Baffinland Confirms COVID-19 at Mary River


May 2, 2021

MARY RIVER, NU, May 2, 2021 – Rigorous screening conducted by Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation (“Baffinland”) between April 26th and 30th identified a cluster of presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Subsequent testing performed by Nunavut Public Health confirmed nine cases of COVID-19 at the Mary River Project.

The affected workers and any individuals identified through contact tracing as potential close contacts are in isolation. Health and safety remain a top priority for Baffinland and it continues to work closely with Nunavut Public Health. The recent rise in cases and incidents of more easily transmissible variants of COVID-19 across Canada has been considered in Baffinland’s preparations for such an eventuality at Mary River. It has developed a number of protocols to help manage the potential threat of this virus at site. This is the first incident of transmission at the Mary River Project.

The Mary River Project continues to operate with no contact between Nunavut communities and its fly-in/fly-out workforce, as has been the case since last year when Nunavummiut employees were returned to their home communities. Baffinland’s current COVID-19 health and safety measures at Mary River include, but are not limited to:

  • Pre-travel COVID-19 screening requirements;
  • Separated and assigned seating in our departure terminals;
  • Two mandatory on-site tests, 5 days apart, for every person arriving at site, via two COVID-19 PCR testing labs;
  • A fully prepared isolation wing and trained medical personnel on site;
  • Mandatory mask-wearing at all times;
  • Enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols for all high-touch surfaces;
  • Increased availability of hand sanitizers;
  • Changes to indoor areas to accommodate physical distancing at all times, including single-direction traffic flow and 2m/6ft floor markings; and
  • Regularly available, no-cost, virtual or telephone access to mental health support to assist all employees and their family’s in coping with COVID-19.

Additional health and safety measures have been put in place to reduce the potential for any further transmission of COVID-19 during this time, including closing of all public areas such as cafeterias and moving to take out meals only, moving all site-based office workers to remote work conditions, and delaying any non-essential travel to and from site, including scheduled shift changes, to conduct further detection screening. Supplies continue to be delivered to the site as usual.   

For any media inquiries:
Baffinland Iron Mines
Heather Smiles
Manager Stakeholder Relations
(T): +1 416 702 5553
media@baffinland.com

About Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation
Jointly owned by The Energy and Minerals Group and ArcelorMittal, Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation operates a high-grade iron ore mine located on Baffin Island, Nunavut. The Mary River Mine produces the highest grade of direct shipping iron ore in the world. Baffinland is committed to operating in an environmentally and socially responsible manner that benefits all stakeholders. Learn more at baffinland.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.