Cameco is restarting its Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan and Orano Canada will resume production at the McLean Lake mill.
Production at the mill and the mine were temporarily suspended in December because of the increasing risks with the pandemic. Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel says at the time, the availability of workers in critical areas was shrinking because many employees lived in communities with travel restrictions and contact tracing meant more people weren’t able to come in.
Gitzel says Cameco has implemented several enhanced safety protocols, including increased distancing between passengers on flights, mandatory medical-grade masks, increased sanitization and physical barriers in eating areas. There is also a licensed COVID-19 testing facility at the site. The exact date for re-opening hasn’t been clarified yet.
Orano Canada President and CEO Jim Corman says he is pleased to see the vaccine rollout, specifically in northern Saskatchewan, have a real impact. He says although production was paused at McClean Lake, staffing levels were maintained to minimize disruption to employees while performing, maintenance, training and preparations for a smooth restart of the mill.