Cameco CEO meets with U.S. lawmakers as world events impact uranium industry – by Michael Joel-Hansen (Saskatoon Star Phoenix – May 15, 2024)

Tim Gitzel in Washington ahead of a ban on Russian uranium coming into force

Tim Gitzel has been spending a lot of time in the United States lately. The chief executive of Saskatoon-based Cameco was recently in Washington, D.C., where he met with lawmakers to talk about a number of issues.

Among the topics of discussion for Gitzel and his delegation was a recently passed piece of legislation banning Russian uranium imports. The bill has passed both houses of Congress and is waiting to be signed into law by President Joe Biden.

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Former Canadian uranium mine site returned to province (World Nuclear News – May 3, 2024)

The project, which is some 75 km south of Lake Athabasca and 15 km east of the border with the Province of Alberta, operated from 1979 to 2002, producing more than 62 million pounds U3O8 (23,848 tU) from two underground mines and four open pit mines.

The operation also included a tailings management facility, a mill and other support facilities. The Cluff Lake Project is located on Treaty 8 territory, the Homeland of the Métis, and is within the traditional territories of the Dene, Cree, and Métis people. Cluff Lake was fully decommissioned in 2013.

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[Saskatchewan Uranium Mining] A restart 15 years in the making – by Trish Saywell (CIM Magazine – May 02, 2024)

Mining at the McClean Lake uranium mine in Saskatchewan, which has been suspended since 2009, will restart in 2025 using technology developed to extract high-grade ore from small ore bodies

After spending 15 years and more than $100 million on research and development, partners Orano Canada Inc. and Denison Mines have built mining equipment that is deployed from surface to extract high-grade uranium ore. They plan to use it to restart mining operations at their McClean Lake property in northern Saskatchewan; Orano owns a 77.5 per cent stake and is the operator of the McClean Lake Joint Venture (MLJV), while Denison owns 22.5 per cent.

Restarting uranium production at McClean Lake is a major milestone. Mining operations at the site began in 1995 and the MLJV extracted ore from five open pits, producing approximately 50 million pounds on a 100 per cent basis, before operations were suspended in 2009 due to low uranium prices.

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Tim Gitzel, CEO of uranium miner Cameco, is our Mining Person of the Year for 2023 – by Alisha Hiyate (Northern Miner – April 19, 2024)

Tim Gitzel, an executive at Cameco (TSX: CCO; NYSE: CCJ) for 17 years and president and CEO for 13, has led the company through more bad times than good. Among the bad times: repeated flooding at the Cigar Lake mine; the post-2007 uranium price crash; and the more devastating doldrums after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

Among the good times: right now. The company’s shares have doubled in the past year, following the exploding uranium price. But Gitzel’s careful preparation has positioned Cameco for such a moment, when supply challenges, geopolitics, and renewed fervour for nuclear power have swung uranium back into favour.

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‘Stunning reversal’: Nuclear power has gone from pariah to saviour and Canada could reap the benefits – by Joe O’Connor (Financial Post – April 18, 2024)

Canada’s top uranium producer, used to being overlooked at global climate forums, got front-row billing last year in Dubai. But will this nuclear renaissance stick?

Tim Gitzel was accustomed to being overlooked by the organizers of the United Nations’ annual climate change conference, a.k.a. COP. The meeting attracts a who’s who of the decarbonize-by-2050-or-else crowd to a different city each year, and they bat around big ideas, make lofty pronouncements, set emissions targets and try to hammer out a framework to achieve them.

But Gitzel was never invited to join in the fun. The longtime chief executive of Cameco Corp., the Saskatoon-based mining giant that supplies about 20 per cent of the uranium used to fuel zero-emissions nuclear reactors worldwide, joked that the only way he could get close to COP was to sit in the “McDonald’s across the street” from the meeting. “Nobody wanted to talk to us,” he said. “Nuclear just wasn’t on the agenda.”

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Canadian government invests more money into Saskatchewan’s rare earth element production – by Brody Langager (Global News – March 14, 2024)

The Rare Earth Processing Facility in Saskatoon will receive more federal funding to help commercialize some of the processes at the facility.

Federal Minister for PrairiesCan Dan Vandal said $6 million will improve the process to separate unrecovered rare earth oxides from radioactive monazite tailings. He said these oxides would normally be disposed of and that more rare earth material will be recovered from these processes.

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How a rare earth facility in Canada wants to clean up the dirty side of green energy – by John Lorinc (Corporate Knights – January 30, 2024)

The plant in Saskatchewan won’t just showcase less environmentally damaging processes. It also wants to take a bite out of a supply chain dominated by China.

At some point this year, in an unprepossessing 120,000-square-foot box on the outskirts of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, technicians will flip the switch in a plant that promises to do something no one else is doing in North America at the moment: transform minerals containing “rare earth elements” (REE) into specialized metal alloys that can be used to make the kinds of “permanent magnets” found in smartphones, hard drives, wind turbines and electric vehicle motors.

The $70-million-plus project run by the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) – will be chockablock with cutting-edge mineral-processing technology, including systems that promise to recycle the water and chemicals used in the plant.

