Cameco renews focus on ‘clean air transition’ in third financial quarter

Supply constraints led to a reduction in the company’s forecast for fuel services production. But Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel sees long-term opportunity there.

Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel. Photo courtesy of Cameco

Saskatoon-based uranium company Cameco reported its third quarter financial results with a focus on “continued execution” of its “strategy to support global clean-air transition.” 

Cameco President and CEO Tim Gitzel said the company will do that by responding to the “growing need for uranium” to generate “safe, clean, reliable, and affordable” electricity.

“Sustainability is at the heart of what we do,” Gitzel said.  

“Embedded in all our decisions is a commitment to addressing the environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities that we believe will make our business sustainable over the long term.”

Gitzel called the recent increase in uranium spot prices – about 46% since the end of June – a “welcome development” that demonstrates demand from junior uranium companies. 

“Increasing uranium prices are positive for us. Over time, the market exposure in our contract portfolio will pick up the benefit of rising prices,” Gitzel said. 

“We have taken our production well below our sales commitments and will continue to align our production decisions with the market…  We will continue to be strategically patient with contracting, and we will continue to conservatively manage our balance sheet.”

Gitzel said Cameco’s good prospects this next quarter are thanks to the “deliberate actions” by the company. 

“We have the financial strength to support our strategy and allow us to self-manage risk,” Gitzel said.

“Globally, we see demand for both traditional and non-traditional uses of nuclear power growing as the increasing focus on electrification while phasing out carbon intensive sources of energy continues to take hold.”

Gitzel said the company’s “vision of energizing a clean-air world” recognizes Cameco’s “important role to play” in enabling “vast reductions” in greenhouse gas emissions. He said the company has a role to play in accomplishing the targets being set around the world to achieve a “resilient, net-zero carbon economy.” 

“We are exploring opportunities to further our reach in the nuclear fuel cycle and in innovative, non-traditional commercial uses of nuclear power in Canada and around the world,” Gitzel said.

“We are optimistic about Cameco’s role in capturing long-term value across the fuel chain and supporting the transition to a net-zero carbon economy.” 

Cameco reported a third quarter net loss of $72 million adjusted to $54 million. The company said results are driven by “normal quarterly variations” in contract deliveries. 

Supply constraints also led to a reduction in the company’s forecast for fuel services production for the year. But Gitzel sees long-term opportunity there. 

“Our third quarter results were as expected and reflect the continued execution of our strategy and the proactive decisions to suspend production to protect the health and safety of our workers, their families and their communities,” Gitzel said. 

“With McArthur River and Key Lake in care and maintenance, we are not at the regular tier-one run rate of our business. However, we are positioning to capture long-term value.”