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Mining company speaks about operations during COVID-19

Kinross Gold Corporation, the owner of Round Mountain Gold Mine, one of the largest employers in Nye County, said that there were no recorded cases of COVID-19 among its employees to date.

Emily Hendrickson, Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist at Round Mountain Gold Corporation, said that operations continue at Kinross’ Round Mountain mine while the company implements precautions to help protect employees and communities from COVID-19.

“We are continuing to closely monitor this situation, and have implemented several additional health and safety precautions,” Hendrickson said.

Some of these precautions include social distancing requirements, increased sanitation, moving to virtual meetings, adjusting work schedules to reduce contact between employees, limiting nonessential visitors, and screening all individuals accessing the site.

The state of Nevada ordered to close all “nonessential businesses” in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, however, Hendrickson said that mining has been declared “essential business” by the state, and Kinross Round Mountain is currently fully operational.

“We are maintaining our current workforce, but have instituted schedule adjustments to reduce contact between employees. For example, our warehouse employees are working in two separate shifts of 7-on, 7-off so that one crew does not come into contact with the other. If an employee on crew A were to test positive or be exposed to someone who had, we would still have a fully functional crew B,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson said the company is working closely with local, state, and federal entities to ensure that it is following protocols to protect the health and safety of our employees and communities.

“In the community, we are collaborating with multiple entities and organizations to provide support, particularly in the areas of health and safety, small business assistance, and social services,” Hendrickson said.

“The health and safety of our employees and their families remain the highest priority for Kinross. We remain focused on our priorities, including putting people first, so that everyone goes home safely every day,” she added.

Kinross already has response plans in place if an employee tests positive, Hendrickson said.

These plans include sending the employee home and immediate isolation protocols if the person was at the site when informed of positive test results; deep disinfection and cleaning of the affected areas of the mine site; and identification of others who may have come in contact with a person who tested positive.

The plan also includes immediately notifying and working closely with the appropriate health authorities.

Kinross Round Mountain contributes approximately $28 million in public state and local taxes each year, and in 2019, it contributed just under $600,000 in monetary and in-kind donations to its local communities, Hendrickson said.

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