Canadian Mining Journal

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COVID-19: Quebec mines now an essential service



Aerial view of Malartic town and Canadian Malartic mine Credit: Agnico Eagle

Aerial view of Malartic town and Canadian Malartic mine Credit: Agnico Eagle

With Monday’s announcement from Quebec Premier François Legault declaring mining operations in the province an essential service, mines will be allowed to start back up on Wednesday, Apr. 15, with additional health and safety precautions.

In response, miners have issued releases announcing plans to restart their operations.

The Canadian Malartic open pit gold mine, jointly owned by Agnico Eagle Mines and Yamana Gold, was placed on care and maintenance on Mar. 24 – based on a release issued by Yamana, the ramp up will start Apr. 15 and is anticipated to take several weeks.

Agnico Eagle also announced that it is taking steps to resume operations at its wholly held La Ronde Complex and Goldex mine. The company will provide further updates on its assets with its first quarter results release at the end of the month.

Iamgold’s Westwood mine entered care and maintenance on Mar. 25 – it will restart on Apr. 15 with an anticipated one-week ramp up period.

Eldorado Gold announced that its Lamaque operations will also be reopening on Apr.15 following the Mar. 23 move to care and maintenance.

It appears that the government’s announcement was due to the importance of mining in the supply chain generating goods and services – exploration activity in the province will remain on hold until May 4.

Additional precautions implemented by the companies include temperature screening, physical distancing and use of personal protective equipment.