UK-headquartered miner Central Asia Metals Limited (CAML) has maintained its full-year guidance from its operations in Kazakhstan and North Macedonia, despite increasing measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 at its Kounrad operation.
As the Aim-listed company enters the third quarter, Covid-19 cases have been rising in the local town close to its Kounrad operation, and 27 of its workers have tested positive for the virus.
“It is our duty to do our utmost to prevent the spread of this virus on our site and, to that end, we have taken the post-period end decision to temporarily reduce to a minimum the number of employees at Kounrad to further increase social distancing measures,” said CEO Nigel Robinson.
The number of employees on site at Kounrad, where CAML operates the solvent extraction–electrowinning copper recovery plant at the mine, has been reduced by 40% to increase physical distancing.
“Due to the relatively open nature of the operations, we are confident that such measures will be effective and, with our reduced staffing, we will be able to broadly maintain production for the near term,” he added.
Kazakhstan re-introduced a national lockdown on Sunday, after a spike in Covid-19 cases. The restrictions would be in force for two weeks.
At the Sasa operation, in Macedonia, the company has not reported any Covid-19 cases and there are also no reported cases in the town closest to the mine, Makedonska Kamenica.
In the first half of 2020, CAML operated its Kounrad facility and the Sasa mine without production disruptions, owing to Covid-19. The company increased its copper production to 6 607 t, its lead production to 12 203 t and its lead production to 15 140 t.
The miner’s guidance for 2020 is to produce 12 500 t to 13 500 t of copper, 23 000 t to 25 000 t of zinc and 30 000 t to 32 000 t of lead.