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Cameco reports $5M loss in first quarter of 2021

Cameco said its first quarter results were driven, in part, by normal quarterly variations in contact deliveries. File / Global News

Cameco Corp. said its first-quarter results for 2021 “were as expected.”

The Saskatoon-based uranium mining company reported a loss of $5 million for the quarter ended March 31, with an adjusted net loss of $29 million.

The company said the results were driven, in part, by normal quarterly variations in contact deliveries.

Read more: Supreme Court of Canada dismisses CRA leave application in tax dispute with Cameco

“With the continued execution of our strategy and the unplanned disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not at the regular tier-one run rate of our business,” Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel said in a release Friday.

“However, despite the near-term costs of our strategy and associated with the precautionary production suspension at Cigar Lake, we ended the quarter with over a billion dollars in cash.”

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Cameco restarted operations at its Cigar Lake uranium mine in April after shutting the mine down in December 2020 due to the rising risk of COVID-19.

Gitzel said they were able to restart operations at the mine due to “greater certainty that the mine will be able to operate safely and sustainably.

“Health and safety is always our top priority and we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and the situation in the province.”

Read more: Cameco starting production at Cigar Lake mine in April after temporary COVID-19 closure

The four-month temporary shutdown resulted in additional care and operating costs of $33 million, the company reported.

Additionally, Cameco said it paid all its employees during the shutdown, which it said was partially offset by $12 million from the Canadian Employment Wage Subsidy.

Gitzel also renewed his call for the Canada Revenue Agency to return cash and letters of credit totalling hundreds of millions of dollars in its tax dispute with the CRA.

“We were pleased to announce in February that the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Canada Revenue Agency’s request for leave to appeal in our tax dispute. This fully and finally resolves the tax years 2003, 2005 and 2006,” he said.

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“We have followed the law and believe the CRA should return our $785 million in cash and letters of credit held as security.”

Cameco said it had a strong balance sheet at the end of the first quarter.

The company said it had $1 billion in cash and short-term investments, $1 billion in long-term debt and access to $1 billion in an undrawn credit facility.

“We expect our cash balances and operating cash flows to meet our capital requirements during 2021, therefore, we do not anticipate drawing on our credit facility this year,” a company statement said.

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Cameco says tax court rules in its favour in dispute with CRA – Sep 27, 2018

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