Guidance for COVID-19

Last updated: September 20, 2021

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Direction from the Chief Inspector of Mines

The Chief Inspector of Mines has directed mine managers to follow interim measures to support direction given by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO).

Guidance for industrial camps

By order of the PHO, employers in the natural resource sector that provide accommodation at their industrial camps must follow WorkSafeBC's communicable disease prevention guidance.

Mines Act reporting and compliance

Requirements remain in effect for the:

  • Mines Act
  • Health, Safety and Reclamation Code
  • Permit requirements

We expect all reasonable measures to be taken to comply.

Time extension order – mineral titles

The Chief Gold Commissioner has extended the time limit for the following until December 31, 2021:

  • Registering a statement of exploration and development
  • Registering a revised expiry date
  • Registering a rental payment

More details about the Order and which mineral and placer mineral titles are affected by the Order can be found on the Mineral Titles Branch webpage.

Guidance to mining and smelting operations

The PHO issued orders restricting mass gatherings of more than 50 people. While mine sites are not considered to be gatherings of more than 50 people, all mines must still follow the public health order on mass gatherings. 

The PHO is directing all mines and smelters to take additional precautions to minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission and illness to their employees, and has provided the following directions for day-to-day production and site operations:

  • Reduce the number of on-site personnel by encouraging work from home where feasible
  • Daily pre-shift safety meetings (toolbox meetings) affecting more than 50 people are to be held in smaller numbers or via other media, such as by phone or video conferencing
  • In-person town-hall meetings used to address the whole site must be avoided for groups of more than 50 people. Communication should continue in smaller groups or via other means
  • Where possible, employees should maintain a distance of two metres from each other. This distancing is as important outside of work hours as it is during work hours
  • Post signage that limits the number of occupants in any elevator to four people at a time
  • Reduce in‐person meetings and gatherings
  • Where feasible, hold site meetings in open spaces or outside
  • Increase the number of hand washing stations, post signage that identifies their location
  • Maintain a list of employees who are currently working on site, update this list daily
  • All common areas and surfaces are to be cleaned as needed, and at the end of each shift. Examples include: 
    • Washrooms
    • Shared offices
    • Common tables
    • Desks
    • Light switches
    • Door handles
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms that can be managed at home, self-isolate at home for at least 10 days after onset of symptoms. After 10 days, if your temperature is normal and you feel better, you can return to your routine activities
  • Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate at home for 14 days
  • Given the ongoing federal quarantine requirements and travel restrictions, visitors must be essential to the mine site’s operation

These requirements also pertain to transportation to and from mines. All employees are reminded to follow the direction for physical distancing when off site.

Review the guidance from the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control: