The Minerals Council South Africa says it will provide a daily update on its website if and when incidents of Covid-19 are confirmed at its members’ operations.
This follows reports last week of a purported confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, at precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater’s Marikana operation, which have been circulating on social media and picked up by a broadcast channel without verification.
Sibanye has confirmed that there are currently no confirmed cases of Covid-19 at any of its operations.
Sibanye plans to pursue legal action once the source of the false information has been traced and identified, and notes that relevant regulatory authorities have also been informed.
The false news could potentially have far-reaching and damaging consequences for the company, the mining industry and the country.
The Minerals Council has also condemned the false report and has pleaded with media to “be vigilant in detecting and avoiding misrepresentation”.
It says it “recognises that the accessibility of information and transparency is critical in its efforts to prevent and contain the spread of Covid-19”, but points out that it is important for other stakeholders, such as shareholders and the media, to remain “equally well informed”.
The industry’s approach to reporting on incidents of Covid-19 will be aligned to the requirements of the Department of Health in the first instance, while keeping the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, the Mine Health and Safety Council and organised labour informed always.