Barrick gets 800,000 test kits to screen workers for covid-19

The Kibali gold mine in the DRC. (Image courtesy of Barrick Gold)

Barrick has bought over 800,000 antibody testing kits to screen workers and the communities around its mines for covid-19, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

“We’ve got 300,000 kits on the way. We’ve got about 150,000 in the country already and another 400,000 that we have just finalized [buying],” Bristow told the Financial Times in an interview from Johannesburg.

Barrick’s CEO said that tests had helped shield company’s operations and host communities from the virus

Barrick’s CEO said that tests had helped shield company’s operations and host communities from the virus. The test kit includes a finger prick blood test, used to detect if a person’s immune system has covid-19 or has recovered from it, said.

“And we’ve had some very good success . . . where we have screened and stopped the person coming into the [mine] gate,” he told the Financial Times.

Barrick also said emergency response plans for dealing with the pandemic have been stepped up at all its sites and offices across the world.

Bristow told FT the response was rooted in the company’s experience combating Ebola outbreaks around its west Africa operations.

Earlier in March, the world’s second-largest gold miner said it was increasing its inventory of “key commodities” to above normal levels in response to the global spread of covid-19.

Bristow said the company had already started to see a drop in absenteeism because of the general improvement in hygiene across the organization.

He also said Barrick’s overall operations had suffered minimal disruption because of the virus and production was in line with its full-year guidance of 4.8m-5.2m ounces of gold.

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