Coronavirus sends shudders through mining industry as case confirmed after top conference – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 11, 2020)

Attendees at PDAC 2020, which attracted 23,000 people from around the world, are advised to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days

The consequences of holding one of the largest mining conferences on the planet in Toronto last week in the midst of a global health scare became clearer on Wednesday when public health authorities confirmed that an attendee from Sudbury, Ont., has tested positive for coronavirus, sending shudders through the industry.

The conference, hosted by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, was widely attended including appearances by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and senior cabinet officials, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his senior cabinet officials, as well as numerous senior and junior mining executives, drawing some 23,000 people in total — down only 10 per cent from the prior year, despite the known risks of the spread of coronavirus strain COVID-19.

The infected individual, described as male in his fifties, attended the event on March 2 and 3. He was in self-isolation and his identity had not been divulged, but two sources said it is believed to be an individual who works for Ontario’s Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.

The ministry is based in a building connected to the Laurentian University in Sudbury. A spokesman for the university said all classes were cancelled as of Wednesday and said that the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines would provide further information.

A spokesman for the Ministry, however, referred all calls to the Ontario Treasury Secretariat, who did not provide comment by the time of publication. The latest developments put many PDAC attendees on edge.

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