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Gahcho Kué Stays Shut as Covid-19 Cases Rise

Feb 18, 2021 4:09 AM   By Leah Meirovich
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Mining operations at Gahcho Kué remain suspended following the identification of further employees who have tested positive for Covid-19.

A total of 15 infections have been discovered at the Canadian site, which is jointly owned by De Beers and Mountain Province, a De Beers spokesperson told Rapaport News Wednesday. That includes the six cases that came to light last week during proactive testing of all on-site employees and two infections earlier this month.

All employees with confirmed cases of the virus are currently in isolation, as are another 47 who came into contact with those individuals. So far, three of the 15 employees have recovered, the spokesperson noted. The miner is performing daily tests on all of its employees to detect further cases among any of the 335 workers on site.

“There’s really no way to know if there will be more cases — we will have to continue to monitor, as even though there are employees who have been in isolation for some time, there is still the potential that they could test positive despite earlier negative tests,” he said.

The company has not yet determined when the mine will be able to reopen, or what impact the closure will have on first-quarter production.

“[Our] current focus is on working with the local health authorities to ensure we take all appropriate measures, and supporting our employees through a challenging period,” the spokesperson added. “We are in consultation with [Northwest Territories health authorities] regarding when operations could resume, and will hopefully be in a position to make a decision in the near future.”

Image: A drone shot of the Gahcho Kué mine. (Ben Perry/Armoury Films/De Beers)
Tags: COVID-19, De Beers, Gahcho Kué, Gahcho Kué mine, Leah Meirovich, mountain province, northwest territories
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