Pretium tackles virus in its own way

Pretium Resources’ Brucejack mine in northwestern British Columbia, Canada, has taken on a set of procedures to protect its workforce from the ongoing danger of COVID-19, including extending crew rotation times at the remote operation
Pretium tackles virus in its own way Pretium tackles virus in its own way Pretium tackles virus in its own way Pretium tackles virus in its own way Pretium tackles virus in its own way

Pretium’s Brucejack mine continues to operate in northwestern British Columbia

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Brucejack continues to be operated under strict regulatory directives by federal, provincial and regional health authorities. Pretium said the mine's employees in most departments will now work three weeks on and three weeks off. If ministry officials approve, that could be adjusted to three weeks on and one week off.

Pretium said the change has been implemented to decrease the frequency of crew changes and travel required.

The mining company said it was only keeping workers necessary to gold production support at the site, and had for the near-term duration placed its capital projects and expansion drilling on hold.

"As Brucejack is a remote mining operation, the risk to operations from travel restrictions can be significant," Pretium officials said.

"Mine operations will prioritise gold production over development, and the mill will operate at reduced production rates should the ore supply be insufficient to operate at 3,800 tonnes per day on a continuous basis. Safety is and will remain the number one priority."

Before travelling to and from the underground operation, workers are undergoing health checks, and the company has put extra transport into service so that social distancing can be enforced.

Even with the COVID-19 concerns, there are some positive elements to Brucejack's progress, the company said.

"At present, interruptions to the supply chain are not anticipated," Pretium officials said. 

"Doré and flotation concentrate sales are proceeding as planned without any disruptions to date. With multiple off-takers for both doré and flotation concentrate, no sales disruptions are anticipated at this time."

Also, in addition to not having any COVID-19 cases, the virus and its worldwide spread did not impact its gold production for the March quarter.

"Looking ahead, COVID-19 may have a significant impact on production if the company is not able to maintain operations," Pretium said. "The company currently expects a modest impact on costs should operations continue with enhanced safety measures in effect."