Cameco president Timothy Gitzel has declared the company's Kintyre uranium deposit is officially "in the bull pen", indicating a uranium spot price of up to $90 a pound was needed before the mine came into consideration.
Speaking on the project during a conference call with analysts in Canada, Mr Gitzel said Kintyre, north-east of Newman, would need a much-improved uranium market to pull it back out of the pen.
"If you follow the market, you've seen (our) competitors are using $75/lb (spot price) to $90/lb or $84/lb or somewhere in that mark and we won't dispute those numbers," Mr Gitzel said. "I think something certainly north of where it is today - in the $60/lb to $80/lb range - would start to get people interested in moving projects ahead."
The uranium spot price last hit $90/lb in January 2008. It was trading at $43.75/lb yesterday.
As reported in _ WestBusiness _yesterday, Cameco slashed the value of Kintyre by $C168 million ($162.5 million) in its December quarterly report.
Speaking about the writedown, Mr Gitzel said Kintyre was acquired during 2008, which was a "different lifetime". "Quite frankly (it was) pre-financial meltdown, pre-Fukushima," he said. "It's a good project, it remains a good project. There are significant resources there that we're planning on exploiting in the future, but right now in the market you've seen us put out numbers that we need higher uranium price or more pounds or preferably, as I say, both."