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Quebec miners start to digest provincial government's COVID-19 directives

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(Kitco News) - Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) announced Tuesday it is suspending operations at Casa Berardi until April 13, 2020 to comply with the Government of Quebec’s COVID-19 orders.

Casa Berardi, which produced 134,409 gold ounces in 2019, will have limited operations.

“The Government of Quebec ordered the mining industry to reduce to minimum operations as part of the fight against the COVID-19 virus, so we are suspending our Casa Berardi operations,” said Phillips S. Baker, Jr., Hecla’s President and CEO. “We do not have a case of COVID-19, so we are disappointed for our workers and their families, our suppliers and other stakeholders that we have had to take this action. We look forward to Casa Berardi resuming normal operations as soon as possible.”

Hecala Mining said it estimates that production and cost will be reviewed with the first quarter earnings release.

Also impacted from the Quebec government's order is Agnico Eagle. The company said it is ensuring it complies with the Government of Quebec to close all non-essential businesses relating to COVID-19.

The company has not made an announcement yet regarding a suspension.

"Any impact to operations or production guidance, which may include the suspension of mining activities at the company's operations in the Abitibi region of Quebec (the LaRonde Complex, the Goldex mine and the Canadian Malartic mine (50%)) and moving to care and maintenance until April 13, 2020, will be provided to the market in due course," said Agnico Eagle in a statement.

Newmont Corporation’s Éléonore mine is already on care and maintenance. Osisko Gold Royalties, which has a 2.0 to 3.5% net smelter return royalty at Éléonore, only said it is withdrawing guidance.

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