TORONTO — New Gold Inc. is closing its Rainy River Mine near the U.S. border in western Ontario for two weeks so that its workers can follow the 14-day self-isolation period recommended for those who have travelled outside Canada.
The Toronto-based mining company says about 70 per cent of the workforce at the mine near Fort Frances are local residents and many of them make frequent short trips across the border into Minnesota.
It says a “significant number” are already in voluntary isolation as recommended under Ontario and Canadian guidelines.
Spokeswoman Amanda Mallough says there are about 800 full-time employees at Rainy River and all but 60 or 70 people will be placed on paid leave. That minimal crew will remain on site at the mine to maintain essential activities, guard against environmental damage and sanitize the mine site, camp and equipment.
It says the closure of the Canada-U.S. border to non-essential travel means no additional members of the workforce are likely to be required to enter isolation due to travel.
The company reported production of 257,000 ounces of gold from Rainy River in 2019.
New Gold says its New Afton Mine near Kamloops, B.C., continues to operate at normal levels with a minimal proportion of the workforce in self-isolation.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2020.
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The Canadian Press