Miners with operations and projects in Quebec are getting ready to restart working on their assets after the Canadian province announced it would let them do so, but only with strict measures in place to limit coronavirus contagion.
Canadian Malartic, the country’s largest operating gold mine and a 50-50 joint venture between Yamana (TSX: YRI) (NYSE: AUY) and Agnico Eagle (TSX, NYSE: AEM), will restart on Wednesday. Operations had been suspended on March 24 in response to covid-19 related restrictions imposed by Quebec, which have brought much of the provincial economy to a halt.
The resumption of mining activity, said Yamana, will occur over a period of several weeks with full attention to the health and safety of returning employees, contractors and suppliers.
Those measures will include enhanced screening of all individuals entering the mine, including temperature checks; mandatory social distancing; enhanced disinfecting and preparedness planning in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of covid-19, the company said.
The miner had said that full operations would likely resume on May 4.
Iamgold also announced it would restart its Westwood Gold mine and processing plants in Preissac this week. Non-essential employees will be encouraged to work from home to limit the number of people on-site, it said.
Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD)(NYSE:EGO) has also announced it would begin ramping up operations at its Lamaque mine, which was previously forecast to produce between 125,000 and 135,000 ounces this year.
Other mines expected to restart this week include Newmont’s (NYSE: NEM) Eléonore mine, Osisko’s Windfall gold project, and Wallbridge Mining’s (TSX: WM) Fenelon gold project in the Abitibi greenstone belt.
Glencore (LON: GLEN) said it would investigate options to restart Raglan nickel mining complex, in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, as well as Matagami zinc operation, before May.
Mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) should also be announcing shortly the status of its Quebec operations, which include the Fer et Titane titanium dioxide mine in Havre-Saint-Pierre, a refinery and smelters in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and a port and stockpile in Sept-Iles (part of the Iron Ore Company of Canada operations, of which Rio has a 58.7% stake).