Workers at uranium facilities in Key Lake and McArthur River are facing tough times after Cameco announced Wednesday it was shutting down productions at the Sask. sites.
The world’s largest uranium miner, based in Saskatoon, said 845 jobs would be “temporarily” lost by the end of January due to the shutdowns.
Cameco’s McArthur River site mines uranium ore and sends it to Key Lake for processing.
The company said approximately 210 workers would be kept on at the facilities to ensure they maintained a safe shutdown mode.
The suspension is expected to last 10 months, but more details are set to be provided when fourth quarter results are released in February.
Cameco cited market oversupply and low uranium prices as reasons for the production suspension. They noted prices have fallen over 70 per cent since an earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, Japan devastated a nuclear facility in 2011.
Operations at Rabbit Lake were suspended in April 2016, resulting in 500 job losses.
The company announced third quarter losses of $124 million on Oct. 27, one year after turning a profit of $142 million in the same timespan.
In the third quarter report, the company noted plans to pull back uranium production by 1.2 million pounds due to delays at Key Lake and lower-than-expected output from Smith Ranch-Highland.
At the time, a spokesperson for Cameco told 650 CKOM there were no plans for layoffs.