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Pretivm's COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Response Plan

To protect the health and safety of our workforce and local communities, the Company has implemented enhanced protocols and procedures that were developed in collaboration with local indigenous partners and BC Northern Health.  These protocols include regular COVID-19 testing of all employees and contractors at Brucejack Mine. 

The Company’s primary commitment is the safety and health of its workforce and neighbouring communities in northwest British Columbia. Pretivm continues to follow the stringent COVID-19 infection prevention guidance and directives as updated by federal, provincial and regional authorities in respect of general and mine site-specific protocols to operate the Brucejack Mine. It is mandatory that all Brucejack personnel follow the site regulations in accordance with the authorities’ standards. The Company has developed management plans to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect the well-being of its employees, communities and other stakeholders that are reassessed daily to minimize the possibilities for transmission of infection.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brucejack Mine has operated continuously under the guidance and directives provided by Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Guidance to Mining and Smelting Operations during COVID-19; BC Ministry of Health, BC Centre for Disease Control: Protecting Industrial Camp Workers, Contractors, and Employers Working in the Agricultural, Forestry, and Natural Resource Sectors During the COVID-19 Pandemic (July 28, 2020); and all applicable orders issued by the Provincial Health Officer.

The following protocols are in effect at Brucejack Mine:

Restricted Mine and Camps Access

  • The Brucejack Mine is off-limits to anyone who has travelled anywhere outside of Canada; mandatory self-isolation for recent travel is in effect.
  • Brucejack minesite and camps are restricted to only those personnel required to ensure the operations of the mine.
  • A list of personnel working onsite is updated daily.
  • Safety and environmental management activities are considered essential and will continue.

Crew Transportation

  • The number of crew buses transporting workers to Brucejack has been increased to provide for social distancing during transit.
  • Mine personnel are permitted to self-drive to the property access point at Highway 37 from select local points.
  • Regular COVID-19 testing for employees and contractors.
  • Thorough health screening for both in-bound and out-bound workers is in effect at all access points to the mine for signs of illness. Health screening includes assessment of any present symptoms, recent travel history, potential personal interactions with people who are ill, and temperature reading.
  • Health checks are being conducted by qualified health personnel at pick-up points for crew buses (Smithers, Terrace and Kitwanga) and at the Highway 37 security point for employees who self-drive.
  • Crew transportation for surface and underground operations has been increased to accommodate social distancing.

Social Distancing

  • In order to minimize crew changeovers and reduce frequency of contact, rotations have been adjusted.
  • Social distancing is enforced during shifts and downtimes.
  • The main dining hall has been configured to allow no more than 50 people. Common areas are demarcated where possible to promote physical separation of 2 meters.
  • Meetings are kept to limited numbers.
  • Underground vehicles are being operated to ensure worker distancing.

Hygiene

  • Mandatory masks in all common areas.
  • Common areas, including dining rooms, hallways, buses, offices and “high-touch” surfaces are being disinfected with greater frequency.
  • Food service has been restricted to service by kitchen staff only, including utensils, in order to avoid points of common contact with service items.
  • Condiments are in individual serving packages.
  • Salad bars and snack bins have been taken out of service and replaced with containers of individual prepared servings.
  • Hand hygiene protocols are being enforced.
  • While underground, workers wear custom-fitted masks with particulate filters.

Self-isolation at Minesite Camps

  • Camp facilities at Brucejack support self-isolation with personal washrooms.
  • Any individual who is experiencing symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (sore throat, fever, sneezing, or coughing) and those individuals identified as a close contact through contact tracing will be isolated in-room and evaluated by the medical provider.
  • Symptoms are monitored and further care/need for isolation is supported accordingly.

On-site Medical Services at Brucejack Mine

The Brucejack Mine is located in a remote location and as it needs to be self-sufficient, we maintain an on-site primary care clinic that can respond effectively with emergency and non-emergency care for our site workforce. Medical staff include remote-care nurses and advanced-care paramedics under the guidance of two off-site physicians; physicians are on-call to provide guidance or instruction to on-site staff as needed. Brucejack site is equipped for emergency medical evacuation, including cases suspected to be contagious.

Clinic staff are monitoring the COVID-19 crisis and are engaged with Northern Health, the regional authority, to continuously discuss and manage Pretivm’s operational response.

Communication

Pretivm appreciates the risks that COVID-19 presents to our remote and dispersed workforce, and the remote communities in northwest BC where access to healthcare can be geographically challenging. We are committed to keeping our employees informed and updated on the crisis and engaging with neighboring communities in the region.