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Saskatchewan fires suspend uranium shipments and gold mining

by Greg Klein | July 13, 2015

Wildfires have disrupted another northern Saskatchewan operation as Claude Resources TSX:CRJ suspended underground work at its Seabee gold mine on July 13. The company cited potential danger from heavy smoke and ash caused by a forest fire about eight kilometres south. Non-essential staff have been relocated. Seabee’s mill, however, continues to churn through an ore stockpile of about 10,000 tonnes or 12 days of production.

Saskatchewan fires suspend uranium shipments and gold mining

On July 9 Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and AREVA Resources Canada suspended uranium shipments to reduce traffic on roads that have been periodically shut due to heavy smoke. Product is being stored safely, Cameco stated.

But with additional health and safety measures in place, operations continue at the McArthur River mine, Key Lake mill, Cigar Lake mine and Rabbit Lake mine and mill. The company expects to meet 2015 guidance of 25.3 million to 26.3 million pounds U3O8, along with the year’s sales target of 31 million to 33 million pounds.

At the time CBC reported that one in 10 people displaced by northern Saskatchewan fires works for Cameco. At one point evacuees were being housed at the Key Lake camp, CEO Tim Gitzel told the network.

Along with other partners the company has a travelling kids’ carnival visiting five evacuation centres across the province’s north, providing “a day of face-painting, bouncy castles, carnival games, balloon artists, free snacks and Disney princesses,” according to the Cold Lake Sun.

In addition Cameco supplied firefighters with a bulldozer, generator, firefighting equipment and skilled personnel, the paper added. Among other community-minded groups, Labatt Brewing Company joined the effort by sending Cold Lake a 48,000-can donation. That was water, by the way. For future donations the company will keep another 48,000 cans of the same stuff on standby at each of two breweries.

CBC also reported that a soldier was found in good condition on July 13, six hours after he went missing from a Canadian Forces firefighting team.

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