Resource companies are also taking steps to manage the spread of COVID-19. Employers of the remote camp jobs have put in place some precautions to avoid the coronavirus.
Events for the Coastal GasLink Project have been postponed such as the 7 Mile Lodge site tours and opening event as part of social distancing. In the office and field they are only having onsite workers in ‘critical’ operations, including construction. Their major metropolitan offices have been closed and have employees working remotely, cancelling non-critical travel and holding meetings with partners, where possible, via phone or video conferencing. Regional offices, including construction field offices, remain open, however, they are continuing to monitor the situation closely and take further action if warranted. The company is also aligning spring breakup with less workers in the field.
CGL are also monitoring their suppliers’ situations, especially for critical parts and services. They have not seen any delays with access because of COVID-19 to date on the project. At this time there have been no confirmed COVID- 19 cases of any individuals working on the project.
At Newcrest’s Red Chris Mine near Iskut they have been implementing precautionary measures regarding COVID-19 since January.
“At this point we have not any material disruption to production, supply and processing,” said Red Chris General Manager Mark Adams.
He added that Red Chris is working closely with their employees, contractors and directly with Tahltan representatives to support the health and safety of all people that work at the Red Chris Mine, the surrounding communities and the broader community, rigorously applying precautionary measures that align with advice provided by the World Health Organization, the Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada, Northern Health, their medical provider Iridia, and advice from other experts in this field. They continue to take a very cautious approach to ensure the health and well-being of their people.
There have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases reported at Red Chris.
Pretivm also put out a news release saying it has been responding to the rapidly-evolving novel coronavirus crisis to protect their workforce and the local communities in the northwest region of British Columbia where the Brucejack Mine is located. Access to the Brucejack Mine is off-limits to anyone who has travelled anywhere outside of Canada. In all corporate locations, employees have been asked to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Mandatory 14-day self-quarantine is in effect for employees returning from anywhere outside of Canada.
The Brucejack Mine is located in a remote location along Highway 37 and as it needs to be self-sufficient, they maintain an on-site primary care clinic that can respond effectively with emergency and non-emergency care for their site workforce, the release said.
“Pretivm appreciates the particular risks that COVID-19 presents to our remote and dispersed workforce, and the remote communities in northwest BC where access to healthcare can be geographically challenging,” the press release states. We are committed to keeping our employees informed and updated on the crisis and engaging with neighbouring communities in the region.”