RANDGOLD Resources has joined 10 other miners calling for a bigger global effort to fight the Ebola virus and for travel bans on affected countries to be lifted.
In a statement released yesterday, the West Africa-focused company said it had a long-term commitment to the area hit by the epidemic and was continuing, where possible, with normal operations, while also considering employees’ health and safety.
Randgold said it was concerned “about the impact of the Ebola virus on affected countries’ economies and the well-being of their people, which is being compounded by subsequent decisions and actions that affect travel to and trade with the region.”
The statement came after President Barack Obama promised to send the US military to help. He said the virus, which has killed at least 2,100 people in five African countries, could soon mutate to become more transmissible.
Randgold said it respected those trying to fight the epidemic. But it added: “We also recognise that a larger coordinated global effort is required.”
“We therefore urge the international community to pool its resources and lend support to help reverse the virus and enable these countries to recover as swiftly as possible from dealing with the epidemic. The declaration by President Obama concerning US military support in the region is exactly the type of action that is required.
“We are calling for the immediate opening of humanitarian and economic corridors to the affected countries and urge the international community to respect the ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) call to lift any travel bans in accordance with the WHO (World Health Organization) recommendation.”
Other firms backing the statement were listed as African Mining Services, ArcelorMittal, Aureus Mining, Dawnus Group, Golden Veroleum Liberia, Hummingbird Resources, IAMGOLD Corporation, London Mining, MonuRent and Newmont Mining Corporation.