Golden Star reports COVID-19 impact at Prestea; guidance maintained

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(Kitco News) – Golden Star Resources Ltd. (NYSE American: GSS; TSX: GSC; GSE: GSR) says there will be some impact on output at its Prestea mining operation in Ghana since around 60 workers are being quarantined after a second member tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 have been occurred at Wassa, also located in Ghana, and operations there remain unaffected, Golden Star said.

“To the extent the situation remains unchanged, given the current strong operational performance at Wassa, the company continues to be on track to achieve its consolidated annual guidance for 2020,” Golden Star said in a prepared statement. “As previously reported, the supply chains at the Wassa and Prestea mines have not been impacted nor has the export and sale of gold doré.”

Of the company’s first-quarter production, 40,300 ounces of gold came from Wassa and 9,600 from Prestea.

A second case was reported at Prestea on Thursday after the first one was reported last week. The company said both employees have mild symptoms but are being closely monitored.

“Consistent with the company’s COVID-19 management protocols and those of the Ghana Health Service, contact tracing has been carried out, and as a result close to 60 members of our Prestea team are currently in quarantine and awaiting test results,” the company said. “Of these, the majority are involved in mining activities (including rock breaking, scoop operations and blasting) and engineering activities (including winder operations and pumping).”

Management is revising planned operations for the short term to for safety measures and to deal with possible critical skill shortages, the company said.

“This is likely to have some impact on production from 24 Level over the coming weeks until employees who are currently in quarantine are able to safely return to work,” the company continued. “At this stage, it is anticipated that the impact on development activities on 17 Level, which are crucial to the longer term viability of the operation, will be minimal.”