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Bolivia, Canada, Peru, South Korea: Coronavirus stops mines

Bolivia's San Cristobal mine in Potosi, which has one of the largest zinc, lead and silver deposits in the world, has ceased production. The mine is a subsidiary of the Japanese Sumitomo Group. The Canadian mining group Cameco has shut down the Cigar Lake Mine. Here 13 percent of the world's uranium was mined.

The Glencore mining group is closing down all companies in Canada that are not essential to them. The workers are employed with maintenance work. However, in Ontario/Canada and in Colombia, mining has been classified as an essential business and therefore the mines continue to operate here.
In South Korea, the Canadian mining group Almonty continues to operate the Sangdong mine in South Korea. Tungsten is mined in the mine. Safety regulations have been enforced, such as avoiding contact with visitors, personal conversations have been replaced by online conferences, and mine workers have had to wear protective masks during all working hours. The mine was disinfected and sterilized several times a day. Workers with symptoms of disease were released into domestic quarantine. Not a single case of infection has been reported from Yeongwol County, where the Sangdong mine is located.

In Peru, the Yauricocha mine was closed down for 15 days. An emergency team of 150 miners remains at the mine. The Canadian mining company Sierra Metals has not disclosed to what extent safety measures have been taken for them to protect their health.
The Newmont Corporation does not want to close its open pit mine 800 km northeast of Lima/Peru completely, but gold can be further leached out in the "leach pads". With the corona pandemic, the living conditions of the 20 million miners worldwide are worsening dramatically. Not only are they now exposed to extreme working conditions in the extraction of mineral resources, which endanger their health, but they and their families often suffer from poor health care even without a corona pandemic. We therefore call for the miners worldwide:
- an immediate stop to the extraction of raw materials, unless it concerns socially necessary supplies or emergency measures and only the most necessary work to maintain the mines (dewatering etc.)
- that governments and mining companies do not put pressure on miners to continue working, but continue to pay them full wages if they stop working to protect their health,
- all miners in the emergency operation of the mines must be provided with appropriate protective clothing, breathing masks and disinfectants of the highest technical standard available today; appropriate protective measures must also be taken for their families
- all other workers and employees are to be released from work with full pay compensation, without using up their leisure time entitlements!