Article: Update: 500 jobs cut as Cameco closes Rabbit Lake mine until the uranium market recovers

Cameco Corp. plans to close its Rabbit Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan, resulting in the loss of about 500 jobs.

“The uranium market has been low for five years now — over five years,” Tim Gitzel, the Saskatoon-based mining company’s president and CEO, told reporters at an evening news conference in Saskatoon.

“The price of uranium five years ago was about $72 (U.S.) a pound. This afternoon it was $26 (U.S.)”

The uranium market has been depressed since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster resulted in the shutdown of more than 50 Japanese reactors. Gitzel said global oversupply led Cameco to conclude that it can meet its production commitments with its “tier one” assets, meaning the McArthur River and Cigar Lake mines.

“There still seems to be a large inventory of uranium around (and) available, keeping the price down. Until that clears, we’re going to have to just buckle down here, and that’s what we’re doing today.””

(Full article here)

This is why northern communities need to look beyond the resource industries and develop a locally sustainable economy more in line with the Dene and Cree values. Being tied to a boom and bust resource-based economy is of no use to us and only leaves us with contamination and no-go zones.

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