Commodities, Iron ore, News

Cloudbreak restarts following negative COVID-19 tests

COVID-19 pandemic

Fortescue Metals Group has restarted the Cloudbreak iron ore mine in Western Australia following a COVID-19 scare last week.

The company is expecting no material impacts to operations following the two-day shutdown.

The scare involved a contractor who returned a weak positive COVID-19 test after being on site from July 20 to July 27.

Subsequent tests have returned negative results for the employee with rapid testing across the site finding no additional cases.

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said the company fulfilled its expectations to value the safety of others.

“The safety of all our team members, their families and our local communities is our highest priority. We have robust COVID-19 management protocols in place and are taking every precaution to ensure COVID-19 does not impact our operations,” Gaines said.

“Our Incident Management Team has worked effectively to assist with contact tracing efforts and our decision to invest in rapid antigen testing has allowed us to immediately test our team members.”

More than 1200 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 850 antigen tests had been administered across Fortescue’s operations on Wednesday.

Fortescue, like many other mining companies, has encouraged the population to get vaccinated.

“We believe that vaccination is the key to protecting our workforce and have encouraged all our team members to receive a vaccine in line with current directions from the federal government,” Gaines said.

“I sincerely thank the entire Fortescue team for their ongoing commitment at this time, which has ensured that there has been no impact to our operational performance despite the need to test large numbers of people.

“The support our teammates are providing to each other at this time is a true demonstration of our values in action.”

Fortescue shipped a record 182.2 million tonnes in the 2020-21 financial year off the back of record high iron ore prices.


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