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Operations scaled down at Black Fox Mine in Timmins

McEwen Mining said freeze will stay in place for 14 days
McEwen Mining operates the Black Fox Mine, east of Timmins. (Len Gillis photo)

McEwen Mining said operations at its Black Fox gold mine just outside of Timmins will be scaled back over the next two weeks as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.

On March 26, the Toronto-based mining company said it had made the decision in order to protect the health of workers, their families, and the nearby communities in which they operate.

The directive also impacts the company’s Gold Bar Mine in Nevada.

“Certain production and exploration activities will continue at Gold Bar in areas where social distancing can be observed, including ore crushing, irrigation of the heap leach pad, and operation of the process plant,” the statement reads. 

“At Black Fox, we expect to continue development activities related to the Froome access ramp.

“Both sites will continue to be minimally staffed to ensure safety, security and environmental compliance. Our projects in Mexico are continuing to operate normally.”

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Black Fox Mine produced 35,700 gold ounces in 2019.

Its resource includes 1.407 million equivalent gold ounces in the indicated category, 232,000 equivalent gold ounces in the inferred category, and 89,000 equivalent gold ounces in the probably category.

It's part of the larger Black Fox Complex, which includes the Froome, Grey Fox and Tamarack deposits, along with the Stock Mill and the former Stock Mine.

Operations at the complex have produced 1,057,000 ounces of gold since 1989.

The company is led by chair and chief owner Rob McEwen, who owns 20 per cent of the shares.