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Kirkland Lake Gold further curtails Canadian operations due to COVID-19

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(Kitco News) - Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. (TSX: KL, NYSE: KL) Thursday announced an additional curtailment of mining activities in Canada as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, including the temporary suspension of operations at the Holt Complex and reduced operations at the Macassa Mine.

The new measures follow the previously announced reduction at the Detour Lake Mine. All of the operations affected so far are located in Ontario. The various actions are in effect until April 30, officials said.

The company said the most recent actions are due to border restrictions between Ontario and Quebec, making movement of workers difficult. A significant number of employees and contractors live in Quebec and travel to jobs in Ontario. Workers impacted by Thursday’s announcement will receive their base wages during April, Kirkland Lake said.

“In terms of the measures being announced today, we do not make decisions to suspend or reduce operations lightly, recognizing the impact such decisions can have on employment as well as community investment and support,” said Tony Makuch, president and chief executive officer. “Having said that, the recent developments related to COVID-19…has made it increasingly difficult to maintain normal business activities at Macassa and Holt Complex.”

Officials also said Kirkland Lake is withdrawing its 2020 production guidance, with plans to update this once operations return to normal at Macassa and Detour Lake. The Fosterville Mine in Australia remains in operation.

A management task force is meeting daily to assess emerging developments and identify measures to protect workers and communities, Kirkland Lake said.

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