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De Beers Owner Plans Global Vaccine Mandate

Dec 2, 2021 7:23 AM   By Rapaport News
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Anglo American, De Beers’ parent company, is preparing to introduce a Covid-19 vaccine mandate across its operations in an effort to combat the virus.

The mining group intends to make the jabs a requirement for anyone accessing its global sites and offices, a De Beers spokesperson said Thursday in a statement to Rapaport News.

Management will consult with employees and stakeholders over the coming months, after which it plans to implement the policy based on the feedback, the spokesperson explained. He did not say whether the company would dismiss unvaccinated workers. It is considering exemptions on medical grounds.

There will likely be differences in how and when the group executes the rule across its network because of local contexts and laws, the spokesperson added. The company has already been setting up inoculation centers to enable workers to receive the vaccine, for example in South Africa, where a large proportion of Anglo American’s mines are based.

“For many months, we have strongly encouraged everyone to get vaccinated at the earliest opportunity,” wrote Elton Dorkin, Anglo American’s head of health, in an opinion column for South African newspaper Business Day. “And we make it easy — we provide vaccinations to employees and their dependents in [South Africa]. Now we are starting to engage our workforce as we intend to introduce a requirement of full vaccination for anyone wanting to enter one of our sites or offices in [South Africa] and around the world.”

Coronavirus vaccine mandates at corporate and national levels have gained steam in recent months. US President Joe Biden announced a requirement for companies with 100 or more employees to ensure all workers are fully jabbed or take a weekly Covid-19 test, though this has hit legal hurdles. Austria is reportedly considering fining unvaccinated people, while Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, recently said European Union members should consider mandates.

In October, the owners of diamond mines in Canada’s Northwest Territories reportedly threatened to put workers on unpaid leave if they refused to get the shots. The region’s remote Ekati, Diavik, and Gahcho Kué sites rely on air transport services, which had restricted travel to vaccinated individuals.

Image: Anglo American and De Beers signage at the De Beers offices in London. (Ben Perry/Armoury Films/De Beers)
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Tags: Anglo American, Canada, Coronavirus, COVID-19, De Beers, Diavik, ekati, Elton Dorkin, European Commission, European Union, Gahcho Kué, Joe Biden, northwest territories, Rapaport News, South Africa, Ursula von der Leyen, vaccine
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