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Sudbury miners who attended PDAC working from home, say companies

Vale, Glencore taking precautions as COVID-19 pandemic worsens
(Vale photo)

Glencore and Vale have a small number of employees — those who attended the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference — working from home.

Neither company would put a number on how many employees are self-isolating.

An employee with the Willet Green Miller Centre tested positive for COVID-19, as reported by Public Health Sudbury and Districts on Wednesday. He contracted the virus when he attended PDAC. The man, in his 50s, is self-isolating at home.

Having Glencore employees who attended the mining conference in Toronto work from home is a precautionary measure, as there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported within the workforce, said Yonaniko Grenon, a spokesperson with the company.

It's a similar situation at Vale, said spokesperson Danica Pagnutti.

“All Vale employees that attended PDAC are being advised to work from home until after the March Break to satisfy the anticipated incubation period, and we have restricted all non-essential work travel, consistent with global health authority travel advisories,” Pagnutti wrote in an email.

She said Vale's Clean AER building is now a general administration office for multiple departments, including the miner's exploration team members, some of whom attended PDAC. 

“Upon learning about an individual from Sudbury that attended PDAC testing positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, Vale’s exploration team sought guidance from the Public Health Sudbury and Districts and implemented some additional precautionary cleaning measures at their worksites. 

“The building was closed on Wednesday evening for cleaning and employees worked from home or at other Vale sites until the cleaning was completed this morning. As an added precaution, Vale is currently working to enhance the level of cleaning at all of our workplaces.” reached out to MineConnect, formerly known as SAMSAA, as well, asking how the city's massive multi-million dollar mining supply and service sector is reacting to the pandemic and what impact COVID-19 is having on the business sector. However, MineConnect director Paul Bradette said, at this point, they have not reached out to members to see how they are managing the pandemic.