Hudbay Flin Flon mill shuts down temporarily for maintenance, COVID-19 case shifts schedule

Hudbay’s Flin Flon mill is wrapping up a five-day maintenance shutdown that was hastened by a COVID-19 case at the mill and several close contacts needing to self-isolate.

The company confirmed the shutdown and the discovery of the COVID-19 case to The Reminder late last week, adding that Hudbay had planned to have a short-term mill stoppage to allow for maintenance work before the employee was reported sick.

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“A planned five-day maintenance shutdown at the Flin Flon mill, scheduled to start on June 7, has been brought forward. We are carefully monitoring the situation and wish all impacted a quick recovery. We do not expect any material impact on production as a result,” reads one statement made to The Reminder by a Hudbay spokesperson June 4.

“An employee from the Flin Flon mill recently tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed in isolation, as have the other eight members of the operating crew in the interests of safety.”

When asked for more details, the spokesperson told The Reminder that the shutdown was originally meant to allow scheduled work at the mill, that it would last for five days and that no change in production was expected.

“The planned five-day maintenance shutdown at the Flin Flon mill was brought forward as it allows us to conduct scheduled work, while we monitor affected employees without impacting production. One member of the operational crew tested positive for COVID-19, while the others have been placed in isolation due to being identified as close contacts by public health,” reads a spokesperson’s statement.

“We encourage all of our employees to receive regular asymptomatic testing at our facilities in Flin Flon and Snow Lake. Testing is available to all employees and any member of the community who wishes to be tested. All out-of-province workers and those that stay at the Snow Lake camp are required to be tested.”

Hudbay confirmed that as of June 7, six employees in Hudbay’s Manitoba operations - centred at Flin Flon and Snow Lake - remain as active COVID-19 cases and all six are in isolation.

“We can confirm that as of June 7, there are 6 positive COVID-19 cases at our Manitoba operations. Keeping our employees and our local communities safe during this time remains a focus and in addition to closely monitoring the situation and reinforcing our enhanced protocols in place, we had nearly 100 employees in our Flin Flon operations participate in asymptomatic COVID-19 testing over the weekend. We continue to encourage all employees to get vaccinated if they can,” said the spokesperson.

“Our focus remains on keeping our employees, their families and our local communities safe. We are carefully monitoring the situation and will continue to reinforce our enhanced protocols we have in place to reduce the risk of further spread of COVID-19.”

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