Cameco (TSX: CCO; NYSE: CCJ), Areva Resources Canada Inc., the Northern Village of Pinehouse and Kineepik Metis Local Inc. (Pinehouse) are pleased to announce the signing of a collaboration agreement to guide future co-operation and sharing of benefits from uranium mining operations.
The agreement builds on 25 years of co-operation between the community of about 1,000 people and the uranium mining industry and sets out specific commitments by the mining companies with respect to workforce development, business development, community engagement, environmental stewardship and community investment.
The potential value of the agreement is estimated to be approximately $200 million over the next 11 years with the largest benefit from employment income and business development, and the remainder from community investment.
The agreement also confirms the support of the Northern Village of Pinehouse and Kineepik Metis Local Inc. for the companies' existing projects and operations subject to the mining companies continuing to protect the health and safety of people and the environment, operating responsibly, and addressing the concerns of Pinehouse residents on an ongoing basis.
"This collaboration agreement demonstrates the uranium mining industry's commitment to partner with northern communities in developing Saskatchewan's resources," said Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel.
"Northern people make up a large part of our workforce and northern businesses provide the services that keep our operations going. Cameco and northern communities have a strong shared interest in the continued success and growth of uranium mining in Saskatchewan and this agreement reflects that," added Gitzel.
Mike Natomagan, mayor of Pinehouse and president of Kineepik Metis Local Inc., said the community is striving to be a significant and growing participant in the economy of northern Saskatchewan and stressed that a strong, mutually supportive relationship with Cameco and Areva will deliver benefits for many years to come, and ensure Pinehouse has an even stronger voice in terms of protecting the environment for future generations.
"This agreement will provide long-term benefits to our community and gives us to ability to plan for the future," said Natomagan. "It allows us to expand on our strong mining culture and do it our way."
Highlights of the agreement include:
A commitment to work to increase the number of Pinehouse people working at Cameco and Areva operations through a range of initiatives including preferential hiring, maintaining a full-time community liaison at Pinehouse to support individuals seeking employment in the industry, and education, training and professional development opportunities
Contracting with qualified Pinehouse-owned businesses for specific opportunities and collaborating with Pinehouse to identify future opportunities to provide goods and services to Cameco and Areva
Establishment of a joint committee to plan and implement community engagement activities to ensure Pinehouse residents are aware of, understand, and have opportunities to raise and address concerns with respect to Cameco and Areva's existing operations and future projects
An initial one-time community investment payment of $1 million
Additional one-time community investment payments upon the start of production from the Cigar Lake project ($500,000) and the start of construction of the Millennium mine project ($500,000)
Annual community investment payments ranging from $200,000 to $1 million depending upon the volume of production achieved at Cameco and Areva's Saskatchewan operations.
Community investment payments will be made to a community trust to be established by Pinehouse following the signing. The trust will be administered by an independent trustee and directed by a board consisting of Pinehouse residents and one member appointed by Cameco and Areva. Payments from the trust will be for the benefit of Pinehouse and its residents.
Cameco, with its head office in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is one of the world's largest uranium producers. The company's uranium products are used to generate electricity in nuclear energy plants around the world, providing one of the cleanest sources of energy available today. Cameco's shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.
As used in this news release, "Cameco" or the "company" means Cameco Corporation, a Canadian corporation and its subsidiaries and affiliates unless stated otherwise.