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Fekola operations continue amid COVID-19 infections

Vancouver-based B2Gold says its proactive testing and response plan has identified 10 employees with the COVID-19 virus at its Fekola mine in Mali, however, operations continue unhindered by the pandemic.
Fekola operations continue amid COVID-19 infections Fekola operations continue amid COVID-19 infections Fekola operations continue amid COVID-19 infections Fekola operations continue amid COVID-19 infections Fekola operations continue amid COVID-19 infections

B2Gold says 10 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Fekola operation in Mali

Staff Reporter

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The company reported the first near-site infection on April 16, when an employee tested positive at the exploration camp about 5km from the Fekola mine site. 

The company said of the 10 infected, nine were asymptomatic.

The company had implemented a tight site lockdown from April 19 onwards, accommodating employees from nearby villages in temporary accommodations on site to create an "island setting" with minimal interaction with local communities.

All employees entering the Fekola project are now required to quarantine for a minimum of twelve days prior to entering the general site population. Despite these measures, one new positive COVID-19 case was identified on May 2.

The company said everyone with the virus had been removed from the Fekola site.

It said it was planning to test all Fekola employees for the virus, including before entering or exiting the site.

Fekola continues to operate at full capacity and the company guides for meeting or beating guidance this quarter and year. B2Gold reported record production from Fekola 164,011oz during the March quarter.

It continues with an expansion of the Fekola mill, which is expected to be complete by September. An expansion of the tailings dump also remains of schedule to provide expanded capacity from 2023 onwards.