Two Tullow subcontractors down with coronavirus

General News of Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Source: Class FM

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Two subcontractors working with Tullow Ghana have been infected with COVID-19.

The oil company, in a statement said the two were tested by the Ghana Health Service after exhibiting some symptoms of the pandemic.

“Following the positive test results, a team from GHS has commenced contact-tracing and testing of personnel on the KNK FPSO and MV Lancelot, in line with established protocols,” the statement said.

The company said the two patients are stable and have been isolated onshore for medical attention.

Meanwhile, Tullow said the cases have not had any impact on its operations at the at the Jubilee FPSO.

“Tullow wishes to assure all stakeholders that the health and safety of our staff, contractors, sub-contractors, and our host communities remain our priority.

“Tullow has followed strict quarantine procedures for all personnel working offshore including two weeks of government-approved quarantine. We will be assessing further actions that may be available to reduce the risk of infection”, the company noted.

Tullow is not the first company in the extractive industry to be hit by the pandemic.

Just on Sunday, The Gauteng Department of Health in South Africa confirmed that 53 employees at AngloGold Ashanti’s Mponeng mine in the Merafong district have tested positive for Covid-19.

According to the latest update on the company’s website, the number of positive cases has now been confirmed as 164, of which the vast majority are asymptomatic.

All positive cases will be isolated in line with national health protocols, with on-site facilities available for those who may need them. Mponeng uses electronic tracking of all people underground as a safety tool in the event missing miners have to be located. This system has been useful in quickly locating primary, or close contacts.

The management of the mine has indicated that the underground production will remain closed until further notice, the department said.

MEC Bandile Masuku and the Gauteng health team will meet with the mine management on Sunday afternoon to receive a report. Additionally, a meeting is arranged between the West Rand District Health team and the mine team for Monday for further engagement and collective intervention.

Limited mining activities restarted in the country about a month ago.

In terms of lockdown regulations, employers are required to provide a workplace risk assessment plan that should include the provision of screening and testing facilities, sanitary and social distancing measures and measures to protect vulnerable employees.

Recently, Impala Platinum revealed that about 19 cases of Covid-19 had been detected at its Marula mine in Limpopo. The workers were asymptomatic, highlighting the challenges of both monitoring and preventing new infections in confined underground mining, Fin24 reported.

AngloGold Ashanti operates the Obuasi and Iduapreim mines in Ghana.

Also, in mid-May this year, Golden Star Resources Ltd. (NYSE American: GSS; TSX: GSC; GSE: GSR) said one of its team members at the Prestea mine site in Ghana tested positive for COVID-19 following the person’s referral to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) after experiencing mild symptoms.

The affected Golden Star team member was tested and samples were processed at the government-accredited testing facility in Takoradi and now remains in isolation with very mild symptoms.

Following an extensive contact-tracing exercise, all potentially affected Prestea personnel followed the government and company protocols, including reporting for screening and testing as required, as well as subsequent isolation.

In a statement, Golden Star said the safety and wellbeing of “our employees and contractors are paramount”, adding: “We continue to proactively implement COVID-19 prevention and management controls across the business while providing available leadership, education and support to our host communities”.

“To date, we have not witnessed any material impact on production relating to the COVID-19 pandemic”, the miner said, noting: “As reported in our Q1 2020 financial results, the supply chains at the Wassa and Prestea mines have not been detrimentally impacted and both operations continue, as does the export and sale of gold doré”.

Golden Star is an established gold mining company that owns and operates the Wassa and Prestea underground mines in Ghana, West Africa.

Listed on the NYSE American, the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Ghanaian Stock Exchange, Golden Star is focused on delivering strong margins and free cash flow from its two underground mines.

Gold production guidance for 2020 is 195,000-210,000 ounces at a cash operating cost per ounce (please refer to the Non-GAAP Financial Measures disclaimer) of US$790-US$850.

As the winner of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada 2018 Environmental and Social Responsibility Award, Golden Star remains committed to leaving a positive and sustainable legacy in its areas of operation.

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