- 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 COVID-19 there
- 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 2020 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.
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 sanitize 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.
YEN.com.gh 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 2020.
Some workers have, however, raised concerns about returning to work, as they operate in an environment where social distancing is a challenge.
YEN.com.gh earlier reported that the Management of AngloGold Ashanti confirmed earlier a case at their Obuasi goldmine.
In a press release dated Sunday, March 15, 2020, a worker of the mining firm tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
According to the statement, the employee is a Ghanaian who lives in the mine's accommodation and he recently returned from a trip abroad.
The statement added that the employee is in self-isolation in his home under close monitoring by health professionals.
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