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Mining to resume at McClean Lake (World Nuclear News – January 25, 2024)

More than 15 years after mining was suspended at McClean Lake in Saskatchewan, joint venture partners Orano Canada Inc and Denison Mines Corp have announced that production is to restart using the patented Surface Access Borehole Resource Extraction (SABRE) mining method.

The companies intend to begin mining at the McClean North deposit in 2025, targeting production of 800,000 pounds U3O8 (308 tU, 100% basis) in 2025. Around 3 million pounds U3O8 (100% basis) has been identified for potential additional production from a combination of the McClean North and Caribou deposits from 2026 to 2030.

SABRE is a non-entry, surface-based mining method that uses a high-pressure water jet placed at the bottom of a drill hole to excavate a mining cavity. The cuttings from the excavation process are then air lifted to the surface, separated and stockpiled.

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World’s biggest uranium miner warns of shortfall just as nuclear demand takes off – by Mark Burton (Financial Post/Bloomberg – January 12, 2024)

The setback adds to a list of supply challenges that have helped to catapult spot uranium prices to 15-year highs

Kazatomprom, the world’s biggest uranium miner, warned that it’s likely to fall short of its production targets over the next two years, adding another risk to supply as demand for the nuclear fuel rebounds.

The London-listed company, which is controlled by Kazakhstan’s government via its sovereign wealth fund, said on Friday that shortages of sulfuric acid and construction delays at newly developed deposits are creating production challenges that could persist into 2025. It will outline the likely impact on output in a trading update by Feb. 1, it said.

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Sask. government approval brings new biggest uranium project in Canada closer to reality – by Pratyush Dayal (CBC News Saskatoon – November 28, 2023)

Mine will produce more than 23 per cent world’s uranium production once running, says NexGen Energy

Saskatchewan is moving closer to being the location of the new biggest uranium mining project in Canada. On Nov. 8, Canadian company NexGen Energy Ltd. received ministerial approval under the Environmental Assessment Act of Saskatchewan to proceed with the development of the Rook I Project, slated to be located 130 kilometres north of La Loche, Sask. It still requires federal approval.

NexGen is the first company in more than 20 years to receive full provincial environmental assessment approval for a greenfield uranium project in Saskatchewan.

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Canadian critical minerals miner Foran raising $200-million, a rare financing for a junior company – by Tim Kiladze (Globe and Mail – November 28, 2023)

Foran Mining Corp., a Canadian company with a promising copper and zinc project in Saskatchewan, is raising $200-million to fund its next stage of development, a rare financing for a junior miner in a tough market for share sales.

Foran, which is based in British Columbia, is selling up to $190-million worth of new shares at $4.10 apiece through a private placement, as well as $10-million worth of “flow-through” shares that carry a special tax treatment.

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BHP looks to take potash plant nuclear – by Matthew Cranston (Australian Financial Review – November 26, 2023)

Washington | BHP is considering nuclear energy to power what will be the world’s biggest potash mine in Saskatchewan, Canada, in a move that would help the Australian mining giant achieve its net-zero emissions target by 2050.

A decision to pursue nuclear generation in a country where it has long been part of the energy mix raises further questions about Australia’s own interest in the clean but controversial energy alternative.

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Massive potash mine being built in Saskatchewan breaks new ground for women – by Amanda Stephenson (Canadian Press/Toronto Star – November 19, 2023)

BHP’s Sask. mine breaking new ground for women

In July of this year, mining giant BHP announced a company first. More than 14,000 kilometres away from its Melbourne, Australia headquarters, BHP said it had achieved its “gender balance” target for its local workforce in Saskatchewan.

With women making up more than 43 per cent of the company’s workforce at its Jansen potash mine project as well as its Saskatoon corporate office, the province became the first BHP location in the world to reach a goal set back in 2016.

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Proposed northern Sask. uranium mine, mill one step closer to becoming reality – by Cole Davenport (CTV News Saskatoon – November 10, 2023)

A major uranium project in northwestern Saskatchewan has cleared a significant regulatory hurdle. NexGen Energy said Thursday that its proposed uranium mine and mill to be built on the Athabasca Basin north of La Loche known as “Rook I” was granted full approval after an environmental assessment carried out by provincial officials.

“Throughout the rigorous [environmental assessment] process, the Government of Saskatchewan recognized the unparalleled value and future opportunities the Rook I Project will provide for local communities, Saskatchewan, and Canada,” NexGen CEO Leigh Curyer said in a release.

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Sask. faces shortage of 5,000 skilled mining workers by 2030, report says – by Jason Warick (CBC News Saskatoon – November 2, 2023)

Companies, governments, others must do more to train, recruit, retain workers: expert

Saskatchewan needs to train or recruit thousands of new skilled workers in the mining industry if it wants to realize its economic potential, according to a new report from consulting firm Deloitte. “Saskatchewan is one of the most significant mining jurisdictions in the world,” said Deloitte’s managing energy partner Andrew Swart.

“Solving this [shortage] is multifaceted. We need to take a new look at how we look at skills development.” Swart and others discussed the shortage at a conference in Saskatoon this week. He said job vacancies for skilled mining positions have grown by more than 130 per cent in the past four years.

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