Nunavut mine confirms new case of COVID-19

Agnico Eagle says risk of transmission from its Meliadine mine to nearby Rankin Inlet is “very low’

Agnico Eagle said a southern-based employee of its Meliadine mine site, pictured here, tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 17 and has since been flow off-site. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

This story was updated to included information provided by Agnico on Friday, Nov. 20.

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. is reporting a new case of COVID-19 at its Meliadine mine site in Nunavut.

The mining company said that an employee working at the mine site, located just outside Rankin Inlet, tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

The employee flew to the mine site earlier that same day on Agnico Eagle’s charter plane, which departed from Mirabel airport in Montreal, and was tested at a stopover at the company’s lab in Val d’Or.

As per the company’s protocols, the individual was isolated on site and then flown out later the same day, Agnico Eagle said in a Nov. 18 email to Nunatsiaq News.

Contact tracing identified nine other employees who may have been in contact with the individual in question; they were isolated and then flown off-site on Nov. 18, the company said.

“The risk of transmission to the community of Rankin Inlet is very low,” Agnico Eagle said of the mine’s closest community, which has reported eight active cases of the virus over the last week.

“The isolation of the Meliadine mine remains a priority, including during the transportation of employees to site, in order to continue protecting the communities.”

To date, Meliadine has seen a total of five confirmed cases of COVID-19. Three of those are now considered recovered.

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(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by It’s Time on

    I think it’s time for mining companies to stop, at least for 3 or 4 weeks. Mining companies have had positive cases throughout the pandemic but have always continued to operate. The Kivalliq Region, where Agnico has 2 operations, has many cases and the entire territory shuts down for 2 weeks. Regardless of risk of transmission being, its time to stop operation for at least 2 weeks, longer would be great but at least 2 weeks.

    • Posted by Concerned member of the public on

      All the mines have very good programs in place to handle the risk of Covid that are far more stringent than anywhere in Canada. There should be no concern for the mines to shut down.

    • Posted by Observer on

      Shutting the mines down for two weeks will do absolutely nothing because the workers are fly-in/fly out. Aside from that one outbreak at Hope Bay, all the positives have been from people coming in.

  2. Posted by just inuk on

    Lock down for Nunavut, means Lock Down! This also means all mines in Nunavut.

    Nunavut Government,Govern your Land stop being puppets! Put your foot Down! Stop all charted flights going into the mines!

    • Posted by Bemused on

      “Something bad is happening in a community! Blame the mines!”

      • Posted by Same ol’ Same ol’ on

        Hilarious! But so true… every ill the mines doing… somehow!

  3. Posted by I live in the Arctic on

    how about confirming covid free before flying them out, what is this company doing?

  4. Posted by Amaruq on

    Whether the test results outcome! Stay Home!

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