Philex, Apex suspend mining operations
Total positive cases are at 26, where most of the affected employees are from the underground mining operations.
Philex, Apex suspend mining operations
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - October 28, 2020 - 12:00am

Workers test positive for COVID-19

MANILA, Philippines — Philex Mining Corp. and Apex Mining Co. Inc. have suspended operations in their mine sites after some employees tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a regulatory filing, Pangilinan-led Philex said it temporarily suspended its underground operations for at least two days to implement measures to minimize the risk of community transmission among its employees and the community within the Padcal mine site in Tuba, Benguet.

Total positive cases are at 26, where most of the affected employees are from the underground mining operations.

Philex said employees were immediately isolated, quarantined and given medical assistance in accordance with the guidelines set by the government.

Some employees were isolated and quarantined in the medical and isolation facilities within the mine site, while some were sent to Baguio General Hospital for proper medical management.

Philex is now conducting mass testing on all of its 1,000 employees in Padcal.

Further, contact tracing has been implemented to identify employees and their dependents who may have had close contact with the COVID-19 positive individuals.

Apex has likewise suspended its operations in Sangilo after some employees tested positive for COVID-19.

In a regulatory filing, Apex said its Sangilo mine owned by its subsidiary Itogon-Suyoc Resources Inc. has been included in the localized lockdown order issued by the barangay chairman of Poblacion in Benguet.

As of Oct. 26, more than 80 COVID-19 positive cases have been recorded in the mine site.

Management is still awaiting all results of the swab tests conducted by the Rural Health Unit.

Apex said it has doubled up on its mitigation measures, disinfecting all the areas where the COVID cases were identified.

The mining firm’s containment facility is also ready to accommodate patients. Apex is seeking assistance from the local government unit to conduct mass testing among its employees in the mine site.

Operation will resume upon completion of contact tracing and swab testing, and only those with negative results will be allowed to return to work.

Apex has yet to determine the potential impact of COVID-related developments to its operations and financial results.

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