The largest operational uranium mine in the world is shutting down for the second time in 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19, presenting fertile ground for another rise in prices linked to the pandemic.
Saskatchewan-based Cameco Corp. announced Dec. 14 the suspension of production at its 50%-owned Cigar Lake uranium mine in the province after three employees at the site tested positive for the coronavirus.
It was the second temporary closure of the mine due to COVID-19. Orano SA, which has a 37% interest in Cigar Lake, announced the same day that it was suspending production at the nearby McClean Lake uranium processing mill.
“COVID-19 has taught us many lessons, including that the pandemic is a greater risk to uranium supply than to uranium demand,” Cameco President and CEO Tim Gitzel said in the statement.
The shutdown may be negative in the short term for the uranium mining giant that saw significant losses attributable to its initial shutdown of Cigar Lake in March.