Philex Mining Corporation reported that it has partially resumed underground operations at its Padcal Minesite, at 50 percent operational capacity, after its previously-declared temporary suspension.
The suspension was done to implement measures to avoid the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 to its employees and their families living within the minesite.
The Company said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange that it expects operational capacity to jump up to 90 percent in the next 3 days.
This comes after 779 employees who tested negative in the expanded swab testing conducted by the Company and the 8 patients who recovered from the 151 total positive cases in the Minesite.
This brings the total number of active cases in the Minesite to 143, consisting of both employees and from the community.
Most of the affected employees were from underground operations and Management has strictly implemented minimum health standards as well as occupational health and safety protocols with the resumption of mine operations.
This same level of adherence and enforcement is likewise being implemented in surface operations.
Contact tracing continues to be implemented to properly and immediately identify employees and their dependents who may have had close contact with the COVID-19 patients.
The Minesite has isolation quarantine facilities and emergency quarantine facilities that currently house majority of the active cases. Total bed capacity of 135 will be increased by 200 in the coming days.
The management has undertaken a massive campaign to implement more stringent measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the Minesite.
These include, among others, the proper wearing and disposal of facemasks and face shields, the strict observance of social distancing at all times, the full implementation of a 24-hour curfew and restriction of movement outside of residence, a strict inspection and disinfection procedure at the main gate, as well as disinfection activities in all work areas.(James A. Loyola)_