London-listed Antofagasta on Thursday reported that its production had not been significantly impacted by measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, despite the company operating with only about 50% of its workforce.
Antofagasta, which owns mines in Chile where coronavirus cases have risen to more than 3 000, has not detected any cases of Covid-19 directly within its operations. However, four employees and contractors have been diagnosed with the virus, while they were away from work.
Operations are continuing as mining is considered a critical business in Chile. However, the Los Pelambres expansion project is on care and maintenance and its workforce has been reduced by about 90%, the company confirmed.
Antofagasta would review its full-year guidance at the release of its first-quarter production report on April 22. The company’s current guidance for 2020 is to produce 725 000 t to 755 000 t of copper, 180 000 oz to 200 000 oz of gold and 12 500 t to 14 000 t of molybdenum.
Meanwhile, Antofagasta on Thursday also unveiled a $6-million fund to help the communities that live near its mining operations in Choapa fight the pandemic.
The fund would be used to buy medical supplies and equipment needed by healthcare workers to fight the Covid-19, create facilities for people to stay if they need to be quarantined, and to sterilise public spaces and create safe areas for the community. The fund would also serve to help the economic and social recovery of communities, the mining company said in a statement.