Global diversified miner Anglo American has announced measures it is implementing across its mining and corporate operations in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.
CE Mark Cutifani on Friday said the measures were tailored to the specific nature and location of a particular site to protect the wellbeing of staff and those who interact with the business around the world.
Anglo has put in place a designated senior multidisciplinary team to monitor the situation across the company’s operating countries and sites, update its decisions in response to the disease and plan for a range of scenarios.
The team provides advice to the operating businesses and provides updates to the CE and group management committee.
Anglo confirmed that all its mines were currently operational, with no material impact on production, while supply chains were functioning well.
At certain operations, such as those in Chile, the company is taking measures to temporarily reschedule operational work to help reduce the density of people on site and, with it, reduce the probability of the coronavirus, which causes the Covid-19 disease, spreading.
“The nature of our business is such that much of our work cannot be done remotely, so our focus is on reducing the risk of the virus spreading into and across our sites. Operational continuity is critical for jobs, for the communities around our operations and for the local and global economies.
“Our sites and offices therefore have escalation plans to accommodate the ongoing impact of the pandemic and these will continue to be revised as the situation evolves,” stated Cutifani.
Some measures that the company has implemented include regular communication with employees on all guidelines and best practice around hygiene and health; employees working from home where possible; restrictions on work-related international travel and non-essential visits to operating sites; and intensified cleaning at offices and sites.
Additionally, Anglo is practicing social distancing at its operating sites, doing temperature screening of those entering certain offices and sites, but this could be extended to other offices and sites as well, offering enhanced health benefits to keep employees healthy and productive; and identifying appropriate support for host communities to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Global markets are reflecting the uncertainty created by the spread of Covid-19 through unprecedented volatility. This tends to mask the fundamental drivers of supply and demand, which we believe remain robust in the medium and longer term for the metals and minerals that we produce.
“As certain countries recover from the pandemic, we expect to see economic activity ramp back up, supported by stimulus from governments and central banks,” Cutifani pointed out.