Newmont Ghana has announced a US$100,000 support package for Ghana's public health efforts to minimize the transmission of the Coronavirus in the country.
Newmont Ghana's contribution will support the two testing centres in Accra and Kumasi, as well as preventive measures in and around its Ahafo and Akyem mines and the Ahafo North Project area.
"The health and safety of our people and nearby communities takes precedence above all else," said Francois Hardy, Regional Senior Vice President, Newmont Africa.
"We recognize the need to help fortify the capabilities of our public institutions so they can undertake mass testing and other public health measures to minimize the risks and impacts associated with COVID-19."
"In light of the logistical and infrastructure constraints around the country's public health system – along with the needs of our local health institutions in our host communities – we have set aside a US$100,000 package to support the country's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," Mr. Hardy added.
Newmont Ghana's support package will be allocated with US$25,000 each to support the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine-the two national testing centres in Accra and Kumasi to support the procurement of testing kits.
An amount of US$20,000 each will go to the Asutifi North and Birim North District Assemblies respectively while $10,000 for the Tano North Municipal Assembly.
He added Newmont Ghana has also made substantial donation to the Ghana Chamber of Mines contribution towards the COVID-19 national fund.
"We hope our contributions will significantly help us win the fight against COVID-19," he added.
Mr. Hardy noted that Newmont Ghana is taking proactive measures to protect its workforce and nearby communities in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation in the country.
Aside from initiating robust hygiene practices, social distancing guidelines and other precautionary measures, the company is aligning mine operations to critical operations to reduce the potential for exposure to and transmission of COVID-19.
These measures include temporary closure of the regional office in Accra and establishing remote working plans for employees and temporary closure of non-operational departments at the Ahafo and Akyem mine sites.
The company is cancelling all travel by non-critical site visitors, suppliers and vendors, evacuation of non-critical expatriate staff, and enhanced temperature and questionnaire screening at all entry points to the Ahafo and Akyem mine sites.
Mandatory self-quarantine for workers who arrive from abroad and minimized in-person meetings.
"While we have no confirmed COVID-19 cases among Newmont's workforce at this time, protecting the health and safety of our people and nearby communities is our primary obligation. These steps are consistent with the World Health Organization guidelines and the intent of the government's lockdown and categorization of mining as an essential service to minimize the exposure and spread of COVID-19," said Francois Hardy, Regional Senior Vice President, Newmont Africa.
The company said it will continue to closely monitor the evolution of the Coronavirus ("COVID-19") pandemic and its impacts, with a key focus on protecting the well-being of its employees, contractors and host communities.
"These are extraordinary times and we must all do our part to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. We strongly encourage everyone to strictly adhere to the World Health Organization's protective measures and support the Government of Ghana's efforts prevent the spread of the virus," Mr. Hardy further added.