Identifying, adapting to, and overcoming challenges is an essential characteristic of miners and mining companies. Early in 2020, Hudbay recognized the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly to its operations in remote locations. We mounted a coordinated, company-wide response that enabled us to meet our top priority: keeping our employees, contractors and communities safe while still remaining productive and profitable.
In early March, we formally invoked our corporate crisis management plan in response to the pandemic. The leadership of Hudbay’s overall business response, including engagement with financial markets and coordination with the Board, was taken on by our Executive Committee, including our CEO, COO and CFO. Our established corporate and business unit crisis management teams (including the VP of Corporate Social Responsibility and the leaders of our business units) handled the operational response, which included targeted support and stakeholder communications, general monitoring and providing information and policy recommendations to the Executive Committee. This structure remains in place, and Executive Committee participants still meet virtually on a regular basis.
Also in March, our offices in Lima, Peru, and Tucson, Arizona, as well as our Head Office, shut down and staff moved to working from home. To support their transition and help them work efficiently, employees were encouraged to take whatever equipment they needed to work from home, including computers and monitors. Thanks to earlier investments in technology and security across our operations and business unit offices, we already had networks in place that enabled employees to securely connect to our network while working remotely. Throughout 2020, we greatly increased cybersecurity training for staff, with several training modules required throughout the year.
By design, Hudbay’s business units operate with a significant degree of autonomy, and each has its own pandemic crisis team. The business unit leaders are accountable for risk assessment, response planning, employee and local stakeholder communications, and response management within each business unit.
In Manitoba and Peru, our mines are located in comparatively remote regions. Many of the employees come from nearby communities, but the mines also rely on employees and contractors from outside the region who travel to and from site for their work rotations. Mindful of potential impacts on local communities, both our Manitoba and Peru operations developed rigorous protocols for testing, quarantining and workplace conduct in order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. As a testament to the success of their efforts, over the course of 2020 there were no identified cases of transmission within our workplaces or transmission between rotational employees and local communities.