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Butte's mining company trying to maintain worker safety and production during pandemic

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Posted at 9:57 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 16:06:14-04

BUTTE - Butte’s copper mine at Montana Resources is still maintaining healthy production levels despite the coronavirus.

“We’re still moving the tons, we’re still breaking the rock and we’re still, you know, floating the copper,” said Mike McGivern, VP of Human Resources for Montana Resources.

The pandemic first caused copper prices to drop three weeks ago, but the price was back up to about $2.20 per pound this week and molybdenum is above $8 per pound.

“You know, they're not good prices, but definitely, you know, our head’s above water, no doubt about it, and we could ride these prices for a long time,” said McGivern.

Worker safety is the number one concern, so social distancing is being practiced and employees are ordered to stay home if they feel ill, and can’t return until cleared by a doctor.

“The message here is, you know, it’s good to be employed, you’ve got to be safe and, hopefully, we can continue this operation and get through this like everybody in the country wants to,” said McGivern.

And while there’s a lot of anxiety during these uncertain times, management here at Montana Resources wants its employees to stay safe and not give in to fear.

“Let’s not embrace the panic, but let’s embrace the precautions, that’s what we’ve got to embrace,” said McGivern.