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July 27, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Union reports Covid-19 deaths at ArcellorMittal plant – South Africa’s mineral resources minister discharged from hospital

By Matthew Hall

27 July

A miners’ union has said that 21 workers at a steel plant owned by ArcelorMittal in the city of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico have died of Covid-19. The 21 deaths comprises employees, contractors and suppliers to the facility, according to national mining and metallurgical workers’ union local branch secretary general Carlos Solorio to Reuters. “Everyone was working for the company.” Solorio added. Nine of those who died were union members.

Harmony Gold Mining Company has stated that one of its employees has died following a mine-related accident at the Bambanani mine in Welkom of South Africa. A probe into the accident is underway. Harmony CEO Peter Steenkamp extended condolences to family, colleagues and friends in “what is already a very difficult time for all South Africans during the Covid-19 pandemic”. Steenkamp added: “We continue to reinforce safety across all our operations, and urge all our employees to practice safe behaviour on and off duty. The key elements of our safety journey are leadership, risk management and attainment of a proactive safety culture.”

The South African minister for mineral resources and energy Gwede Mantashe has been discharged from hospital following Covid-19 treatment. The minister and his wife Nolwandle were infected with the virus and admitted to hospital last week. “Though he has been discharged, he has been advised by his medical team to stay home for another seven days. We are grateful that Minister Mantashe is now at home with his family and on his way to a full recovery,” Independent Online quoted the Presidency as stating. Mantasha is one of three ministers in the country who has been infected with Covid-19.

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