Agnico Eagle reports that on January 8, 2021, an employee working at its Meliadine mine near Rankin Inlet, Nunavut tested positive for COVID-19. The result was confirmed by an accredited laboratory on January 13, 2021.

The individual was tested prior to arriving to site on December 24th and the result was negative. In accordance with Agnico Eagle’s protocol, the individual was retested after three and five days on site. On both occasions, the tests were negative despite the testing facility’s ability to detect the presence of the virus even if the person does not show any symptoms. On January 8, 2021, the employee started to develop mild COVID-19 symptoms and was immediately placed in isolation. The employee presumptively tested positive on the same day. In accordance with the Company’s isolation protocols, the individual was isolated on site until being extracted on a special charter flight on January 8th.

The tracing exercise identified 11 employees that may have been in contact with the individual. The Company’s extraction protocol was activated, and protective measures were put in place to prevent potential contamination. The eleven people identified as potential contacts were re-tested and all results came back negative. They remained in isolation at the mine site until being extracted from the site on January 8th on a special charter flight. Mandatory masks and hygiene protocols were also followed during the extraction protocol. They have been instructed to follow the recommendations of their provincial health authorities and will be re-tested prior to returning to site.

As a preventive measure, all employees on site were re-tested on January 9th and all the results were negative. Consequently, there is no evidence that the employee could have been contagious since the employee was most likely in the incubation period and since all preventive measures were respected during transportation and on site. Although contamination risk is deemed low, common areas (gym, smoke shacks and recreational room) have been closed for extensive cleaning and disinfection. We are working closely with Nunavut’s Office of the Chief Public Health Officer and we are following their recommendations.

The risk of transmission to the community of Rankin Inlet is very low. The Meliadine mine implemented precautionary measures in March to isolate itself from the community, including by having its Nunavummiut workers stay at home with 75% of their base salary to eliminate the potential risk of transmission of COVID-19 into the communities. The isolation of the Meliadine mine remains a priority, including during the transportation of employees to site, in order to continue protecting the communities.