Nunavik’s two mines each report COVID-19 cases

Glencore Raglan and Canadian Royalties employees will be flown off site by air ambulance

Raglan employees disembark from the Boeing 737 that transports them to the Nunavik mine site. (Photo courtesy of Glencore Raglan)

By Sarah Rogers

Each of Nunavik’s two operating mines reported that one of their staff members tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

Glencore Raglan said it received a positive test result Oct. 20 from an on-site employee–the first confirmed COVID-19 case at the nickel mine.

The individual, who is not a resident of Nunavik, was immediately placed in isolation and will be evacuated by the mine’s Airmedic service this week, Glencore said. Other employees who may have come into contact with the individual have been put in preventive isolation.

All of Raglan’s employees are tested for COVID-19 when they arrive on site, in addition to any screening they might get before they board their flights.

As an extra measure, the mine’s Nunavik employees have to be tested again before they leave the mine site to return to their communities.

Then, on Oct. 22, Canadian Royalties’ Nunavik Nickel reported that an employee at its expo site tested positive for the virus. That’s the second case that mine has seen.

The company said the employee will also be medevaced off the mine site as soon as possible, while they track any other contacts the individual might have had with co-workers.

But Canadian Royalties said the employee had not been in close contact with any workers from Nunavik.

Both Raglan and Nunavik Nickel closed in March in response to the pandemic, and reopened in April.

But Nunavimmiut employed at both mines only just got the green light to return to work at either site in September, after a six-month leave from work.

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