APEX MINING Co., Inc. said that 69 employees and contractors working at its Maco Mine in Davao de Oro had tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a stock exchange disclosure on Monday, Apex Mining President and CEO Luis R. Sarmiento said underground operations at the mine site and mill plant would be scaled down after a part of its workforce is in quarantine due to the reported cases.

He said the company had strengthened the implementation of all safety measures in the site, while all offices and work areas of the COVID-19 patients had been temporarily closed and underwent disinfection.

“Alternative work arrangement for the office employees has been implemented to minimize the disruption of support activities,” Mr. Sarmiento said.

“At the moment, the mine’s medical unit, in coordination with the local government, is conducting contact tracing for employees who may have direct contact with the COVID-19 patients,” he added.

In October this year, Apex Mining’s subsidiary Itogon-Suyoc Resources, Inc. (ISRI) in Itogon, Benguet was included in a localized lockdown after COVID-19 cases were reported in a barangay within the province.

At the time of the company’s statement, it disclosed that around 80 COVID-19 positive cases were reported in its Sangilo mine.

During the third quarter of 2020, Apex Mining posted an attributable net income of P679.56 million, higher than the P148.94 million it posted in the similar period a year ago, due to better revenues and higher gold prices.

The company’s revenues for the July to September period also rose 102.3% to P2.59 billion.

On Monday, shares in Apex Mining at the stock exchange fell 2.78% or five centavos to end at P1.75 per piece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave