Diversified miner Anglo American has opened a Covid-19 testing laboratory in Solwezi, Zambia, close to its mineral exploration activities in the country.
The miner says the lab was built to support the Zambian government’s efforts to increase testing capacity in the country’s North-Western province.
The lab will serve to benefit about 130 000 people in the Zambezi and Chavuma districts over the next 12 months.
“We have been working in partnership with First Quantum Minerals (FQM) on this initiative for some time now, and are pleased that it will ensure communities have access to high quality testing services, which is crucial in managing the spread of the virus,” says Anglo discovery manager David Wood.
Anglo’s investment in this initiative will enable the initial sourcing of polymerase chain reaction testing kits, medical consumables and personal protective equipment for those on the frontline.
Specimens will be transported from the Zambezi and Chavuma districts to the Anglo testing lab in Solwezi.
FQM will assist with the day-to-day running of the testing lab, working with Anglo to ensure the testing strategy is implemented successfully.
The two mining companies have also partnered with the Mary Begg clinic in Solwezi to provide its health expertise.
The initiative forms part of Anglo’s global WeCare lives and livelihoods programme, in response to the pandemic.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Anglo has invested more than $40-million globally towards relief efforts in Southern Africa, the Americas, Australia and the UK.