Perseus Mining Limited (ASX:PRU) is adapting its activities around the current Coronavirus pandemic using systems developed during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Chief executive officer and managing director Jeff Quartermaine said: “The coronavirus pandemic that has spread around the world in recent times presents enormous challenges for everyone.
“Perseus is certainly not exempt from this and with employees located in Australia and in two countries in Africa we are keenly aware of our responsibilities to all our stakeholders in this difficult time.”
Because Perseus’s senior management successfully led the company through the Ebola outbreak, Quartermaine said the company can adapt the thinking and systems developed during that crisis.
He said: “The company has seasoned management teams in place at each of our sites and in Perth, who individually and collectively have successfully managed business affairs through a number of crises in West Africa in recent years, including the Ebola outbreak during 2014-2016.
“While this provides no guarantees for the future, it has provided Perseus with tested crisis management capabilities and systems that I expect will be material in guiding us through the current crisis.
Reducing the spread
The company has been active in implementing social programs to benefit host communities in West Africa and Quartermaine said this work will continue.
He said: “This work will continue although the emphasis will likely change to trying to help reduce the spread of infection in the local population if, and when it occurs.”
“We will continue our strenuous efforts to ensure the safety and welfare of our employees, and to ensure that if they do become infected by the virus, that they receive the best standard of healthcare that we can arrange and that they are repatriated to the relative safety of their home countries as soon as possible.”
“These are difficult times, but I am confident that Perseus is up to the challenge.”
To date, no cases of COVID-19 infection have been reported by any of Perseus’s employees or contractors operating at its West African gold mines, Edikan and Sissingué, or at the development site of its third mine, Yaouré, nor by residents of host communities located adjacent to those operations.
Perseus’s gold production and its project development activities have not been materially impacted at this time.
As such, gold production and cost guidance previously provided by Perseus for the half year and full financial year ending June 30 2020 remains valid based on production to date and internal forecasts to the end of the period.
While Perseus has so far responded effectively to the current crisis, this cannot be guaranteed for the remainder of the guidance period.
Perseus will update the market on the validity of its production and cost guidance when its March 2020 quarter results are published in mid-April 2020.