BHP enacting anti-COVID-19 measures, reducing activity at Jansen site

JANSEN — BHP has made changes at its Jansen potash mine project to adapt to the new reality brought on by the pandemic.

Changes to transportation arrangements, conduct of meetings and camp life are in place to ensure social distancing and increased hygiene practices.

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“The health, safety and well-being of our personnel and our communities is our primary concern and we have been implementing measures to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in our offices and at the Jansen Potash Project site and nearby communities,” said Giles Hellyer, the vice-president of operations for BHP Potash, in a media release.

The mining company has reduced activity within the production and service shafts, where the final liners are being installed. They are focusing on one shaft at a time with reduced crews.

“This will reduce the number of contractors and the need for out-of-province workers on site, with the strict COVID-19 emergency measures in place,” BHP said.

BHP said it has implemented an accelerated payment program to support First Nations, Métis and local community businesses and communities in Saskatchewan during the pandemic.

“We also know this is a very difficult time for the local business community and we must look out for each other to manage through this together,” Hellyer said. “That’s why we’ve brought in faster payment measures to help bridge the gap for our local business partners and support for communities during these unprecedented events.”

The measures are expected by BHP to deliver approximately $3 million more quickly into the hands of their small business partners through a reduction in payment terms to seven days (from 30 days) for six months and an immediate payment of outstanding invoices to their Indigenous and local community business partners.

“By continuing with some reduced activity on site, we can continue to provide some employment and support for the local economy. However, this is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to be aligned with provincial and federal responses as they evolve,” Hellyer said.

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