With Covid-19 cases climbing at its mine sites, Agnico Eagle has decided to once again send its Nunavummiut workforce home to protect staff and the communities, the company announced Wednesday.

There have been 13 presumptive cases of the virus at the Meliadine, Meadowbank and Hope Bay mine sites since Dec. 18, Agnico Eagle revealed.

“All Nunavummiut workers currently on site will be sent home and those that are currently off-site will not return to work at this time for a period of at least three weeks,” the company stated. “These employees will continue

to receive their remuneration during this period. In addition, Agnico Eagle will be meeting with its Nunavut contractors to discuss implementing similar measures for their Nunavummiut workforce.”

Nunavummiut mine employees only returned to work in June after nearly a year and a half off due to the pandemic.

Southern workers remaining on the job will will undergo increased testing protocols, according to Agnico Eagle. However, the miner plans to gradually reduce its workforce and activity levels at its Nunavut operations over the next several days.

A reassessment of Covid-19 protocols will take place prior to the mines scaling up again, which is expected to occur in early 2022.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation and the company is monitoring activities at its other operations and it will reassess its response on an ongoing basis,” stated Agnico Eagle.

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