London-listed Gemfields’ subsidiary, Kagem Mining, based in Zambia, has successfully had 250 staff vaccinated against Covid-19.
Kagem has been facilitating voluntary mass vaccination of its employees by the Ministry of Health, following the arrival of the AstraZeneza vaccine in the country.
Operations at the Kagem mine, which is 75%-owned by Gemfields and 25% by the Zambian government, restarted in a phased manner from March this year, after being suspended for nearly a year as a result of market dynamics amid the pandemic.
Kagem had been able to pay its staff 80% of their salaries throughout the 11-month-long suspension period, despite not working, as well as retain its workforce, owing to financial support provided by Gemfields.
The company is constantly monitoring developments with Covid-19, including the rise of new variants, and has put in place management systems that include rapid antigen testing and thermal body temperature reading cameras to minimise the risk of contagion.