Brucejack

Home  >  Brucejack  >  Pretivm's COVID-19 Response

Pretivm's COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Response Plan

March 26, 2020

Pretium is following COVID-19 infection prevention guidance and directives as updated by federal, regional and provincial authorities in respect of general and minesite-specific protocols to operate the Brucejack Mine.  The camp environments are reassessed daily to minimize the possibilities for transmission of infection.

Recent guidance has been provided by Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (EMPR) Guidance to mining and smelting operations during COVID‐19 (March 23, 2020); and Northern Health COVID-19: Interim Guidelines for Industrial Camps (draft) (March 25, 2020).

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 essential operations of the mine.
  • A list of personnel working onsite is updated daily.
  • Non-essential mine site activities have been suspended; safety and environmental management activities remain in place.

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.
  • 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 are being changed to 3 weeks on, 3 weeks off.
  • 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.
  • Use of camp recreational areas has been suspended.
  • Meetings are kept to limited numbers, and essential gatherings are limited to no more than 50 people at a maximum.
  • Underground vehicles are being operated to ensure worker distancing.

Hygiene

  • 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) 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

Pretium 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.