Cameco Corporation and uranium are both rare and valuable assets to the Canadian economy. In fact, the Saskatoon-based company and its Athabasca Basin deposits in Saskatchewan are more than rare and valuable; they’re almost national treasures.
At least that’s what was suggested when world-renowned banker and financial analyst JPMorgan gave a "bullish outlook" for uranium and mentioned Cameco specifically as a Canadian company with the capabilities to meet the world’s demands.
Naturally that endorsement is based on facts, as Cameco already supplies about 16% of the world’s uranium production, and through its dedicated and extensive exploration and expansion programs, it is confident that its total output will keep pace with those global expectations.
One very strong indicator that demands will be met is the fact that Cameco’s McArthur River mine, located 620 kilometres north of Saskatoon, is already the world’s largest high-grade uranium mine with proven and probable reserves of 324 million pounds of uranium.
As Cameco President and CEO Tim Gitzel describes in more detail later, the company has vast amounts of proven and probable reserves and extensive resources around the world, therefore making it well deserving of JPMorgan’s earlier reference.
The McArthur River deposit alone, for example, with ore grades about 100 times the world’s average, produced more than 191 million pounds of uranium from 2000 through 2010 and has reserves sufficient to sustain production until 2034.
But the McArthur River mine is just one of Cameco’s operations. It also has mining and milling operations elsewhere around the world and the company’s intent is to double its annual uranium production to 40 million pounds by 2018 from existing assets.
The company’s business plan calls for developing new mining zones and upgrading the mills at its Key Lake and Rabbit Lake operations in Saskatchewan; and at its main development project at Cigar Lake, also in Saskatchewan, Cameco has resumed construction after completing remediation activities, with a target of first production by the fourth quarter of 2013.
As mentioned earlier, Cameco is dedicated to an active exploration program to maintain its production base in order to meet the world’s ever-growing demands.
In 2010 alone, the company invested $96 million in direct uranium exploration with significant programs in Kintyre, Australia, Inkai, Kazakhstan, as well as the already-mentioned McArthur River, Rabbit Lake, and Millennium deposits in the Athabasca Basin.
Tim Gitzel, Cameco’s President and CEO, is a man on a mission to make all of the above happen. With the help from a young and aggressive management team and support from more than 3000 employees around the world, the company is surely on its way to becoming the world’s leading producer of uranium.
Have a look at what Tim Gitzel has to say about the company and some of the reasons that Cameco is recognized around the world and is the pride of Saskatoon which it has called "home" for almost a quarter of a century.