Rand Refinery has significantly scaled up its production following the easing of lockdown restrictions. Certified an essential service as defined by the Disaster Management Act; the refinery’s operations were curtailed during the five-week national lockdown.
The ramping up of the operations over the next few weeks will be staggered and in line with the expected increase of gold output from local and Rest of Africa established gold mines. Currently, almost 70% ofthe staff is back at work and we expect to bring the full complement as soon as supply normalises.
As mines return to production of their own, we hope to accelerate our refining capacity to match the deposits. While the volumes are definitely expected to increase following the de-escalation of alert levels, we are mindful of the challenges that gold miners face, as they would have to manage the outbreaks at mines and be prudent in ramping up to ensure that the health and safety of their employees is not compromised.
The smelter arc furnace has been restarted. It reached full capacity towards the end of May and the refinery has sufficient feedstock to fully operate the smelter.
We are now accepting mine by-products and other low-grade concentrates for processing. The health and safety of our employees remains our highest priority and is governed by the necessary induction programmes, training and detailed risk assessments for every work area and team.
As such, a detailed individual risk factor model incorporating individual co-morbidities and other relevant data was developed at the early stages of the pandemic to guide and manage the risk within teams and ensure high-risk employees remain at home.
Employees are also expected to undergo a compulsory weekly medical check-up at the clinic. A new Governance and Business Sustainability Structure has also been established. It is responsible for ensuring compliance in all areas, developing hot spots based on evident behaviours of associates and contractors, developing strategies to address multiple scenarios related to health & safety, risk mitigation and operational business continuity.