The territory’s three diamond mines are implementing precautions to guard against the spread of COVID-19 but were still operating as usual on Monday.

De Beers, which runs the Gahcho Kue mine has started a rostering system at its Calgary operational support centre where half of its staff work in the office and half from home, said spokesperson Terry Kruger.

“Our focus at this time is to do everything we can to reduce the chance of coronavirus transmission to our remote operations and will implement mandatory temperature screening of everyone flying to Gahcho Kué from Yellowknife and Calgary as of March 17,” he said.

Dominion Diamond Mines has implemented several safety measures while production is ongoing at its Ekati site.

Non-essential work travel for employees is restricted and visitors to Ekati and the corporate offices are also restricted, a company spokesperson told NNSL Media.

An isolation zone has been set up at Ekati in case an employee or contractor is infected or presumed to be infected with COVID-19. And employees and contractors scheduled to fly to Ekati will be screened before boarding to identify anyone at risk.

Safeguards related to Rio Tinto’s Diavik mine remain in place as the mine still functions at full capacity, a spokesperson said.

The company has asked all employees to re-assess their need for travel and non-essential travel has been postponed in some regions.

“Employees returning to work after business or personal travel to certain regions and countries have been advised to notify their manager and work from home for 14 days,” Rio Tinto said.

Concerns over the spread of COVID-19 moved Baffinland Iron Mines on Monday to tell its employees at its Mary River mine in Nunavut to stay home.

Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

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