Canadian company Telson Mining has announced the resumption of activities at its Campo Morado zinc-lead operation in Mexico, following a decision by the Mexican Government to classify mining work as “essential”, exempting it from the lockdown rules that have suspended many businesses in the wake of Covid-19.

Work was originally suspended at the mine in April due to concerns that the close proximity of mineworkers to one another, and the difficulties with enforcing sanitation measures in underground environments, would help encourage the spread of Covid-19 among miners. However, with a new raft of safety measures in place at the mine, including stricter hygiene requirements and employee screening, and the fact that, prior to the shutdown, not a single Campo Morado employee tested positive for Covid-19, Telson is optimistic that it can restart operations safely.

“With the strict health protocols recently developed and implemented at the Campo Morado mine site and throughout our organisation, we are confident that we will be able to maintain continuous mining operations at Campo Morado while minimising the risk and exposure to Covid-19 virus,” said president and CEO Ralph Shearing.

Prior to the closure, the mine was processing between 1,900 and 2,200 tons of ore per day, and had produced 2,900 tonnes of zinc concentrate which had been left at the mine site, ready for shipping. While the miner is eager to resume both processing and shipping operations, it remains to be seen if production at the facility can recover to pre-lockdown levels. When the lockdown was first implemented, Telson announced plans to cut its Campo Morado workforce by an unspecified figure to comply with the regulations, and the miner has announced no intention to replace the lost jobs.