Canadian mining companies prepare pandemic plans for coronavirus – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 14, 2020)

Like many large Canadian mining companies, Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. is taking precautionary steps in the face of the global spread of the novel coronavirus.

At its Constancia copper mine in Peru, all of its workers are being screened for any sign of the virus, with their temperatures being taken upon entry to the site. In the event of someone contracting the virus, the company has isolation facilities in place, and ambulances on standby.

Back at the Toronto head office, the IT department recently did extensive testing to ensure that people can work from home if need be. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” said Peter Kukielski, chief executive officer of Hudbay.

The steps taken by Hudbay are by no means unique. Barrick Gold Corp., Teck Resources Inc., B2Gold Corp. and Lundin Mining Corp., are taking similar measures. They’re banning non-essential travel, stocking up on essential supplies at mining sites, and testing out systems in case a mine needs to be shut down or everyone at head office suddenly needs to work from home.

“It’s inevitable that people will have some sort of direct exposure, and we’ll have to deal with those cases,” said Marie Inkster, CEO of Lundin, a Toronto-based copper miner.

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