Agnico Eagle has decided to temporarily ramp down production at its Hope Bay gold mine in the Kitikmeot region due to ongoing challenges related to Covid-19.

Another six Covid infections were diagnosed at the mine site since Oct. 7. The company reported 11 presumptive cases of the coronavirus at Hope Bay between Sept. 27-29. Additionally, contact tracing identified 92 people who had exposure to the infected individuals. All were placed in isolation at the mine site until they could be flown out on charter flights.

Facing an outbreak at Hope Bay, 125 km southwest of Cambridge Bay, and with Covid-19 cases increasing in Alberta, which serves at the primary hub for the gold project, Agnico Eagle will reduce the number of employees on site as well as the number of crew changes to lessen the risk of Covid transmission.

The situation will be reassessed in the coming weeks, according to the company.

No Nunavummiut workers had returned to Hope Bay, so there was no contact between territorial residents at the employees who contracted the virus.

“The risk of contamination for the surrounding communities and for other Nunavut mines remains very low,” Agnico Eagle stated on Oct. 18, adding that the “no-contact protocol” between the mine site and the communities remains in effect.

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