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Trevali halts Santander as 19 workers test positive for covid-19

Trevali’s Santander zinc mine in Peru, 200 km northeast of Lima. (Image courtesy of Trevali Mining)

Trevali Mining (TSX: TV) announced Friday that 19 workers at the Santander mine in Peru have tested positive for covid-19. As a result, the company has temporarily suspended operations at the mine and mill to undertake additional on-site testing.

Earlier this week, prior to a roster change, 69 workers were screened with covid-19 serological rapid tests by the company, of which 19 yielded positive results.

In response, all workers on site are proactively being quarantined and will be tested using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests — the most common diagnostic test used to identify people currently infected.

Additional medical professionals are currently being brought to the Santander mine site to provide support and to perform the testing and diagnosis.

Checks on existing controls, such as physical distancing, body temperature readings, cleaning and disinfection will occur as part of the investigation. New transport options and protocols between the operation and the main areas where Trevali workers live will also be agreed and implemented before a restart occurs.

No timeline for the restart of operations has been defined at this time, the company says.

The Santander mine has remained compliant with Peruvian government requirements since the declaration of national emergency in mid-March, and the operation has continued with no material impact to date.

In late March, the company temporarily suspended its Caribou zinc-lead-silver mine in New Brunswick, Canada, due to the coronavirus outbreak.