Our response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
We are closely monitoring the developments related to the outbreak of COVID-19. The situation is evolving rapidly, and our first priority is to protect the health and well-being of our employees, their families, and their communities. All aspects of our Corporate Crisis Management Plan, our Pandemic Plan, as well as our various Local and Corporate Business Continuity Plans have been fully activated and are in effect across our global operations.
Following the precautions and restrictions enacted by all levels of government where we operate, and considering the unique circumstances at each of our operating sites, we have proactively implemented a number of measures and made a number of decisions to ensure a safe working environment for all our employees. We have:
- asked employees at corporate office to work remotely from home
- asked that all meetings be conducted by phone or videoconference where possible
- suspended all business travel
- restricted non-essential contractors, visitors and deliveries at all locations
- put in place screening protocols for access to our facilities that align with the directives of government and public health authorities
- implemented a number of additional protective measures in the workplace, including increased sanitization and physical distancing
- suspended work on the Vision in Motion (VIM) project in Port Hope
- suspended production, in conjunction with Orano, at the Cigar Lake mine for an indeterminate period
- temporarily suspended production for approximately four weeks at the Port Hope UF6 conversion facility and at the Blind River refinery
- set up COVID-19 Relief Funds totaling $1.25 million to support our northern Saskatchewan and Ontario communities impacted by the virus
We will continue to actively monitor the situation and closely follow the guidance of the relevant health authorities where we operate.
The proactive decisions we have made to protect our employees and to help slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus are necessary decisions and are consistent with our values.
With many governments and communities declaring states of emergency in their jurisdictions, our utility customers’ nuclear power plants are part of the critical infrastructure needed to guarantee the availability of 24-hour electricity to run hospitals, care facilities, and other essential services. So our customers are going to need uranium. As a reliable, independent, commercial supplier, we will continue to work with our customers to help meet their delivery needs.
In this environment, we believe the risk to uranium supply is greater than the risk to uranium demand and expect it will create a renewed focus on ensuring availability of long-term supply to fuel nuclear reactors. Over time, we expect this renewed focus on security of supply will provide the market signals producers need, and will help offset any near-term costs we may incur as a result of the current disruptions to our business.
For over 30 years, as part of our commitment to identifying and addressing the ESG risks and opportunities that could affect the long-term sustainability of our company, we have been working with our communities to improve the health and well-being of our employees and their families, and support local business development. In these uncertain times we will need to continue to work together to build on the strong foundation we have already established.
For additional information related to our response to COVID-19, please see our Q1 2020 MD&A.