The Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has deemed exploration and mining essential services during the current COVID-19 outbreak.
The list includes:
Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of mining materials and products (e.g. metals such as copper, nickel and gold) and that support supply chains including:
- Mining operations, production and processing
- Mineral exploration and development, including sand, gravel and aggregates
- Mining supply and services that support supply chains in the mining industry including maintenance of operations, health and safety
At the same time, explorers, miners and those in related businesses need to be in compliance with local regulations with regard to health and safety practices in order to protect workers and others from the COVID-19 virus.
Numerous exploration and mining companies with operations around the world have already taken steps to protect their employees, contractors and local communities. These measures have included lockdowns, suspension of activities, lower throughput, working at home if possible and some layoffs.
For example, Canadian companies operating in Mexico are subject to that country’s new COVID-19 decree where the Mexican Ministry of Health issued an Executive Order calling for the immediate suspension of non-essential activities, including mining, until April 30, 2020.
Other countries have developed their own executive orders to deal with the outbreak.