Coping with COVID-19: How miners are continuing production during a pandemic – by Robert Hiltz (CIM Magazine – November 09, 2020)

It has almost become a cliché at this point, but the truth behind the statement remains valid: COVID-19 has changed the way work is conducted, and that definitely includes work in the mining industry. While some of the changes have been significant, others are less so – but they’re still changes.

Shifts are staggered to keep miners socially distanced in the cage, on-site staff is kept to a minimum, employees are screened for exposure risk, and out-of-town personnel must be isolated until they are cleared by a virus test.

Even mining companies that were once business rivals, such as Vale and Glencore, for example, are co-operating and looking to share best practices, according to Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (INO) spokesperson Iyo Grenon.

Mining companies realize the risk to production is real if safety protocols aren’t properly followed. As seen in the meatpacking industry in western Canada, COVID-19 outbreaks can lead to lengthy shutdowns. Caution and diligence are key.

That’s how some of this country’s biggest mining companies have kept the ore coming out of the ground since COVID-19 came to Canada in force in March.

For the rest of this article: