Gem Diamonds will next week recommence mining operations at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, despite the general lockdown in the country having been extended until 5 May.
The company said Maseru had permitted the re-opening of diamond mines in the country, previously subjected to the lockdown order.
However, this was subject to compliance with Covid-19 health and safety guidelines.
“Accordingly, the company's Letšeng mine will re-open on Monday, 27 April 2020, in accordance with a phased ramp-up plan which is compliant with health and safety protocols formulated by health experts for the prevention of Covid-19 disease,” it said.
“This plan also reflects the practical supply chain and market considerations arising from the continued lockdown in Lesotho, South Africa, Belgium and other relevant jurisdictions.”
Gem Diamonds said its key priority remains the safety of its employees, contractors and customers, and it has adopted a comprehensive Covid-19 management plan.
The company has to date concluded two flexible tender sale processes for Letšeng diamonds.
These, it said, will continue throughout this period.
“In addition, the company continues to assess the full extent of the operational and financial impacts of the Covid-19 disease and updated 2020 guidance will be provided once this process is completed,” said Gem.
Lesotho has not yet reported instances of any Covid-19 positive test cases.
Image credit: Gem Diamonds