Both the Sasa mine in North Macedonia and the Kounrad facility in Kazakhstan continue to operate, with no disruptions to production or sales to date due to COVID-19.
The Government of Kazakhstan has declared a State of Emergency and has implemented several measures intended to curtail the spread of the pandemic, such as a total lock-down of the cities of Nur-Sultan and Almaty as well as some other larger cities. The borders have been closed for the movement of people but not goods.
Similarly, the Government of North Macedonia has declared a State of Emergency, implementing measures such as school closures, night-time curfews and the closure of borders to the movement of people and in some cases the movement of trade vehicles. Sasa has to date been able to continue truck movements across the borders and has particular arrangements in place regarding the curfew to enable its night shift to continue to operate.
No CAML employees have to date been diagnosed with COVID-19 at either operation.
However, with COVID-19 cases rising in both Kazakhstan and North Macedonia and both governments introducing escalating measures, CAML has taken a significant number of steps to try to ensure the continued good health of its team members, including:
- Established a COVID-19 ‘Crisis Committee’
- Instructing staff to work from home wherever possible and enforced closure of the UK head office
- A cessation of all but essential international travel
- A cessation of all but necessary visitors to site (subject to authorisation from General Directors)
- Identification and close monitoring of team members most vulnerable to COVID-19
- The distribution of COVID-19 related PPE to employees and contractors
- The distribution of COVID-19 related PPE to community members in the town close to the Sasa mine
- Undertaken a detailed review of all activities at both operations to ensure that social distancing is at the heart of how we operate during the pandemic
- Made changes to alcohol testing at Sasa to increase social distancing
- Made changes to canteen and transport arrangements at both operations to increase social distancing
- Reinforced relevant government guidance and increased hygiene measures on both sites
- Issued instructions to employees to stay at home if they suffer from any potential COVID-19 symptoms
- Requesting employees take their temperatures before coming into work, and testing temperatures at the mine gate
- The review of critical inventory levels to support production in the case of supply disruptions
Our top priority during this time is the welfare of our employees and contractors.