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Uranium mining company Cameco lays off hundreds, close two northern mines

Mining News - Published on Fri, 17 Aug 2018

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Around 700 people formerly employed by uranium mining company Cameco are now without jobs. The Saskatoon-based company announced the layoffs, along with what the company described as the “suspension of production for an indeterminate duration” at the company’s McArthur River and Key Lake mine operations, during its Q2 results call on July 25. Over the Q2 2018, Cameco reported net losses of USD 76 million. The company described the loss as a result of a “persistently weak market” in a press release.

In February, the company announced a loss of USD 62 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, followed by net earnings of USD 55 million in the first quarter of 2018. In total, the company has lost almost USD 300 million since January 2017.

Last year, Cameco announced it would be shutting down its McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill for 10 months. The McArthur River mine was the largest high-grade uranium production in the world before it was closed.

More than 800 workers were affected by the then-temporary closures, which were originally scheduled to take place for 10 months.

In 2016, the company shut down the Rabbit Lake mine, also due to a plummet in global uranium prices.

Currently, Cameco maintains only two mining operations that are still producing. One, the Cigar Lake mine, is the highest-grade uranium mine still in production in the world. Located in northern Saskatchewan, Cigar Lake employs 532 people as of December 2017, with 250 of the workers being northern Saskatchewan residents. The other operation, the Inkai mine, is in Kazakhstan and Cameco only owns a minority stake in the project.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 17 Aug 2018
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