Unhedged gold producer and explorer Galane Gold has put precautions in place to manage the risk of Covid-19 to staff, the company, contractors, the local communities and all other stakeholders.
Galane has had no reported cases of Covid-19 at either of its projects, and says it continues to ensure that its operations follow the latest professional guidance.
Galane has operations and exploration tenements in Botswana and South Africa.
Following the announcement in South Africa that all mines must be put on care and maintenance for 21 days, from March 27 to April 16, production at Galane’s Galaxy operations will temporarily cease.
The company says it will implement care and maintenance in a way that allows it to restart operations almost immediately once it is advised by the government it can do so; and will also put controls in place to retain funds to initiate the re-start.
The South Africa lockdown will also affect the company’s Mupane operations in Botswana, as the majority of its critical supplies are sourced from South Africa.
The company has already started increasing stores in anticipation and it believes it has sufficient stocks to maintain operations until the end of April.
It is also working closely with the government of Botswana to identify which of its imported supplies are critical so that these can continue to be shipped from South Africa if there is an urgent requirement.
“This currently means that if the lockdown finishes as anticipated, we have sufficient supplies to continue operations,” the company says.
In addition, Mupane’s offtaker has notified the company that it will not be able to ship its gold doré during this period.
Galane is currently working with its offtaker to conclude an alternative arrangement, if required.
Galane has also formed a risk committee to identify the main threats to the company and its operations. Owing to the controls already put into place by both South Africa and Botswana, the company says it appears that some of the transmission risks have already been mitigated.
With regards to operational risks, the company has already taken steps to minimise these.
Its key management and its board of directors will meet on a weekly basis to review their effectiveness and make any adjustments as deemed necessary to minimise any potential operational disruption, while ensuring the welfare and safety of its workforce and neighbouring communities.
It emphasises that as it prioritises the health and safety of its employees and contractors, Galane has instigated an education programme on Covid-19 at both the Galaxy and Mupane properties for employees and contractors.
Moreover, the company has started a rigorous testing regime at both properties to monitor employees and contractors’ health to identify anyone showing early symptoms. It has also established isolation procedures for any potentially infected individuals.