A Real-time PCR COVID-19 lab has been built at the Kansanshi Mine Hospital in Zambia. First Quantum Minerals partnered with Anglo American Exploration Zambia to build the modern laboratory which is expected to increase the testing capacity in North-Western Province.
According to First Quantum’s Kansanshi Mine Assistant General Manager John Gladston, through its partnership with the Provincial Health Authorities, First Quantum is keeping its employees, their families, relatives and friends healthy and free from COVID-19.
“We have been working in partnership with Anglo American and other stakeholders to prioritise the health and safety of personnel and focus on measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among the workforce and communities surrounding our operations,” said Gladston during the opening of Ba Mingilo Molecular Laboratory in Solwezi.
The assistant GM further added that First Quantum will employ the clinical staff at the Kansanshi Mine Hospital to run the laboratory, to protect the health workers who operate the economic engine room of the nation.
Managing the spread of COVID-19
Anglo American Geophysicist Michelo Shalwindi said that this initiative will ensure that the communities close to where the exploration is taking place have access to rapid and high-quality testing services crucial in helping manage the spread of COVID-19. “We are pleased to be supporting the Zambian Government’s efforts to increase COVID-19 testing capacity in Zambia,” added Michelo.
On the other hand, the Permanent Secretary of Technical Services at the Zambian Ministry of Health Dr Kennedy Malama thanked First Quantum and Anglo American for their support in the fight against the pandemic and said he was pleased the two mining houses had demonstrated a strong partnership linked to Government’s support.
Anglo American provided the equipment and consumables for the laboratory. Test kits have been distributed within the province: 5,000 for First Quantum, 5,000 for Anglo American and 5,000 for the community.