On 27 March 2020, the President of Zimbabwe announced a 21-day lockdown directive, with the intention of curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe, which started on Monday, 30 March 2020.
The lockdown is to continue until midnight on Sunday, 19 April 2020.
Zimplats supports the decision taken by the Government of Zimbabwe to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 infection rate and is committed to contributing where it can to the country’s socio-economic stability.
During the national lockdown, Zimplats’ primary focus is on protecting the lives and livelihoods of its employees, contractors, service providers and communities by doing all it can to sustain the financial viability of its business and its contribution to the national well-being of the country.
Zimplats applied for permission to continue operating under agreed precautionary measures. Permission was granted and allows for mining and processing operations to continue relatively uninterrupted during the lockdown period.
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The company emphasizes that the safety of its employees and contractors on all Zimplats sites is a key priority. Additional measures are in place to protect their health while working during the lockdown period and thereafter.
These include, but are not limited to, heightened risk mitigation measures through early COVID-19 detection, an enhanced focus on pandemic awareness, workplace hygiene, medical surveillance, additional personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and the isolation and treatment of suspected and confirmed cases.
All company clinics and medical facilities have been prepared to deal with COVID-19 cases and will remain open and fully operational during the lockdown period.
At this stage, no COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed among employees or their dependants.
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Zimplats received a force majeure letter from Impala Platinum in respect of the offtake agreement, following the announcement of the South African national lockdown which became effective on 26 March 2020.
Notwithstanding the force majeure notification, Zimplats will continue to mine and process ore and will supply Impala, in accordance with the offtake agreement, once the force majeure has been lifted, after the national lockdown.
Zimplats has issued force majeure letters to contractors working on capital projects and other financial institutions, to legally suspend contractual obligations under existing contracts with them until the end of the current lockdown period or any extension thereof.
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Zimplats will continue to maximise the business flexibility provided by its asset base and remains prepared to adjust its operating plans in line with the ongoing developments of these unprecedented events.