TSX- and NYSE-listed Cameco has announced that it is resuming production at its Port Hope Conversion Facility’s UF6 plant and its Blind River refinery in Ontario.
Both operations will restart in the week of May 18, and achieve regular production levels the week of May 25.
Cameco last month placed these facilities in a temporary safe shutdown state for about four weeks, citing a shortage of workers to operate the UF6 plant, which is designed as a continuous process that needs to operate without interruption.
The uranium company reported on Monday that the workforce situation had stabilised, providing Cameco with increased certainty around the availability of necessary personnel to operate the UF6 plant.
“The provinces and communities where we operate are certainly not out of the woods when it comes to this global pandemic, and we must remain vigilant in how we manage our activities during these challenging times,” said Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel.
“However, we are confident that we can maintain the required roster of qualified operators to run the UF6 plant going forward, enabling us to carefully bring the plant and the UO3 refinery back into production.”
During the temporary shutdown of these two sites, the remainder of Cameco’s Ontario operations, including UO2 production at the Port Hope Conversion Facility and fuel bundle production at Cameco Fuel Manufacturing, continued to operate.
While the two Ontario facilities return to production, there is no change in the status of Cameco’s Cigar Lake uranium mine. The operation remains in a safe state of care and maintenance for an indeterminate duration, as pandemic conditions continue to challenge a number of northern Saskatchewan communities.