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August 10, 2020

Newcrest confirms positive Covid-19 test at Papua New Guinea facility

By JP Casey

Australian miner Newcrest has announced that a worker at its Lihir gold project in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has tested positive for Covid-19, and is being treated in isolation.

The individual, a PNG national, flew to the facility on Lihir Island from national capital Port Moresby on 30 July and isolated for 14 days in keeping with company policy. During this time, the individual, who is asymptomatic, tested positive for the virus, although this is the only positive test from those who travelled on this route. The company noted that the testing and isolation process has “prevented disruption to the operation,” which produced over 930,000 ounces of gold in the 2019 financial year.

“Every workforce member arriving at Lihir must undergo mandatory 14 day isolation in a dedicated, guarded facility,” explained the miner in a press release. “During isolation they are tested using the Polymerase Chain Reaction method three times at set intervals, and released only after all three tests return a negative result.”

The miner has contributed $428,964 to UNICEF’s Covid-19 response in PNG through supplying personal protective equipment, and will be hopeful that its work, both independently and alongside the UN body, will help prevent the spread of the virus further.

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