Seven cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed at Implats’ Lac des Iles platinum group metals (PGMs) mine in Ontario, Canada.
Work continued at Lac des Iles mine during the declared state of emergency in Canada as the Ontario provincial government classified mining operations as essential business.
The emergence of seven confirmed cases of Covid-19 at Lac des Iles over the past week, despite extensive preventative measures that had been implemented to ensure employee safety, has required a ramp down of operating activity compared with Implat’s South Africa’s mines now being permitted to ramp up.
Lac des Iles was placed into temporary care and maintenance on Monday, April 13 and the majority of employees are in self-quarantine until April 27.
Ontario has extended its declared state of emergency to May 12. Implats said in a media release that management was continuing to collaborate with the health authorities and operations would restart when it was safe to do so.
The operation comprises an underground mine, surface mining activities, and a 13 500 t/d- (400 000 t/m-) capacity concentrator plant, and benefits from year-round road access and low-cost electricity from the provincial power grid.
The nine-year-life Lac des Iles has measured and indicated mineral resources, inclusive of mineral reserves, of five-million ounces of palladium at a grade of 2.14 g/t, and proven and probable reserves of three-million ounces of palladium at a grade of 2.31 g/t. Platinum and gold, together with nickel and copper, are the primary coproducts at Lac des Iles.