Impala Canada Provides Update on COVID-19

Lac Des Iles Mine
Lac Des Iles Mine Photo: Adam Lach for Sandvik

LDI Team Member has Passed Away April 24, 2020

THUNDER BAY – Erin Satterthwaite, VP Corporate Affairs and Communications, Impala Canada report, “As of April 27th at 12 pm, there are 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19 directly connected to LDI. In each case, symptoms occurred sometime between April 3rd and April 20th. We are pleased to note 13 of these cases are now considered resolved, meaning 14 days have passed since the onset of symptoms. These team members are feeling well.”

As communicated by the TBDHU on Friday, April 24th, a Thunder Bay resident passed away late last week due to complications from COVID-19.

“We are deeply sorry to confirm this individual was an LDI team member. He was respected by his fellow coworkers, who remember him as being full of life, despite underlying health conditions. We send our deepest sympathies to his wife, children and family, to his immediate crew and to his entire community. Compassion for one another and for our community will help steer us through this time of sorrow,” says Satterthwaite. “This terrible sadness weighs heavily on all of us at LDI, as it does for people across the entire Thunder Bay region. As we navigate the days ahead, we are once again reminded of the seriousness of this global pandemic. Today marks the end of self-isolation for members of our team who exited LDI on Monday, April 13th, provided that they have no symptoms and did not test positive for COVID-19. We must all continue to play our part, whether at home, on-site or in continued self- isolation”.

The LDI mine has been in official care and maintenance mode since Monday, April 13th where it will remain for the time being. A deep and comprehensive sanitization of the LDI camp was completed.

“Today, we are conducting a shift change to rotate the care and maintenance crew. The replacement crew of fewer than 50 people had absolutely no contact with the departing crew. All existing pandemic response protocols will be strictly followed, including expanded screening for symptoms and a daily temperature check. The replacement crew consists of individuals on our team with personal, family and community circumstances that are least vulnerable to the risks associated with COVID-19,” adds Satterthwaite. “The health and safety of our team, their families and community is our first priority and we will only re-start operations when we are confident it is safe to do so. The province of Ontario continues to operate under a State of Emergency, which has been extended until May 12th. This fact, coupled with the health and safety of our employees and our ability to provide a safe work environment, will be key factors in determining a date to resume operations. As all considerations are discussed, we will continue to closely collaborate with public health authorities and communicate with all our stakeholders, including local Indigenous communities”.

Impala Canada Actions to Combat COVID-19

As an active member of our community, we are acutely aware that we all continue to be in this global pandemic together:

The LDI team delivered emergency preparedness supplies to the Fort William First Nation, Gull Bay First Nation, and White Sand First Nation. We are currently working with the Gull Bay First Nation to help secure additional medical supplies/PPE.

Impala Canada has ordered 5,000 facial masks (non-medical) and will be delivering these masks to local Indigenous communities and Thunder Bay community organizations, as well as to our employees and families, over the next few weeks.

Courageous frontline health care providers are putting their lives on the line every day to care for others. Impala Canada supported these efforts with a $25,000 to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

In March, when it became clear that food security, poverty and isolation would become even more pressing issues, Impala Canada responded with a $10,000 donation to the Regional Food Distribution Association of Thunder Bay. The funds are supporting numerous foodbanks and soup kitchens across our region.

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