COVID-19 could have big implications for Nunavut’s mining industry – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – April 6, 2020)

Nunavut’s mining industry faces some big challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, says Ken Armstrong, the president of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

Over the past few weeks, every mine in Nunavut has moved to reduce its Nunavut-based workforce and production. “We are not really sure how best to determine the cost of the pandemic so far but it will be significant,” Armstrong said.

“With companies having higher operating costs to ensure employee safety and compliance with government and health officer orders, paying salaries of Nunavummiut employees that have returned to their communities, combined with lower production, in some cases, at least, the impact will be significant.”

COVID-19 is also prompting every mining company operating in the territory to look at options for care and maintenance, he said.

“Every company, every mine is looking if they have to go into care and maintenance because any jurisdiction can make that order at any time, as they did in Quebec,” said Armstrong, referring to Nunavik’s Raglan mine, which went into care and maintenance following Quebec’s order for all non-essential businesses to shut down.

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