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Mining operations are to resume at the Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec, Canada Wednesday (April 15th), following the provincial government's decision to authorise the resumption of mining activities.
Canadian Malartic is a 55,000 tonnes per day open pit operation which produced 670,000 ounces in 2019 with a similar output expected this year prior to mining being suspended.
Eldorado Gold also announced the restart its Lamaque mine from the same date. The mine was previously forecast to produce 125,000-135,000oz this year.
As part of the mining restart in Quebec, the number of fly-ins and fly-outs from mining sites will be reduced to a strict minimum and companies will be encouraged to use more local workers. More chartered planes and shuttle buses will be used to transport miners to work, limiting contact with neighbouring communities.
Miners will also be required to wear protective gear such as gloves and glasses while following hygienic measures such as applying disinfectant. They will also see their time on work sites extended to 28 days instead of 14, reported local press.
Canadian Malartic, the largest operating gold mine in Canada and a 50-50 joint venture between Yamana and Agnico Eagle Mines, entered care and maintenance on March 24th, in response to government restrictions implemented to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus which required mining companies to minimise operational activities.
The resumption of mining activity will occur over a period of several weeks with full attention to health and safety of returning employees, contractors, and suppliers. These 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.