Cameco Corp. shuts down Rabbit Lake uranium mine indefinitely and cuts 500 jobs (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – April 21, 2016)

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Cameco Corp. is shuttering its Rabbit Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan and curtailing production at its U.S. operations, resulting in the loss of about 585 jobs.

“Unfortunately, continued depressed market conditions do not support the operating and capital costs needed to sustain production at Rabbit Lake and the US operations,” Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel said in a statement late Thursday afternoon.

Rabbit Lake, which began production in 1975, will be placed in a “safe care and maintenance state” until market conditions improve “significantly.” The move will result in a reduction of about 500 jobs at the operation.

Layoffs will take place over the next four months, with affected employees being offered severance packages or alternatives such as relocation to other Cameco operations or job sharing options, the company said in a news release.

Cameco is also deferring wellfield development in the U.S., where it currently operates mines in Wyoming and Nebraska. The decision is expected to result in about 85 job losses, with around 170 employees remaining at existing facilities.

“We regret the impact these decisions will have on many of the talented and dedicated people working at these operations and on their home communities,” Gitzel said in the statement.

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