Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX) (NYSE: GOLD) said on Friday it was increasing its inventory of “key commodities” to above normal levels in response to the global spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19.
The world’s second-largest gold miner noted that placed and forecast orders remain unchanged and supplies to mines haven’t been affected.
Drawing on experience of combating Ebola outbreaks around its mines in Africa, the Canadian gold giant has also increased emergency response plans to prepare for the possibility of the virus affecting its operations.
Employees have been counselled about the symptoms and risks of contracting the infection while access to each site across the group is strictly controlled, with visitors, employees and contractors routinely screened before and on arrival. Emergency medical procedures and facilities are also in place, the miner said.
“Barrick is closely monitoring the situation, engaging with health authorities and tracking updates from the international medical community. Thus far, it has not deemed it necessary to introduce any travel restrictions,” it said in the statement.
The company did not specify which “key commodities” it was increasing inventory of.
Global cases of coronavirus surpassed 100,000 on Friday morning, a grim milestone that now appears inevitable with self-sustaining clusters continuing to expand in South Korea, Japan, parts of Europe, Iran and the United States.
COVID-19 has spread to more than 80 countries and territories since it was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year.