Operations at Gahcho Kué are restarting this weekend.
Mining is set to restart on Sunday, once COVID-19 testing results have been returned, according to Terry Kruger, a spokesperson for De Beers Canada, who own Gahcho Kué. Around 180 operations crew members are being flown back to the mine Saturday, February 27 from various pickup points across the country.
“Everyone has completed the pre-screening process and will undergo rapid antigen testing at the pickup airports before being given clearance to board the charter aircraft,” Kruger said in an email.
Kruger says the Gahcho Kué team has held a number of meetings with the CPHO to review and refine our plans.
“The most important thing throughout this time is the health and safety of everyone at Gahcho Kué and the communities nearby,” Lyndon Clark, General Manager of Gahcho Kué Mine, said in a statement.
“To further bolster the range of controls we already have in place, we are therefore taking additional strong actions, including adopting the use of newly-available rapid testing technology, to detect cases early and to minimize the risk of transmission.”
Gahcho Kué shutdown on February 6 after an outbreak was declared at the mine.
At the time, there were 335 workers at the mine. The majority of them were shipped out of the mine as staff was stripped down to essential staff responsible for care and maintenance of the mine site. Some non-resident workers were sent back to their home provinces, while others were sent to isolate in Yellowknife.
Workers who left the site will return to their normal 4-week rotation schedules.
Three workers who contracted COVID-19 at the Gahcho Kué diamond mine have been hospitalized.
There have been 19 total cases of the virus related to the outbreak at the mine site. Eight of the cases are still active, while the other 11 cases have recovered.