Newcrest Mining Refutes Coronavirus claims

Newcrest Mining has refuted claims on social media that the coronavirus has been detected at the Lihir Gold Mine Operations.

In a statement General Manager of Operations, Chris Jordaan, said there was no coronavirus detected at the mine as speculated on social media but confirmed  that two employees have been placed in quarantine after presenting flu-like symptoms.

Rumors of the coronavirus being detected at the Lihir Gold Mine circulated overnight on social media.

It was claimed that an expatriate staff had been confirmed to have contracted the virus.

In a statement issued this morning General Manager of Operations, Chris Jordaan, said the rumors were not true.

"Contrary to false rumours circulating on social media that Coronavirus has been detected in Lihir, I want to confirm the facts. Two employees (a PNG national and an Australian Expatriate) have been placed in quarantine proactively after presenting with flu-like symptoms. By isolating them, all necessary and as- per-normal precautionary measures were taken and will continue, to ensure our employees receive the most appropriate healthcare.

"At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in PNG, as well as Lihir, according to PNG National Department of Health.

"Misinformation can lead to fear and panic, so we strongly discourage the circulation of false information or rumours to respect the dignity and confidentiality of our employees. Please talk to your people leaders if you have questions or concerns or contact the number provided below," said Jordaan.

Jordaan said Newcrest is taking extensive steps to prevent, manage and contain any potential outbreak of the Coronavirus and they are following recommendations from the Health Department.

He added they are closely monitoring all reports for updates on coronavirus and committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for our employees and community.

Meanwhile the company has issued instructions to all its staff to take personal responsibility and accountability for their health and practice good hygiene.

Health Minister, Jelta Wong, said he has been informed of the two Newcrest staff who have been quarantined and said both employees have seen doctors there but show symptoms different to the coronavirus.

Cedric Patjole