Government has commended First Quantum Minerals (FQM) for the measures it has put in place to protect the health of its employees, their families and communities neighboring its Kansanshi and Kalumbila mine sites from COVID-19.
The government has also reaffirmed its commitment to help mining companies remain productive through capacity building in healthcare provision for their employees.
Speaking after he toured FQM’s Kalumbila mine, North-Western Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu said the government will do everything possible within its means to ensure that production is not disrupted.
If we stay away from the response for whatever reason, we risk losing it all as a community. The government attaches great importance to the operation of this mine,he said.
Mr. Mubukwanu also appreciated the state-of-the-art thermal scanner, which scans people’s faces within a distance of up to 2 meters, that has been put in place at the mine’s main checkpoint to capture individual temperature data.
At first, we thought that we were very prepared, not until it was reported that we have a case before us. However, our team of experts from the Ministry of Health responded rapidly to ensure that those that had tested positive in the first place, where put in the right isolation centers,Mr. Mubukwanu said.
North-Western Provincial Health Director Dr. Charles Msiska also requested FQM to extend goodwill and have the same thermal scanners it has installed at its mines, also installed at Solwezi Airport.
Meanwhile, Kalumbila Minerals General Manager Gavin Whyte, said the company has also employed several experts and liaises daily with the Ministry of Health.
We have invested a lot of time, effort and money to get us as prepared as we believe we can. But like anything, we can’t do this alone. We need the support from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Labour and the community,Mr. Mhyte said.
Mr. Whyte also took time to donate 5,000 N95 surgical masks and 4,000 examination gloves to the Provincial Health Administration.