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Gahcho Kué Mine Shuts Amid Covid-19 Outbreak

Feb 8, 2021 9:13 AM   By Leah Meirovich
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De Beers has suspended all mining and ore processing at its jointly owned Gahcho Kué mine in Canada after six employees tested positive for Covid-19.

The cases, which came to light during proactive testing of all on-site employees, followed two additional cases that the miner confirmed last week, De Beers said Saturday. Another 47 workers who came into contact with the individuals have been placed in quarantine, out of a total of 335 employees at the mine.

The company will restart mining when it is safe to do so, it explained.

“The health and safety of our employees and contractors are our first priority, so we made the immediate decision to stop mining and processing of ore…until we determine a safe path forward,” said Lyndon Clark, general manager of the mine. “Only employees required to keep essential services operating will be allowed out of their rooms for the time being.”

De Beers has not indicated whether the shutdown will affect its quarterly production. The miner already reduced its production plan for the full year to between 32 million and 34 million carats, compared with a previous outlook of 33 million to 35 million carats, as it struggles with operational issues at its African mines. The company will provide updates on the situation as it evolves, it noted.

De Beers owns 51% of Gahcho Kué, with the remaining 49% held by Mountain Province.

Image: The Gahcho Kué mine. (De Beers)
Tags: Canada, COVID-19, De Beers, Gahcho Kué, Gahcho Kué mine, Leah Meirovich, Lyndon Clark, mountain province, Rapaport News
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