Gahcho Kué temporarily stops production due to growing COVID-19 outbreak

Testing has identified six new presumptive cases at the mine.

A digital recreation of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. (Photo courtesy of Creative Commons)

Medical staff at Gahcho Kué mine have identified six new presumptive cases of COVID-19.

This is in addition to the two confirmed cases identified last week, when Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola declared an outbreak at the mine.

Health officials have sent confirmatory tests for analysis at Stanton Territorial Hospital.

According to a public health notice, all individuals with confirmed or presumptive cases are isolating on-site and doing well.

A news release sent by De Beers says 47 new contacts are also in quarantine.

These cases are also in addition to the two confirmed cases at the winter road worksite, but health officials say the two outbreaks are unrelated.

With the growing number of cases, De Beers has decided to temporarily stop operations at the main mine site.

“The health and safety of our employees and contractors are our first priority so we made the immediate decision to stop mining and processing of ore effective Saturday, February 6, until we determine a safe path forward,” said Lyndon Clark, the mine’s manager, in an emailed statement.

He added that only employees conducting “essential services” at the mine will be allowed to leave their rooms.

There are 335 people currently at the mine site.

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis was a reporter with CKLB from January 2019 to March 2023. In his time with CKLB, he had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures.