Following a 14-day suspension of operations, New Gold has begun a ramp-up of its Rainy River open-pit mine in northwestern Ontario.
The Toronto mid-tier miner previously announced on March 20 that production was being stopped to adhere to provincial and federal COVID-19 guidelines related to out-of-country travel by a large portion of its local workforce.
Many employees at the mine, located 50 kilometres northwest of Fort Frances, often go across the border into Minnesota as part of their normal routine.
In an April 3 news release, the company said the ramp-up will take place over the coming weeks with extra precautionary measures being taken to slowly reintroduce workers.
The locally-based workforce will be brought back first followed by its rotational employees.
Throughout this period, New Gold said they remain in constant contact with the Northwestern Health Unit to ensure compliance with all provincial regulations and measures related to COVID-19.
During the shutdown, a small crew was left on site to ensure there were no adverse environmental problems at the mine, to maintain the mill and equipment, and stockpile ore for the mill.
The company said more operational details will emerge by mid-April.
Rainy River Mine management said it will work with surrounding Indigenous and local communities to implement and coordinate actions that will reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19.
In related company news, New Gold finalized a previously announced financing deal with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to raise $300 million for their New Afton Mine in British Columbia.