The production of physical precious metals is slowly grinding to a halt in various regions. Miners in Quebec, Canadam, have been asked to put down their tools due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Mining in Quebec Grinds to a Halt
It is seemingly a matter of time until most of the world’s gold production comes to a halt. Several countries and regions have asked miners and mine operators to either reduce production or shut down altogether. All of this is a direct result of the global coronavirus outbreak, which keeps governments and health officials on their toes.
The latest region to feel this effect is Quebec, Canada. All miners in the province are asked to shut down temporarily due to COVID-19. All non-essential businesses and services are now suspended for at least three weeks. Depending on how the coronavirus crisis evolves, that deadline may be extended when push comes to shove.
This news comes as somewhat of a surprise. In Quebec, mining is one of the few priority services in the region. Even so, all participants in the mining sector are now forced to minimize their activities for the next few weeks. These new measures are put in place to guarantee safe working conditions for everyone involved.
Monitoring the Situation Closely
Canadian Malartic, which is the largest gold mine in all of Canada, aims to return to full capacity once the temporary restriction is limited. Closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation is crucial in this regard. Until that can happen, all employees and contractors will be demobilized in a safe manner. A handful of essential personnel will remain active on the site to maintain property and equipment.
A similar sentiment is echoed by Agnico Eagle Mines, who operates the LaRonde Complex and Goldex Mine. That location will have its staff reduced significantly until the measures are lifted. The Meliadine and Meadowbank mining operations in Nunavut will ramp down operations as well. All of this is done in a very orderly fashion, which is good to see.
Eldorado Gold is also adhering by the rules, although the timing of the news is a bit annoying. Earlier that day, the company received official approval to expand its underground production at Lamaque. That shift in operations will take its production from 130,000 ounces to roughly 170,000 ounces.
The big question is what will happen in Ontario. That part of Canada is not slowing down its gold production by any means. The response to COVID-19 is “slow” at best, although it is not unlikely that similar measures will affect gold mines in that region in the near future.