The health and well-being of our communities, employees and contractors and their families is of the utmost importance to us during these difficult times.
COVID-19 virus UPDATE 30 September 2021
Perseus’s long-term presence in the region has afforded us important lessons in how to remain resilient during challenging, uncertain times. Working in West Africa during the Ebola epidemic between 2014 and 2016, we gained valuable experience in developing protocols to successfully protect our people, our local communities, and the continuity of our business. Upon the outbreak and escalation of COVID-19 in early 2020, we applied this experience to quickly establish a crisis management team and implement COVID-19 management plans at each operation. Our on-site international medical experts – Medicis in Côte d’Ivoire and ISOS/Wara in Ghana – supported the development of these control.
Our COVID-19 Controls Framework has been designed to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection and spread in our operations and communities and maintain our business stability. Critical controls include travel policies and isolation requirements, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and antigen testing regimes, site access restrictions, temperature screening, hygiene measures, physical distancing, case management, contact tracing, PPE, vaccination, and managing high risk workers. It also includes business continuity planning and engagement and support for our suppliers, communities and host governments. The design and implementation of our controls are adapted in line with the COVID-19 risk level, which is informed by both regional and global information sources.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Perseus has administered a host of initiatives within our surrounding communities and on our mine sites – including donating much needed financial and medical resources. In CY20, we donated US $132,000 to the Ghana and US $140,000 to the Côte d’Ivoire governments (a total of US $272,000) to support COVID-19 management efforts. We also donated funds to our communities (US $20,000 in Ghana and US $90,000 in Côte d’Ivoire) and supported our local community health centres by providing medical equipment and supplies, protective equipment, such as hand sanitizer, hydro-alcoholic gel, gloves, masks, and laser thermometers, as well as training health care workers and conducting awareness campaigns among our local communities to help keep them safe.
To help the local coordinated response, as well as maintain our business continuity, we strengthened our engagement and relationships with governments, communities, and suppliers to manage the impact of travel restrictions and logistics and supply chain disruptions.
We are proud to report that despite the challenges of CY20, we achieved year on year improvement in our safety performance, successfully met our production guidance, and completed our Yaouré mine ahead of time and on budget in December 2020. In CY20, just three of our workers from Yaouré and one at Sissingué were infected with COVID-19 : all recovered at home with no lasting issues, and the virus spread was contained.
The second wave of COVID-19 across West Africa in FY21 resulted in more widespread infection. In FY21, we saw an increased number of workers at our operations infected with COVID-19; 36 at Edikan, 17 at Sissingué and 11 at Yaouré.
The start of FY22 has seen a third wave of COVID-19 across West Africa. As of 30 September 2021, we have had 66 COVID-19 cases across our operations in FY22. To date, none of these cases have led to serious illness. Our adaptive COVID-19 management strategy remains effective, and our controls are minimising the spread in our workforce.