In addition to travel restrictions for the Kimberley announced by the Western Australian and Commonwealth Governments on 26 March, the company has activated its emergency contingency plan.
The plan is designed to ensure the health and welfare of staff, contractors, the Kimberley community, and to support the continuation of operations.
“Ensuring community protection”
Managing director Paul Cmrlec said: ”I can’t speak highly enough of our dedicated workforce of employees and contractors who have overwhelmingly answered the call to disrupt their family life to ensure the protection of the community and the continuity of operations at the Nicolson Project.
“Having spoken with many of our employees their primary concern has been for their families, workmates and the company in making their decision to continue to support operations.
“Our priority is the health and welfare of our staff, contractors and Kimberley communities.
“It is essential we help protect the Kimberley region and we will ensure that our operations comply with any restrictions in place on an ongoing basis.”
Contingency measures in place
The majority of Pantoro’s staff and contractors have agreed to base themselves within the Kimberley region for an extended period, if necessary, to ensure continuity of operations.
The company believes that by containing its workforce inside the broader Kimberley region operations can continue largely unaffected by regional travel restrictions.
Pantoro has also procured additional accommodation for its employees and contractors in the region with costs offset by reduced flights.
The company is working with major contractors to implement the same measures to ensure that essential services such as power generation, accommodation services, mobile and fixed equipment maintenance are maintained with minimal disruption.
Pantoro has also ceased surface exploration but is continuing drilling operations at Norseman for the time being.
"Fortunate position going forwards"
Pantoro will further engage with government and major contractors to ensure that efficiency is maximised while restrictions are in effect.
Cmrlec said: “Pantoro is also thankful to the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA for their dedicated support and assistance at a time where they are no doubt overrun with situations requiring attention.
“Pantoro is in the fortunate position of being unhedged once the final 2,000 ounces of pre-sold gold is delivered in April 2020.
“However, given the rapidly changing conditions we consider it imprudent to provide guidance.
“We remain buoyed by the rapid and positive reaction by our team and the current strong gold price.”
The emergency contingency plan will be reviewed and adjusted as new information comes to hand.