Home News Covid-19 and the mining sector.

Covid-19 and the mining sector.

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There are more than 28.9 million positive cases globally, while deaths are now more than 924 000. There are over 1,3 million cases of the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the Covid-19 outbreak in Africa may have passed its peak, but warns governments not to be complacent as countries relax their restrictions. The number of new daily confirmed cases overally has been dropping, although some countries are still seeing a rise in cases.


Over the past four weeks, there has been an average 10% fall in the number of weekly new cases being reported, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC). In North Africa, Morocco and Tunisia are experiencing a sustained increase in cases, and there’s been a rapid increase in cases in Libya, according to the WHO.
Morocco reported the highest number of new cases on the continent over the last seven days, more than South Africa and Ethiopia. However, both Algeria and Egypt have seen a decline in confirmed cases over the past month. Namibia and Mozambique in southern Africa are experiencing an increase in new cases.

South Africa

South Africa has the highest recorded number of total cases with 648 214 cases and reported the most deaths in Africa. The Minerals Council of South Africa has not released new statistics from the 3rd of September. 15,149 cases is the last issued recorded figure and recovered cases amounted to 14,562. The sector recorded fatalities amounting to 161 with the platinum sector accounting for 67 deaths, gold sector accounting for 63 and 19 recorded in the coal sector.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has recorded 7,508 cases of the Coronavirus pandemic and a death toll of 224. The number of recoveries stands at 5,675, which translates to a national recovery rate of 76%.
There has been no record of Covid-19 statistics released by local media houses in the mining sector during the week hence little is known of the pandemic within the sector.


Mining Industry Responds to COVID-19 Health Crisis.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created severe challenges for the mining industry but, amongst the good news, there have been positive stories as miners rally to help communities. Mining companies around the world have partnered governments to aid communities and help fight COVID-19. Organisations are doing their part by providing financial assistance, educational tools and personal protective equipment.

Below are some of the donations which have been recorded globally:

Mining Association of Canada donates to food banks.

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An initiative organised by the Mining Association of Canada gathered 18 national and regional industry associations and partners together to donate a total of C$36,000 to food banks supporting communities in need across the country.

AngloGold Ashanti opens mining hospitals to support South African efforts.

The company has donated protective face masks and an additional 27 electronic intensive care beds for Soweto’s Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital, along with 24 more mobile toilets. AngloGold is also working with the Imbumba Foundation, a non-profit organisation, to distribute 5,000 care parcels, containing groceries and other essential items, to the elderly and vulnerable in the region. The company is also set to donate ZAR20m ($1m) to the Solidarity Response Fund, a government-backed fund run by the WHO to enhance the international response to Covid-19.

Barrick Gold provides funding for healthcare facilities in Zambia.

Canadian miner Barrick Gold granted a cheque for $530,000 to the Zambian Ministers of Health and Mines and Mineral Development to help the country tackle Covid-19. The donation will fund the sourcing of medical equipment throughout the country and help a local taskforce to work closely with the country’s health authorities.

Barrick Gold has also ensured that it has already taken sufficient measures to protect its workers and their families, living nearby the Lumwana mine in the country, from the spread of the pandemic.

De Beers provides funding to Botswana and Namibia Covid-19 response.

The organisation granted $2.5m, which was shared between Botswana and Namibia, to support governments and local communities and provide medical supplies, logistical support, food for vulnerable households, water supply, and improved awareness of the pandemic.

Local initiatives with partners also include preparing hospitals for testing and treatment, supplying masks and hand sanitiser in South Africa, and donating hand washing facilities in Namibia. The company is also supplying food to vulnerable groups in Canada.

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