BNL Executive Managing Director, Anthony Esplin, said the company had advised employees and public officials that incoming international flights would cease as of today, and that only a limited number of outgoing flights would continue, in order to repatriate some personnel to their home country.
“It is important we recognise we all have a part to play in helping prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and the precautionary restrictions on travel we have announced today are one way in which our company can assist the State in combatting this disease,” he said.
“We have temporarily shifted to a long-roster format at the mine site so that operations at the mine can continue without interruption during this period.
“At this stage, we do not anticipate that there will be any major impact on production from these changes – only a small number of our overall workforce are from overseas, and our current in-country management and operations divisions will continue to operate the mine safely during this period.
“These arrangements will be reviewed regularly as the situation requires over the coming weeks, to ensure that mining operations are being conducted safely and effectively,” Esplin said.
“We have implemented a number of other precautionary health procedures for incoming PNG employees prior to travel to the mine site, as well as in our residential camps, to help detect and prevent any risk of local exposure to infection. These measures include temperature scanning of the workforce and enhanced sanitation and hygiene practices in camps and across all work areas.
“We will also be liaising with public health officials in Porgera and Enga to determine if there are other ways we can assist in preparations for any possible outbreak of the disease in the Province.”