Industry in far north Saskatchewan looks past the pandemic – by Michael Bramadat-Willcock (Humboldt Journal – April 18, 2020)

Businesses built around mining – even those with diversified portfolios – are in sharp decline as the COVID-19 pandemic takes its toll on northern industry.

“Every sector is impacted. We’ve talked about looking for investments in the past several years that are resilient and now, after this pandemic, we’re going to have to look again at what that definition means,” Athabasca Basin Development CEO Geoff Gay said.

The shutdowns of Cameco’s Cigar Lake uranium mine west of Wollaston Lake, the Seabee gold mine north of La Ronge and others late last month have created a ripple effect through the northern economy.

Even businesses with diversified portfolios that have tried to protect themselves from the ups and down of the mining industry haven’t been able to bounce back, or rely on other markets, like they once would have.

Gay said none of the businesses’ investments will benefit from this situation, although some are holding ground. “There will be companies that maybe hold their own, but there’s not going to be any companies that look back and see that there’s an increase in volumes or anything like that,” he said.

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