Kirkland's Holt, Macassa kicked to lower gear

Kirkland Lake Gold, which has already made cuts to its operational portfolio amid the COVID-19 outbreak, has now turned its attention to the Holt complex and the Macassa mine in Ontario, where it has, respectively, temporarily suspended and reduced operations
Kirkland's Holt, Macassa kicked to lower gear Kirkland's Holt, Macassa kicked to lower gear Kirkland's Holt, Macassa kicked to lower gear Kirkland's Holt, Macassa kicked to lower gear Kirkland's Holt, Macassa kicked to lower gear

The Holt mine, part of the Holt complex, in Matheson, Ontario, Canada

Staff reporter

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The moves are effective until April 30, officials said; they follow Kirkland's March 22 decision to reduce activity at the Detour Lake mine, also in Ontario.

On March 27, Kirkland was informed that a worker that had been at Detour Lake earlier that month had tested positive for COVID-19. It informed all of its employees and instructed them to self-monitor for symptoms, complete a health self-assessment and to self-isolate and consult medical staff if the results indicated a need to do so.

"The latest business reductions are in response to recent developments related to the COVID-19 virus, including increased border restrictions between Ontario and Quebec, which is making the movement of workers increasingly difficult," it said.

"Both Macassa and the Holt complex have a significant number of employees and contractors resident in Quebec who travel to Ontario for work."

Kirkland has confirmed that all essential activities at both mine complexes during the operational shift will be performed by local, Ontario-based workers.

The Holt closure includes all of the associated assets: Holt, Taylor and Holt Mill. The Holloway mine went on care and maintenance in early March.

At Macassa, ongoing water and environmental management work will continue, as will progress on the new No. 4 shaft, albeit at reduced levels. At Detour Lake, mill processing is still being performed, along with water and environmental monitoring needs, using about 30% of the normal workforce.

The miner has withdrawn its guidance "until further notice" given the movement of the virus and the company's response.

Officials said the company would release new targets once both Macassa and Detour Lake return to normal operations.

Kirkland's Fosterville mine, located in Australia, remains active with protective protocols in place. Only essential work is being conducted, and the miner has reported it is running at full production levels.