical veins, from the A1 to the A5, which enabled each drill hole to intersect multiple veins. Due to the efficiency of drilling, the high-grades and the continuity mineralization, NexGen was able to advance the resource development very rapidly.

What price per pound for uranium will be necessary to justify going ahead with the project?

Due to the low unit cost of CAD$ 5.81, the Rook I project would be highly profitable at todays uranium price

Would there be the same concerns with water inflow to the mine that exist at other uranium mines in Saskatchewan?

No, with the upper parts of the shafts being hydrostatically lined to keep water out and being approximately 200 metres away from the Athabasca Sandstone and sedimentary layers, the potential for a major mine water inflow is negligible.

Underground tailings management

Where else has this tailings management method mining method been used?

Underground paste tailings management is a common practice in Canada, backfilling of stopes in uranium mines is also a common practice. However, what is unique is NexGen’s commitment to send all tailings underground rather than a small percentage (e.g. 30%) which is more common.

How acceptable do you think underground deposit of tailings will be to regulators with in-pit tailings management currently considered best practise at existing uranium mines in Saskatchewan?

In discussions with people from northern Saskatchewan and other members of the public to-date, the construction of an underground tailings management facility UGTMF has been a favoured approach

The tailings are going back underground, to where the ore was first mined, and it is a much more controlled environment

How will you manage the environmental impacts of the mine and mill?

NexGen has had a focus on environmental performance throughout the planning and design process and has incorporated a number of industry leading environmental performance concepts into the Project.

The design, construction and operation of all project infrastructure will carefully consider environmental performance and controls will be put in place to ensure protection of the environment throughout the life of the Project.

Monitoring of the environment will be in place throughout the life of the Project and will help to ensure that the environment isn’t having an adverse or unexpected impact on the environment.

The Project will also be subject to both provincial and federal environmental assessments which are highly rigorous and require the comprehensive evaluation of the predicted environmental performance of the Project. Approvals for the Project will not be issued until the provincial and federal governments are satisfied that the Project will not adversely effect the environment.

How will you protect the water?

All water from the mine, mill and contained facilities, as well as water from areas around these facilities, will be collected and treated through a state-of-the-art water treatment system.

The design of the wastewater treatment plant is based on a proven, two stage chemical treatment process that has been successfully adopted throughout the uranium mining industry and at other operations in northern Saskatchewan

Test work conducted to-date has demonstrated that the plant will be capable of treating water to a level of quality that will be better than provincial and federal requirements for mine effluents.

The wastewater treatment plant will have capacity to not only effectively treat wastewater during normal operations but also in the event of non-routine operating conditions.

Treated water will be subject to rigorous testing to ensure water quality meets all requirements before being released to the environment and water will not be released unless water quality requirements are met.

Clean surface run-off (from rain and snow) surrounding the site will be diverted away from operating areas wherever possible while surface run off from facilities and infrastructure will be collected and treated.

Performance of the wastewater treatment plant will be evaluated during the environmental assessment including a comprehensive evaluation of the predicted environmental performance for the wastewater treatment plant. Approvals for the Project will not be issued until the provincial and federal governments are satisfied that the Project, including the effluent quality, will not adversely effect the environment.

How has NexGen engaged with Indigenous and local communities?

NexGen’s engagement conducted to date reflects NexGen’s emphasis on meaningful engagement and takes into consideration guidance provided by both provincial and federal governments.

Engagement conducted to date and future engagement with Indigenous and local communities includes, but is not limited to:

  • Meetings with elected leadership
  • Workshops, presentations, open house events, and site tours
  • Establishment of a regional community liaison office in La Loche
  • Articles or announcements in local and regional media
  • Posting of information through the company ( and project websites.

How many and what types of jobs will the mine create?

NexGen estimates that through the construction period and operating life, the project will directly employ 700 and indirectly employ 1,000 individuals, of which half would be Saskatchewan-based.

Typical jobs include general construction, skilled trades, site services, maintenance, powerhouse technicians, technicians for mine, mill and environmental monitoring, surveyors, safety officers, supervisory, underground miners, mine and mill operators, accounting, human resources, geologists, metallurgists and engineers.