BHP continues to implement a range of stringent measures at its Jansen Potash project site and Potash offices in Saskatoon and Mississauga to reduce the risk of COVID-19 contagion and to support its workforce and local communities.
The measures being taken are aligned with the Province of Saskatchewan’s emergency measures and the requirements from health authorities and Provincial and Federal government in Canada.
A range of health and safety measures are in place including split shifts so fewer people are on site at one time. At Jansen, changes to transportation arrangements, conduct of meetings and camp life are in place to ensure social distancing and increased hygiene practices.
In response to the Provincial and Federal Government of Canada’s emergency measures, at the Jansen site, where BHP has been installing the final liners in the Production and Service Shafts, we are now reducing activity to focus on one shaft at a time with reduced crews. This will reduce the number of contractors and the need for out-of-Province workers on site, with the strict COVID-19 emergency measures in place. BHP will continue to assess the impact on its workforce through this period and the support packages available from the government.
At the same time, BHP has implemented an accelerated payment program to support First Nations, Métis and local community businesses and communities in Saskatchewan during the pandemic. The measures are expected to deliver approximately CA$3 million more quickly into the hands of our small business partners through a reduction in payment terms to seven days (from 30 days) for six months and an immediate payment of outstanding invoices for Indigenous and Local Community Business partners.
Additionally, we will also support the supply of hygiene products to local community stakeholders.
Vice President Operations for BHP Potash Giles Hellyer said: “The health, safety and well-being of our personnel and our communities is our primary concern and we have been implementing measures to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in our offices and at the Jansen Potash Project site and nearby communities. In support of government requirements, and in keeping with our safety commitments, we are now reducing activity with fewer people on site. We also know this is a very difficult time for the local business community and we must look out for each other to manage through this together. That’s why we’ve brought in faster payment measures to help bridge the gap for our local business partners and support for communities during these unprecedented events.
“By continuing with some reduced activity on site, we can continue to provide some employment and support for the local economy. However, this is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to be aligned with Provincial and Federal responses as they evolve.” he added.
Note: Eligible business partners for the purposes of the revised payment arrangements are First Nations, Métis or Local Community businesses under our Local Procurement Plan for the Jansen Project. The revised payment arrangements for suppliers will take effect in the week commencing 30 March 2020. BHP will contact eligible business partners with more information in the coming days.