The Business Weekly & Review (TBWR): Share with us, the name of a diamond sorter, who first discovered the Lesedi La Rona?
William Lamb (WL): Due to consideration for the affected employee’s personal safety and the requirements of Botswana’s employment laws which guarantee employer/employee confidentiality, we are unable to give you the details that you seek.
TBWR: Given the significance of the stone, were there any specific incentives awarded the workers who played a vital role in the discovery?
WL: The stone was recovered through the normal technological processes that we utilise on the mine. As such there is no single or special group of employees who could therefore be singularly selected as having played an extra-ordinary role in recovering the “Lesedi La Rona”. However, given the significance of the recovery, the Company decided to reward all employees at the Karowe Mine site with a “Large Stone Bonus”.
TBWR: We found out that the very same diamond sorter, was involved in an accident at work, in which his finger was broken, are you aware of this incident, when was it, and what exactly happened?
WL:We can only confirm that in July 2016 one of our employees unfortunately sustained an injury while on duty. We are not able to give any further details relating to the accident as that would amount to a breach of employer/employee confidentiality.
TBWR: If Lucara Diamond Corp and its associates were aware of the incident; please share with us how the man was assisted in addressing his injuries?
WL: The Management at the Karowe Mine became aware of the accident soon after it occurred and the employee was given urgent medical attention in accordance with the mine’s standard occupational safety procedure dealing with injuries on duty.
TBWR: Give us in detail, the kind of medical attention he received, dates, and at which hospital and what findings the medical experts gave, regarding the accident?
WL: The injured person was first attended to at the mine’s medical facility and thereafter following Boteti Mining’s health and safety protocol was referred to a private Medical Centre in Letlhakane.
TBWR: What kind of injuries were they? Were these First Aid case or a Lost Time injuries?
WL: We are unable to give you the employees’ confidential medical information as this will be in breach of our duty of confidentiality.
TBWR: Our investigations reveal that the man was taken to a private doctor somewhere in Letlhakane, and that the following day he went back to work, with the belief that it was just a minor first aid case, how true is this?
WL: The employee was certified fit by a medical doctor in Letlhakane to return to work and was placed on lightduties by management as a safety precaution.
TBWR: However, it appears that the man later went to Orapa Hospital on his own after he continued feeling pains, where he was denied assistance since the matter was an occupational health case, how true is this?
WL: We are not aware of the circumstances that led to his allegedly going to Orapa Hospital on his own accord and without a referral from medical staff that had attended to him as is the standard procedure.
TBWR: Further, the man was later said to have gone to Bokamoso Private Hospital in Gaborone at his own cost, where X-ray tests revealed that his finger was broken. Are you aware of his medical examination at Bokamoso Hospital? Did he share with the management his results, and how did management react to the matter?
WL: We are unable to give the details that you seek for reasons of confidentiality already stated above. We can confirm that, following providing employees with a medical referral, Boteti Mining covers all medical costs and in the case of the injured’s treatment at the Bokamoso Private Hospital all costs have been guaranteed in writing by Boteti Mining.
TBWR: Did the management assist the diamond sorter with any form of medical assistance, be it his medical bills or anything? If indeed you did for which medical sessions did you assist with?
WL: The employee’s medical expenses relating to the injury were paid for and will continue to be paid by Boteti Mining.
TBWR: What is his medical condition right now?
WL: We are unable to answer this question due to the duty of confidentiality relating to staff medical information.
TBWR: Kindly assist with any extra information available.
WL: Boteti Mining is committed to achieving health and safety excellence. We understand that an injury sustained by our employees can have a serious impact on their families. The safety of our employees at the Karowe mine is of paramount importance to us. We therefore pay particular attention to ensure the potential for work place accidents are minimized at all times. In the few unfortunate instances where such injuries do occur, we provide our affected employees with the appropriate support and medical attention at our own cost to aid them back to full health and back into the workplace.