Newmont advances virus containment with mine suspensions

The Yanacocha operation in Peru. Image: Newmont

Newmont has implemented its business continuity plans in response to the coronavirus pandemic to protect the health and safety of its workforce.

Chief executive Tom Palmer said Newmont was working closely with host communities, First Nations and other indigenous peoples to protect its employees and nearby communities.

Newmont also temporarily suspended the Musselwhite and Eléonore operations in Canada, the Cerro Negro mine in Argentina and the Yanacocha operation in Peru.

Other mines have continued to operate at targeted production levels, according to Palmer.

“We currently have no confirmed COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases among our workforce and are taking significant, proactive measures including social distancing at all our sites; removing substantial numbers of non-critical workers from our operations; closing offices with employees working remotely; and stopping all non-essential business travel to ensure we don’t become a pathway for transmission to others,” Palmer said.

“These are unprecedented times for all industries, and while this pandemic brings a lot of uncertainty, Newmont is well positioned to safely and responsibly generate long-term value for all of our stakeholders.”

Newmont withdrew its full-year 2020 production guidance in light of this development as mines represent around 80 per cent of its production outlook.

The company expects to produce around 1.4 million attributable gold ounces and around 325,000 co-product gold equivalent ounces during the first quarter of this year.

Newmont has also cancelled all non-essential travel, formed flexible and remote working plans for employees, established screening for fly in, fly out employees and enforced mandatory self-quarantine for all international arrivals and those experiencing flu-like symptoms.