Great Panther Mining Ltd has announced that two employees that live in the nearby communities of the Tucano Gold Mine in northern Brazil have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Both employees are stable with mild symptoms and remain in isolation at home monitored daily by the local health authority.
Operations at Tucano have not been impacted and the mine has continued to operate at full capacity with strict COVID-19 mitigation protocols, which the company implemented in mid-March. There are no other confirmed or suspected cases at the company's Mexican operations or its Coricancha Mine in Peru that continue complying with temporary government-mandated restrictions.
As previously reported, the Mexican Federal Government extended the closure of all non-essential businesses until 30 May 2020, except for companies operating in municipalities with low or no cases of COVID-19 transmission, which may re-open on 18 May 2020. To date, there are no confirmed or suspected cases in the municipality where the Topia Mine is located. Consequently, the company is planning to resume a safe ramp-up of operations at its Topia Mine on 18 May 2020. The Guanajuato Mine Complex is expected to restart operating activities on 30 May 2020.
Through a decree issued on 2 May 2020, the Peruvian government authorised mining companies to return to operating activities as of 2 May 2020, in four phases, adding one phase monthly. The Coricancha Mine in Peru falls within the category of mining operations allowed to resume operating activities in July. In 1Q20, the company undertook a limited mining and mill processing campaign of approximately 25 000 t; however, these activities were temporarily suspended following the federal government-mandated restrictions and will be potentially rescheduled towards the end of the third quarter. The Coricancha Mine remains on care and maintenance and is not material to the Company's operations.
The restart of operations in Mexico and Peru will be a phased approach following health guidelines and government regulations in each jurisdiction with appropriate protocols in place to protect the health and safety of our workforce and communities.
Great Panther places the safety and wellbeing of its personnel and communities as its highest priority. Consequently, all operations have implemented pandemic plans aligned with local health authorities and the World Health Organization guidelines. These plans cover a large number of measures that are reviewed continuously, and some of the steps implemented are listed below. Additionally, each country management team has set up special committees to rapidly respond to changing conditions in their regions.
Health and Safety Measures
- Employees that can work from home have been required to do so.
- All non-essential work and visits to Great Panther's operations have been suspended until further notice.
- Personnel and visitors arriving at sites are subject to medical screening and are required to complete a site-specific medical questionnaire.
- Operating rosters have been extended to allow for safer medical screening and isolation periods.
- Increased cleaning and sanitising procedures have been introduced, especially in commonly and frequently visited areas.
- The company's medical teams at each site, in collaboration with local health authorities, have established protocols for the isolation, testing and care of employees showing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Mandatory physical distancing practices have been implemented in all working areas and for transportation services.
- Awareness campaigns to educate all employees, their families and local communities on preventive measures and hygiene best practices continue regularly.
Great Panther will continue to update its plans and response measures based on the safety and wellbeing of its personnel, providing daily reports on the pandemic in areas where it operates and maintaining all government restrictions.
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/07052020/great-panther-covid-19-update/