Barrick Gold updates its emergency COVID-19 response plans
Barrick Gold Corp. updated its March 6 press release of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, stating on March 23 that its emergency response plans for dealing with the pandemic have been stepped up at all its sites and offices across the world.
President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow said the company was closely monitoring the very fluid situation, constantly updating scenarios, reviewing the latest guidance from the international medical community and engaging with its host governments and states. The corporate executive and site management teams engage continuously to monitor the situation and daily updates are received from each of the sites and offices.
In a statement, Barrick said “all non-essential business travel has been suspended and non-essential projects have been curtailed. In line with directives from our host governments and the international health authorities, we have put measures in place to mitigate the risk of infection while ensuring a safe environment for operations to continue as usual.
“We have extended our 24-hour call service to communities and the families around our operations in Argentina and have implemented similar response services across the group’s operations. Similarly, we are observing new industry guidelines regarding social distancing and have increased sanitation measures at our mines and offices,” the company said in the release.
“Barrick has a strong culture of caring for the welfare of its employees and communities. Our financial strength, well-established prevention practices and procedures, and the experience we gained from dealing with two Ebola pandemics around our African operations, will stand us in good stead as we face this new and unprecedented challenge,” Bristow said.
“Our actions also extend beyond our mine gates. In our host communities we have been liaising with local and regional clinics and hospitals to make sure they have access to information and advice. We are also providing additional supplies and equipment to make sure they are well resourced should an outbreak occur.
“In addition to protecting our people, we have taken measures to support the sustainability of the business. As shared in our March 6 release, we have increased stock levels for key supplies and equipment to a minimum of three months, identified alternative suppliers and shipping routes, and put in place contingency plans for clearing and offloading. To date, placed and forecast orders are still intact and there have been no hold-ups in our supply chain.”
Photo: Haul trucks operating at a Barrick mine.