Bogotá, March 24, 2020
For the past few weeks, the worldwide pandemic generated by COVID-19 has caused us to take important measures to prevent its expansion and ensure the health of our employees, their families and the communities. At a crucial moment in history, when human life must prevail over any other consideration, we have activated our contingency plan in order to reduce our mining operations in the center of Cesar.
Although Decree 457 of 2020 allows for the continuity of mining operations, and we had already implemented strict measures to protect our employees, our operations must be reduced due to the need to care of our employees, minimizing the concentration of people as much as possible and to address concerns in the local communities about the spread of the virus, which have contributed to additional difficulties associated with transportation and logistics. This decrease in activities in our mines has already been taking place in stages.
Most of our contingency team will reside in the mine’s campground, avoiding the entry and exit of workers to the extent possible, and they will be protected under the strictest biosafety protocols. These employees will ensure that we continue to comply with all standards for the preservation of the environment, preventing the deterioration of the mine, the mining equipment and infrastructure, and allowing our coal export commitments to be fulfilled.
We must not forget that several countries, particularly nearby Latin-American nations, as well as numerous others throughout the world depend on our continuous delivery of coal to generate the power they need, now more than ever, for their daily lives and to face the COVID-19 emergency.
All Colombians, especially our Cesar and Magdalena communities, can rest assured that Drummond will keep our commitment to them and continue to execute our social responsibility programs. Likewise, we will allocate significant additional resources for humanitarian aid in our area of influence, helping the most vulnerable population and the health professionals working in this emergency. The contingency plan that we have activated will allow the company to return gradually to normal operations, as health and safety conditions improve and more controls are in place. It will also allow us to minimize the negative economic impact that this crisis will have on families, municipalities and the country.
As this is a changing health emergency, Drummond will periodically keep all its workers and the public opinion informed on any further development. The most important thing is that, together, we work to help our country overcome this situation in the best possible way.
Finally, we believe it is very important to reiterate the importance of every person´s responsibility in implementing all the measures to prevent COVID-19 infection, which have been widely disseminated by the National Government. Colombians can be certain that, with our experience, knowledge and means, they can count on Drummond Ltd. to help us all succeed, in one of the greatest challenges in our history.