PHILEX MINING Corp. has partially resumed underground operations in its Pacdal mine site in Benguet on Oct. 27 after declaring a temporary suspension on its mining activities on Oct. 23 and 24, it told the stock exchange on Wednesday.

The suspension came after several of its employees tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Philex Mining said that the total number of COVID-19 positive cases in its mine site reached 151 after conducting expanded testing that involved 1,425 employees and their dependents.

“Eight cases have already recovered, which brings the total number of active cases in the mine site to 143. None of the active cases are classified as serious cases,” the disclosure said.

“Most of the active cases were employees from underground operations,” it added.

The mining company said it is now operating at 50% and is expecting to increase its operational capacity to 90% in the next three days, as long as there is no sudden jump in COVID-19 infections.

“The management believes that there is a minimal impact to the operations and financial results for 2020,” the disclosure said.

Meanwhile, Philex Mining said it had implemented stricter measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in its mine site, particularly in work areas and bunkhouses.

Further, the company continues to perform contract tracing to properly identify employees and their dependents who possibly had close contact with the COVID-19 patients.

According to the company, precautionary measures have been enforced such as the proper wearing and disposal of face masks and face shields, physical distancing, 24-hour curfew and movement restriction outside of residence, strict inspection and disinfection procedures, and disinfection in all work areas.

On Wednesday, shares of Philex Mining in the stock exchange fell 0.90% or P0.05 to end at P5.50 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave