Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. announced that the suspension of operations at the Holt Complex in Ontario will be extended until further notice. The company suspended business activities at the complex on April 2 as part of its COVID-19 protocols, and at the same time continued with a strategic review to assess a potential restart of the operations.

The Holt Complex, including the Holt, Taylor and Holloway mines and Holt Mill, was designated as non-core by the company on February 19, with the company planning to consider all options to maximize the value of the assets. The company said the complex’s high cost structures, low grades, diminishing reserves and requirements for new investments have resulted in significant negative cash flows from these operations, and are key drivers of its decision to extend the suspension of business activities.

“When we transitioned Holt Complex to suspended operations in early April, our first step was to provide base wages to all affected workers for the first month,” President and CEO of Kirkland Lake Gold Tony Makuch said. “We also began working to identify opportunities to reassign as many employees as possible from the complex to new roles at other sites within our Canadian operations.”

To date, more than 220 employees at Holt Complex, from a total workforce of 475 people, have been reassigned to new positions, or have recently been offered new roles within the organization, Makuch said. “In cases where it is not possible to find alternative employment arrangements, and where employees have been on an extended temporary layoff, we now believe that the best course of action is to provide severance packages,” he added.

Moving forward, Makuch said the company will continue to review strategic options for the Holt Complex properties, including the potential for additional exploration activities in the area.