December 19, 2006 13:25 ET

Cameco Reports Illegal Work Stoppage at Kumtor Gold Mine

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 19, 2006) - Cameco Corporation (TSX:CCO) (NYSE:CCJ) reported today that that the mine department and some support services personnel have begun an illegal work stoppage at the Kumtor minesite. Milling operations are continuing utilizing ore stockpiles. This illegal action comes while negotiations are underway on the renewal of the current labour contract, which expires on December 31, 2006. The Krygyz minister of labour had previously issued a letter to the Kumtor workforce indicating that under Kyrgyz legislation any work stoppage would be illegal. Meetings are scheduled between the work force, trade union, Kumtor management and the government to resolve the matter.

It has been reported that the government of the Kyrgyz Republic has resigned and it was accepted by the president. The resolution of the illegal strike may be complicated by this situation.

Further updates will be provided as information becomes available.

Cameco owns 53% of Centerra Gold Inc. which owns and operates the Kumtor mine located in the Kyrgyz Republic, Central Asia.

Cameco, with its head office in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is the world's largest uranium producer. 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.

Statements contained in this news release, which are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause such differences, without limiting the generality of the following, include: the impact of the sales volume of fuel fabrication services, uranium, conversion services, electricity generated and gold; volatility and sensitivity to market prices for uranium, conversion services, electricity in Ontario and gold; competition; the impact of change in foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates; imprecision in decommissioning, reclamation, reserve and tax estimates; environmental and safety risks including increased regulatory burdens and long-term waste disposal; unexpected geological or hydrological conditions; adverse mining conditions; political risks arising from operating in certain developing countries; terrorism; sabotage; a possible deterioration in political support for nuclear energy; changes in government regulations and policies, including tax and trade laws and policies; demand for nuclear power; replacement of production; failure to obtain or maintain necessary permits and approvals from government authorities; legislative and regulatory initiatives regarding deregulation, regulation or restructuring of the electric utility industry in Ontario; Ontario electricity rate regulations; natural phenomena including inclement weather conditions, fire, flood, underground floods,
earthquakes, pit wall failure and cave-ins; ability to maintain and further improve positive labour relations; strikes or lockouts; operating performance, disruption in the operation of, and life of the company's and customers' facilities; decrease in electrical production due to planned outages extending beyond their scheduled periods or unplanned outages; success of planned development projects; and other development and operating risks.

Although Cameco believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this report. Cameco disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact Information

  • Cameco Corporation
    Investor & media inquiries:
    Alice Wong
    (306) 956-6337
    Investor inquiries:
    Bob Lillie
    (306) 956-6639
    Media inquiries:
    Lyle Krahn
    (306) 956-6316