Cigar Lake Mine suspends production due to COVID-19 risks

Cameco says it is temporarily suspending production at its Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan over the coming weeks due to the increasing risks posed by COVID-19.
The company says that Saskatchewan is experiencing a significant negative trend in the pandemic, which is leading to increased uncertainty for the continuous operation of Cigar Lake, due in part to access to qualified operational personnel. Cameco says it will continue to carefully monitor the provincial COVID-19 situation, especially in northern Saskatchewan, as well as the impacts on communities and the availability of employees and contractors to travel to Cigar Lake.

Cameco President and CEO Tim Gitzel says, “We have had six positive tests at our northern operations in recent weeks, including three at Cigar Lake. While the protocols we have put in place have, to date, allowed us to effectively manage these cases, there are broader risks we don’t control.”

At the peak of production this fall, there were about 300 workers on-site at Cigar Lake. As a result of this decision, Cameco will be placing the mine in a safe state of care and maintenance and there will be a significant reduction in personnel.

The timing of the restart and the production rate will depend on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the availability of the required workforce at Cigar Lake, how cases are trending in Saskatchewan, in particular in northern communities, and the views of public health authorities.


More from 620 CKRM