- Two weeks lockdown extension period will aid in securing mining infrastructure
- Up to one third of salaries to be donated over the next three months
- Initial 21 days lockdown allowed Implats to secure its furnaces
Harare – The South Africa government has permitted mining operations to conduct activities at a reduced capacity of not more than 50% during the two weeks extension period of the initially 21 day implemented lockdown.
PGM miner, Impala platinum (Implats) with operations in Zimbabwe through Zimplats and Mimosa mine has welcomed the amended regulations.
Implats said these measures will assist in securing critical mining infrastructure and mitigate the severe impact of these measures on the lives and livelihoods of its employees, host communities and suppliers.
In line with COVID-19, Implats highlighted that it will establish a mechanism that will enable members of its Board, the Group Executive Committee and all its employees to donate up to third of their salaries over the next three months.
“The donations, including those received from our international operations, will, at the donor’s election, either be paid into the Solidarity Fund – established to improve prevention and detection of COVID-19 and cushion the impact of the pandemic on the country’s most vulnerable citizens – or be used to provide care and support to our mine host communities.” Reads part of the statement.
During the initial 21 day lockdown period, the miner continued with limited operating activities at its critical smelting and refining infrastructure and performed care and maintenance on underground operations which allowed the Group to secure its furnaces by treating some in-process inventory.
However, the Group’s was unable to deliver precious metals to customers due to the unavailability of secure air freight during the lockdown, while base metals sales were impeded by road and port restrictions.
The Group alluded that management had agreed to continue paying full salaries to all employees during the 21 day lockdown period though the financial position could not sustain this arrangement post the initial 21 day lockdown.
Given the extended lockdown period, Implats said, “The Group’s standpoint is unchanged in this regard but remain open to exploring alternative measures with social partners to assist employees where possible.
Meanwhile, Zimplats and Mimosa applied for and were granted approval to continue with operations under agreed precautionary measures during the 21 days lockdown in Zimbabwe.
mplats said this has allowed Zimplats to maintain mining and processing operations while at Mimosa, limited mining operations to supplement available ore resources have allowed concentrate production to continue during the lockdown.
The Group also added that guidance on operations will be provided in the scheduled third quarter FY2020 production update on 30 April 2020.
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