Cameco will bring back approximately 170 furloughed employees at the Cigar Lake mine in Northern Sask.

Production was temporarily halted in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic and provincially mandated economic restrictions.

Cameco’s plan is to restart uranium production in September, but that additional safety measures will be put in place.

“We’ve got screening for all inbound and outbound flights, including temperature checks. We’ve put in safe seating accommodations at the site and the airport. We’ve implemented heightened controls on our food service, staggered meal and break times to make sure employees aren’t in one place at the same time,” said Cameco spokesperson Jeff Hryhoriw.

Cameco is assuring that it “will be following the direction of the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan, and will continue to consult closely with public health authorities and dialogue with northern community leaders as we firm up our restart plan.”

The returning employees will work in two shifts.

About half the workforce remained on site during the pandemic shutdown for care and maintenance, while temporarily laid-off employees were continued to be paid by the company.

“We’re certainly not out of the woods yet in terms of the risk posed by the COVID-19.  However, we believe the situation in northern Saskatchewan has stabilized to the point where we can increase workforce numbers and resume production while maintaining workplace safety.  We recognize the situation around the pandemic remains fluid, and will move quickly to adjust our plans should circumstances warrant,” Cameco said in a statement.

Cameco withdrew its 2020 outlook due to the shutdown and reported losses in the second quarter.