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Rainy River Mine

Last updated on May 5, 2021

The Rainy River Mine has shared action plans and preventative measures being implemented, while seeking and considering input from our employees, contractors, and communities to ensure we are delivering responsive actions consistent with broader efforts.

CBC National Interview on New Gold Rapid COVID-19 Testing at Rainy River

At our Rainy River Mine we have implemented a number of measures including, but not limited to:

Site-Wide Practices:

  • Management continues to consult with local government officials and Indigenous communities to incorporate and coordinate actions that will mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
  • The Biomeme SARS-CoV Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests and rapid mobile detection platforms, approved by Health Canada, were implemented in July 2020 as a tool for initial screening of our workforce, adding another level of protection against the transmission of COVID-19. 
  • The COVID-19 on-site RT-PCR tests are conducted in the following conditions:
    • An employee/contractor/visitor on New Gold business volunteers for a test
    • An employee/contractor/visitor on New Gold business with symptoms of COVID-19 is flagged for a test
    • An employee/contractor/visitor on New Gold business has travelled outside the Northwestern Health Unit Region in the last five days
  • Individuals with positive results from the on-site RT-PCR testing are directed to take a second test administered by the North Western Health Unit (NWHU), which confirms the result with a separate test. 
  • We have implemented the use of contact tracing by our team as well as through Public Health to isolate any infected individuals and limit further exposure. 
  • We have partnered with Seven Generations Educational Institute to provide community-based testing in the Rainy River area, including in the local Indigenous communities.  
  • We have implemented a Consent to Disclose Personal Health Information form in which employees/contractors/visitors who receive a COVID-19 rapid test consent to sharing their result with the Nurse Practitioner on site. While authorization is voluntary, the personal health information is used by New Gold to address health and safety concerns within the workplace, to perform timely sanitization of affected work areas, to ensure safe entry to the worksite and to determine eligibility for workplace benefits, where applicable. 
  • Employees and contractors who are members of communities serviced by the Fort Frances Tribal Area Health Services (FFTAHS) are offered the opportunity for voluntary referral and monitoring by FFTAHS community nurses for 14 days if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • Developed a screening protocol for day and night shifts that requires all employees and contractors to be screened at least once at the beginning of their scheduled rotation. Those individuals flagged in the screening process will receive further assessment by our on-site Nurse Practitioner. The screening protocol has been explained to all of employees and contractors. 
  • Employees with incomplete screening process in their rotational shifts, have their site access badge disabled as a measure to ensure that they are screened upon returning to site.
  • Specific screening protocols are implemented for personnel coming from outside Northwestern Health Unit Region of Ontario. 
  • Specific screening protocols are implemented for personnel with healthcare professionals in their household.
  • Higher volume screening days (i.e., Mondays, Wednesdays), the screening process is relocated to the Fire Hall and physical distancing guidelines are practiced at all times.  
  • An online screening questionnaire has been implemented that employees can complete prior to arriving on site to improve efficiency by decreasing wait times and lowering high-touch areas.
  • A QR code has been developed so employees can scan the code to access the screening questionnaire. 
  • Posters have been posted at site and camp to raise awareness about self-monitoring and self-isolation practices, proper hand washing and mandatory face masks.
  • A COVID-19 information resource hub for employees has been created on our internal Intranet site, including information about health and safety and benefits. 
  • We partnered with Fort Frances Tribal Area Health Services to promote the flu vaccination and its importance during a pandemic. Offered the flu vaccine on site for free to employees and contractors.
  • We have secured a supply of surface wipes, sanitizing sprays, hand sanitizers, soaps, dispensers, which employees will use to sanitize their workstations and equipment.
  • The Supply Chain Department is in regular contact with our suppliers to mitigate any potential disruption to our PPE inventory.
  • Physical distancing strategies have been implemented, such as staggered lunch breaks, holding smaller crew meetings, posting maximum occupancy notices for individual offices and meeting spaces, and relocating employees that regularly share an office into available empty offices. 
  • Signs are spaced around conference room tables to remind employees of proper physical distancing during meetings.
  • Modified recruitment, onboarding, and training to enable proper physical distancing.
  • Distribution of washable masks for employees began on April 24th. Employees are required to wear their mask when 6ft/2m physical distancing is not possible. Mask care instructions provided with each individual kit.

Camp Practices:

  • Mandatory hand washing and sanitization before entering dining hall facility.
  • Access to dining hall is limited to a maximum 20 minutes.
  • Maximum reduced capacity in dining hall is limited to 56 employees, monitored by security personnel.
  • Implemented mandatory physical distancing of six feet between employees.
  • Maximum three guests per table at a time.
  • High touch points are sanitized every 30 minutes.
  • Tables cleaned and sanitized after each seating. Guests must turn the card from “clean” to “to be sanitized” after they finish their meals.
  • Salads, desserts and “Grab and Go” items are individually wrapped. Self-serve items are no longer available until further notice.
  • No socializing is currently permitted in the common areas.
  • Gym usage is limited to a maximum of three people per hour with advance reservation. Camp guests are required to sign and acknowledge a waiver with care instructions before entering and using on-site facilities.
  • Weekly monitoring provided by Nurse Practitioner at the main gate office, which is mandatory for all employees and subcontractors.
  • Masks are mandatory on-site and availability of company transportation, when unable to maintain physical distance.
  • Gloves available for employees and cooks are required to change their gloves every ten minutes, and all serving utensils will be rotated every ten minutes.

Transportation Practices:

  • The daily employee coach service to site has resumed on both the East and West District bus lines effective July 8, 2020.
  • Individuals choosing to use the bus service must follow strict guidelines:
    • Passengers are required to wear masks.
    • Passengers are required to fill the bus starting from the back row to the front, while boarding the bus. 
    • The bus will be emptied from front to back while disembarking the bus. 
    • Hand sanitizer is provided at the entrance of the bus to use when entering and exiting the bus. 
    • Passengers should call the Nurse Practitioner on-site and are strictly advised not to ride the bus: 
      • If they are feeling sick or presenting with symptoms of cold/flu/COVID-19
      • If they have been in direct contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19
      • If they are required to self-isolate by a medical practitioner or Public Health. 
  • Shared strategies for workers to protect themselves if they are carpooling in a personal vehicle.

Employee & Family Support:

  • The New Gold’s Employee Assistance Program offered through LifeWorks is available to support our employees and their families related to mental, physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
  • The 'Not Myself Today' program is available to support employee mental health and connect them to resources.
  • Human Resources provides regular communications to employees regarding benefits and mental health supports to increase awareness.

Please email us here if you have any

We all can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. We encourage everyone to abide by the Health Canada basic protective measures against the virus, via this link.

Health Agency Updates