GOVERNMENT has received from Barrick Lumwana Mining Company (LMC) K1.2 m worth of anti-COVID-19 equipment with praise for the
firm’s continued support towards the fight against the pandemic.

Health Minister Doctor Chitalu Chilufya has described Barrick Lumwana Mining Company as one of the consistent top corporate companies that have generously aided and made possible the efforts to safeguard the lives of citizens from the ravaging COVID-19.

Chilufya said recently when he received materials donated by Barrick Lumwana Mining Company materials worth K1,200,000 towards the fight against the pandemic that Government appreciated the continued partnership of the mining company and other corporate organisations.

Barrick Lumwana Mining Company Country Manager Mr Nathan Chishimba presented to the Ministry of Health assorted items including 12 site tents with the capacity of accommodating 12 patients in each one of them, 1,000 work suits, thousands of gloves and 500 blankets.

“Your support towards this response explains the success of our response to the fight. We place on record our appreciation for this partnership and on behalf of the Zambian Government, we thank Barrick Lumwana and all other cooperating partners that have worked with Government in ensuring that the COVID-19 response is successful,” Dr Chilufya said.

Speaking at the handover ceremony in Lusaka, Mr Chishimba also told the Minister of Health that his mining firm had earlier made another donation of assorted materials to the North-Western Provincial administration as well as Kalumbila district administration.

Mr Chishimba explained that since the breakout of the COVID-19, LMC now had a structured support from the district, provincial up to the national level.

“Essentially this donation is a manifestation of our consistency with our company theme that we always work closely with our local communities in which we operate and our Government locally to ensure that the existence of Barrick in Zambia yields mutual benefits to both parties,” Mr Chishimba said.

The LMC would continue being a reliable and all-weather partner to Government and the country. In weighing in with its support, Barrick Gold Corporation had earlier announced the donation of K10 million to support Zambia in combating and containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Willem Jacobs, Barrick’s Chief Operating Officer for Africa and the Middle East, said the company was engaging with Zambia’s national COVID-19 taskforce to convert its support into immediate action.

He said senior management for Barrick at Lumwana Mining Company in Zambia was already working closely with the local health authorities.
Mr Chishimba handed a cheque for US$530,000 (about K10 million) to Dr Chilufya, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Hon.Richard Musukwa and North-Western Province Minister Hon. Nathaniel Mubukwanu.

At another ceremony in Lusaka early this year,Mr Chishimba said Barrick had already introduced extensive measures to protect workers and their families living in and around its Lumwana Mine against the virus.

The donation was broken down as K6,460,000 (US$340,000) for the provision of medical equipment at national level, K1,900,000 (US$100,000) for intervention for the north-Western Province and K1,710,000 for Kalumbila District.

“As a committed partner to Zambia we would also like to make a contribution to the Government’s fight against the pandemic. We are consequently funding the provision of medical equipment to the value of US$340,000 at the national level, US$100,000 for the North-Western province and US$90,000 for the Kalumbila district,” he said.

By John Chola, Solwezi Today

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