01/17/2017 13:55 EST | Updated 01/18/2018 00:12 EST

Struggling Cameco laying off 120 employees to improve mining operations

Saskatoon-based Cameco Corp. says it expects to lay off 120 employees as part of its plans to further reduce costs and improve efficiency at its struggling uranium mining operations.

Cameco (TSX:CCO) says the workforce at the McArthur River, Key Lake and Cigar Lake operations will be reduced by approximately 10 per cent in total.

The reduction is planned to be conducted in stages and scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2017.

Cameco says affected employees will be offered exit packages that include transition assistance.

The company also plans to implement changes to the air commuter service by which employees and contract workers get to and from the mine and mill sites in northern Saskatchewan, as well as work schedule changes to achieve additional cost savings.

These changes will begin in April 2017 and are expected to be completed during 2018.

"These are necessary actions to take in a uranium market that has remained weak and oversupplied for more than five years," president and CEO Tim Gitzel says in statement.