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29 Apr 2020

Martin Creamer, Creamer Media (South Africa)

So. Africa: Mining company welcomes decision to partially resume mining activities

‘Sibanye-Stillwater welcomes pragmatic partial mining resumption’ 23 April 2020

Precious metals mining company Sibanye-Stillwater on Thursday welcomed the pragmatic approach taken to partially resume economic activity in South Africa’s mining industry while safeguarding the health of employees. This phased approach would facilitate a managed and orderly return to safe production, while minimising the prolonged health and economic consequences of the pandemic for all stakeholders, Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman stated in a news release to Mining Weekly, which came against the background of the Johannesburg- and New York-listed company earlier communicating that it had: deferred nonessential growth capital expenditure at the US platinum group metal (PGM) operations in order to reduce employee numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

…Its latest update focused on South African mines now being permitted to conduct operations at a reduced capacity of 50% of normal production during the period of the lockdown, thereafter increasing productive capacity as determined by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. “We fully support the measures taken thus far by the South African government to manage the Covid-19 pandemic. The safety, health and wellbeing of our employees, contractors and communities is our overriding concern,” said Froneman.

…The company said it fully supported the risk-based measures to resume the prescribed levels of mining activity, which included: arranging transport for South Africa-based employees from their homes in remote areas to their respective areas of work; rigorous screening and testing programmes to be implemented as employees return to work; the provision of quarantine facilities for employees who may test positive for Covid-19; and submission of data collected during screening and testing to the relevant authority.