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COVID-19 STRATEGY

Objective

Hochschild’s objective is to control and mitigate the risks and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic within our operations and offices in Peru and Argentina in order to safeguard the health of our employees.

Consequently, a COVID-19 Special Committee has been established with responsibility to formulate, execute and evaluate the development of, and compliance with, our protocols.

Ignacio Bustamante, CEO commented:


“The current global situation is extremely challenging for everyone and, at Hochschild, our priority remains the health and safety of our employees and stakeholders who have been vital in helping us manage this situation.”




Country background

Peru

The Peruvian Government took timely action to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • By declaring a state of emergency at an early stage
  • Increased investment in health sector
  • Economic measures to support those most severely affected
  • Labour measures to support companies and employees

 

Argentina

The Argentinian government initiated several measures including social isolation. Mining was classified as an essential activity but restrictions on the transportation of personnel along with rigorous regional protocols have resulted in a more measured remobilisation process for the Company’s San Jose mine.

 

Company protocols

The Company has prepared protocols which promote the following: use of masks; gloves, social distancing; disinfection of work areas; enhanced cleanliness; and reduction of capacity in communal areas. They have been the subject of a comprehensive communications campaign led by the CEO and General Manager of Peru including videos conveying the current situation and the challenges faced. The protocols apply to the following key areas:

Operations (Mining or projects)

  • Personnel transportation
  • Mine unit access
  • Accommodation
  • Canteen
  • Medical facilities
  • Place of work
  • Operation of heavy machinery
  • Training
  • Ore & mineral dispatch

Remote working

  • Place of work
  • Workspace
  • Routine
  • Breaks
  • Communication
  • Cleaning and Hygiene
  • Exercise
  • Training

 

Office working

  • Commuting
  • Office entrances
  • Work areas
  • Cleaning
  • Reception areas

Field work

  • Social welfare
  • Community relations

Travel

  • Work-related travel (temporarily suspended)
Home

 

Medical facilities

Hochschild has a team of health professionals that includes doctors, nurses and psychologists. They are available 24 hours-a-day in order to identify early cases. Additional ambulances and other medical equipment are being sourced to respond to emergencies at our operations. In the case of San Jose in Argentina, there is a hospital located 90 minutes from the mine. We have also purchased serological tests for use within the operations and communities.

Signs of COVID-19

A protocol has been implemented in the event of employee infection. Those with an identified set of symptoms are expected to report immediately to their manager and quickly attend the operation’s clinic with mask and gloves. If a doctor determines that a person may have COVID-19, he/she will be isolated. Each mine/project will have temporary isolation spaces to control symptoms and evaluate suspected cases for initial medical attention.

 
Community and government relations

Hochschild has revised its community relations strategy to address these new circumstances with the focus on providing basic community necessities. We have maintained communications with community leaders by phone and, in conjunction with them, the team has implemented a programme for the distribution of food and cleaning products to residents. In addition, PPE kits have been delivered to medical posts and hospitals in Hochschild’s areas of influence and there is also the possibility of increasing the provision of personnel for the Company’s “Travelling Doctor” programme. Furthermore, we have also made several donations to support the public sector.

Hochschild maintains direct communication channels with the highest levels of the Peruvian government as well as through the Peruvian Chamber of Mines where we have always had senior representation.

Other initiatives

  • Protocol established for the resumption of operations in Peru and presented to the Ministry of Energy and Mines
  • Sufficient stocks of critical mine supplies available in both Peru and Argentina with project to include back-up suppliers already developed (2019)
  • Strengthening of cyber-security controls

 

Related press releases

 
For the full list of latest press releases, please see our News page.