HomeBase MetalsThe impact of COVID-19 on mining projects in Africa – for now

The impact of COVID-19 on mining projects in Africa – for now

With the spread COVID-19 increasing everyday – this is a particular examination on mining and what companies are doing to mitigate risk.

Endeavour Mining has been informed that an employee at the Houndé mine in Burkina Faso tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee experienced mild symptoms hours after arriving at site, following his return from the UK.

In line the Company’s COVID-19 protocol and procedures, the Burkinabe health authorities were immediately notified, and the employee was placed in quarantine.

The small number of people who were in contact with the employee have all been identified and have also been placed in quarantine as part of the preventative measures.

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As the employee did not show symptoms upon arrival and passed the mandatory health screening, the company further increased its preventive measures by introducing a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for any employees or contractors arriving in Cote d’Ivoire or Burkina Faso.

Endeavour has not witnessed any impact to production or operations at any of its mines or exploration activities.

The Company also has enough inventory of supplies and equipment, while suppliers have confirmed that placed and forecast orders are intact.

According to Reuters a worker at AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi gold mine in Ghana has tested positive for coronavirus.

AngloGold Ashanti says operations at the Obuasi mine will continue.

The infected employee – a Ghanaian who lives in mine accommodation and had recently returned from Britain – is in self-isolation. AngloGold Ashanti said it is working with Ghana’s ministry of health to trace all contacts.

Non-essential staff will work remotely until further notice and any arriving travellers will be subject to a mandatory two-week self-quarantine, the company said.

Endeavour Mining earlier reported a worker at its Houndé mine in Burkina Faso got coronavirus, also after a trip to Britain.

IAMGOLD Corporation is taking the precautionary measure of closing its Toronto office for one week following the positive COVID-19 test result for one of its employees.

The IAMGOLD employee who tested positive was last in the Toronto office on March 6, 2020.

The individual is in self-quarantine at home, and in stable condition with moderate symptoms.

This employee attended two private Company events and briefly attended the Northern Ontario Night on March 2, 2020 at the Steam Whistle Brewery but did not attend the PDAC convention or other events.

Attendees at the Company events have been notified.

Health and safety are our top priority at IAMGOLD. In addition to closing the Toronto office, we are conducting a deep cleaning and disinfection of the office.

Toronto office employees have been asked to work from home until the end of the week, March 20th, 2020, at which point the Company will reassess.

Kinross Gold Corporation was informed on March 10, 2020 that an employee from its Toronto office tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Kinross values the health and safety of its employees above all other priorities, and as a precaution, closed the Toronto office today for a thorough cleaning and disinfection.

Kinross has asked its employees to work from home until at least March 20th when the need for the closure will be re-evaluated.

The Company is working directly with Toronto Public Health (TPH) who used current evidence to carefully assess the potential health risk, identify people who may have been directly exposed to COVID-19 and actively follow up with them.

TPH has also asked the Company’s Toronto employees to self-monitor for any symptoms.

The employee who tested positive was last in the Toronto office for 1.5 days ending March 3, 2020, is currently at home in self-quarantine, and is in good condition.

This employee did not attend the PDAC conference or other external events and has not recently travelled to Kinross sites.

The Company has activated its business continuity program to help ensure that head office functions are maintained while employees work remotely.

The Company’s response is being managed within the framework of preparedness protocols and contingency plans developed by Kinross’ global cross-functional COVID-19 Task Force, which was established earlier this year, with input from the Company’s expert medical and travel advisors.

These plans include increased travel restrictions, individual site management controls and screening to control access to mine sites, emergency medical preparedness, supply chain contingency plans, and working with health authorities to closely monitor local and global developments.

To date, COVID-19 has not impacted production or product shipments at any of the Company’s sites. Nor, to date, has there been any significant negative impact on, or disruption of, the Company’s supply chain.

Nonetheless, Kinross is constantly monitoring the situation and is working with its critical suppliers, who the Company understands have mitigation plans in place, to minimize any potential supply chain disruptions that might emerge.

Kinross will continue to prioritize the health and well-being of its employees, follow the advice of Toronto Public Health, and continue to implement its comprehensive global response plans.

Golden Star Resources reports on the procedures and controls that are being implemented to protect its employees and ensure business continuity with respect to the potential risks posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The outbreak of the Coronavirus has now resulted in cases being reported in the Company’s three operating countries.

There have been several reported cases of infection in the United Kingdom and Canada where the company operates corporate offices, and the first cases have now been reported in Ghana where Golden Star operates two gold mines, Wassa and Prestea.