Dominion Diamond Mines announced that it has decided to suspend operations at the Ekati Diamond Mine to safeguard its employees and the communities surrounding its operations from threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The mine is located 310 km north-east of Yellowknife.
Dominion, who bought the mine in 2013, notes they have long been committed to the health, safety and well-being of its employees.
“We are committed to establishing strong, lasting and respectful relationships with the people and communities with whom it works.”
Although none of Dominion’s employees have tested positive for the Coronavirus to date, the company states that preventative action was determined to be a necessary step given the rapid spread of the virus, the remote location of the Ekati mine’s operations and the high frequency of air travel required for employees and support staff to access mining operations.
As a result of the decision to suspend mining and production activities until the Coronavirus pandemic is under control, a minimal care and maintenance crew will stay on with Dominion to maintain the Ekati mine during this interim period.
There is currently no timeline established for this period of suspended operations. It has yet to be confirmed if workers will be paid while the mine is closed. Ekati has about 1,800 employees.
Updates will be provided as the situation develops.