Covid-19: World’s deepest mine shut down over confirmed cases

Covid-19: World’s deepest mine shut down over confirmed cases

- AngloGold Ashanti has closed down its mine at Mponeng in South Africa after 164 cases of Covid-19 were recorded there

- The mining firm indicated that it has conducted 650 tests at Mponeng since it detected the first case of the coronavirus among the employees

- The mine accounted for about 7.4% of AngloGold Ashanti's total gold production in 2019

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Gold mining firm, AngloGold Ashanti, has closed down its Mponeng mine in South Africa after 164 cases of Covid-19 were recorded there.

The mine, which is the deepest in the world, was re-opened in April after it was shut down following a nationwide lockdown and operating at about 50% capacity.

Information available shows that it accounted for about 7.4% of the company’s total gold production in 2019.

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A Reuters report shows that AngloGold Ashanti says it has conducted 650 tests at Mponeng since detecting the first case of the virus there a week ago.

It added that:

“As a precautionary step, and after discussions with the regulator, operations have been temporarily halted on a voluntary basis, to complete contact tracing and to again deep clean and sanitise the workplace and key infrastructure.”

The company went on to say that a majority of the cases were asymptomatic and all those who tested positive would be isolated in line with national health protocols, with on-site facilities available for those who need them.

Briefly.co.za understands that the Mponeng mine, which employs an average of 5 051 people, including contractors, in 2019, was permitted to resume operations after the lockdown was eased in April.

Some workers have, however, raised concerns about returning to work as they operate in an environment where social distancing is a challenge.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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