Canadian uranium major Cameco has announced that it will not restart production at its McArthur River and Key Lake operations and that it would instead indefinitely suspended uranium production from the operations in bid to improve pricing in the face of rock-bottom prices caused by a global oversupply.
Cameco said that despite the impact it will have on its employees and their families, which will result in the permanent layoff of approximately 550 site employees, including those currently on temporary layoff since January of this year, the action to suspend the operations is to ensure the long-term sustainability of the company.
Cameco initially said in November 2017 that it was suspending operations at McArthur River mine, the world’s largest producing uranium mine, for 10 months starting at the end of January 2018, in a bid to cut approximately 15 -18 million pounds of uranium during 2018.
According to Bloomberg, uranium advanced 1.7 percent to $24.15 a pound last week on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest price close since December. The fuel has averaged about $22.30 this year, the article reads.
Bloomberg quoted Cormark Securities analyst Tyron Breytenbach as saying that, spot prices could jump to between $28 and $30 a pound in the short term helped by Cameco’s shutdown as well as financial entities buying up supplies and China’s reactor buildout.
In combination with the forecast in a nuclear revival, the long-term outlook for uranium producers and developers looks strong.