Kumba updates response to south africa’s COVID-19 measures
Updated: Mar 31, 2020
Kumba is providing an update on how it is responding operationally to the fast-evolving global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Kumba’s priorities are the safety, health and wellbeing of our people and all those who interact with our business around the world. ”
Kumba’s Chief Executive, Themba Mkhwanazi, said: “Kumba’s priorities are the safety, health and wellbeing of our people and all those who interact with our business around the world. We also have a clear responsibility to protect the integrity of our business and assets so that we are ready to restart and ramp up any affected operations safely and as quickly as possible once permitted to do so. This approach will enable us to minimise any interruption of supply to our customers and support what will be a vital economic recovery phase for South Africa.”
Kumba notes the statement made by the President of the Republic of South Africa on Monday, 23 March 2020 in relation to a 21-day nationwide lockdown, that took effect at midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020 until Thursday, 16 April 2020, in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa.
Kumba has consulted with the government authorities and industry bodies in South Africa to determine and agree the appropriate measures to be taken across its operations and business activities. Such measures are to protect people’s safety and health, the continuing provision of essential services to local communities, the security and integrity of the assets, the supply of essential raw materials to customers, and the ability to return operations to normal levels of activity as swiftly as possible once the lockdown restrictions are eased, in support of the country’s broader economic interests.
In line with South African government requirements, Kumba has started to implement all appropriate measures across its operations, with a focus on de-densification of the workforce and rigorous health screening and isolation where needed. During the lockdown period, Kumba will continue with a c.50% level of workforce and the rail and port logistics infrastructure to support the export of iron ore is expected to continue to service the operations. Kumba will also continue to provide a number of essential services, including security; mine maintenance; tailings facility safety management; water treatment; community water supply; accommodation provision; health, safety and emergency response; and critical head office services.
Themba Mkhwanazi added: “Our operations play a vital role in many of our host communities, including in terms of jobs and the provision of a number of essential community services, including access to water, health care and emergency medical services. We are wholly committed to supporting the country’s effort to combat COVID-19, including continuity of such services, and will continue to work with government and across the industry to provide all possible support.”
Guidance update: Shareholders are advised that scaling down operations will impact the company’s 2020 production guidance of between 41.5Mt and 42.5Mt, as announced in the 2019 Annual Results presentation on Tuesday, 18 February 2020. Based on the 21-day lockdown period and allowing for a safe ramp-up of operations thereafter, we expect a 2020 production volume impact of between 2 and 3Mt (based on the c.50% reduction in the workforce).
Kumba will provide additional guidance in its scheduled 1Q 2020 Production and Sales Report on Thursday, 23 April 2020.