Despite the complete containment decreed by the provincial government late on January 6, the Quebec Mining Association (QMA) welcomed the declaration of the continuation of mining operations.
This exemption for the industry is the product of stringent steps introduced by the mining industry to restrict the spread of Covid-19 on mining sites, the association says.
To crack down on the second wave of the pandemic being faced in Canada, Quebec has announced new Covid-related restrictions that include a night-time curfew and the closing of certain non-essential workplaces.
On January 6, Quebec reported 2,641 new Covid-19 cases, the average daily rate of new cases since December 25. The new steps will continue to take effect until 8 February.
As occupational health and safety has always been a vital part of mining activities, the QMA highlights that businesses have been controlling operations and procedures to restrict the spread of the virus. To perform screening tests, several firms also have their own labs.
“Nothing has been left to chance in the mining industry and, by allowing the mines to continue production, the government recognises that the actions taken by the industry have paid off, as evidenced by the small number of cases on mining work teams,” the association says.
The QMA adds that the mining sector has always tried to ensure Quebec and other regions’ socio-economic stability, which is why the government has listed it as one of the main sectors for economic recovery.