Agnico Eagle announced an update linked to the hike in covid-19 cases at its Nunavut operations.
There have been a total of 13 tentative cases at its Meliadine, Meadowbank and Hope Bay operations since Dec 18, 2021.
The company decided to send home the Nunavut-based workforce (Nunavummiut) from the Meliadine, Meadowbank and Hope Bay operations as well as its Nunavut exploration projects.
Due to the reduction, the company expects production to be minimal over this period. It is also reassessing current protocols in preparation for a resumption of activities expected in early 2022.
All Nunavummiut workers, presently on-site, will be sent home and those that are currently off-site will not return to work at this time for a period of at least three weeks.
Shares of Agnico Eagle have declined 25.4% in 2021 compared with a 13.3% fall of the industry.
Last year, miners working in remote locations in Canada, including Agnico, sent home Indigenous workers and limited contact between fly-in workers and communities to minimize the risk of spreading covid-19. The highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus now threatens a wave of new disruptions, even after the roll-out of vaccines and vaccine mandates this year.
Nunavut is extending its “circuit-breaker” lockdown as a rise in covid-19 cases pushes the territory’s healthcare system to a breaking point.
The territory’s chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, said Wednesday the province has 74 cases in eight communities after counting zero cases on Dec. 21.