The Financial Post reports in its Saturday edition that mining companies have already experienced outbreaks of COVID-19 at their sites, contained infections and faced close calls, yet operations are already scaling up in Canada. The Post's Gabriel Friedman writes that Quebec has joined Ontario and British Columbia in designating mining as "essential." It means that mines across the province, including gold mines near Val d'Or, are gradually reopening. Still, there have been objections to the restart of mining in Quebec. Ghislain Picard, chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec and Labrador, said that the restart feels "too soon," and he would like to have seen the infection curve flatten more. Chief Picard said that several dozen indigenous communities have shut down access to outsiders in an effort to keep the virus out, but mines where work forces are being flown in pose new threats. Tony Makuch, who runs Kirkland Lake Gold, which operates mines near the Quebec-Ontario border, said the restrictions on interprovincial travel have reduced the available work force. As a result, the company is still mining, but it has had to postpone major operations, including the sinking of a new shaft at its Macassa mine.
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