PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Major Rio Tinto on Tuesday announced that it would slow down some of its operations in South Africa and Canada as part of efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19.
At Richards Bay Minerals, in South Africa, the miner will curtail production in compliance with a directive from the South African government, with all mining operations being halted for a period of 21 days, starting on March 26
Rio said that it would make arrangements for the furnaces to be put on care and maintenance in order to avoid damage to their continuous operations.
“At this time, it is too early to speculate on when operations will resume or on 2020 production guidance. Resumption of the construction of the Zulti South project will be delayed,” the miner said in a statement.
In Canada, the Premier of Quebec has announced the closure of all non-essential businesses from midnight on March 24 to April 13. While the Quebec government has designated industrial complexes including the aluminium sector and the mining industry as essential industries, it has instructed that they must reduce their business activity to the minimum.
“We will work with the government to comply with its directive in relation to our Quebec operations. Any impacts to operations or production guidance will be reported to the market in due course,” the company added.
“The health and safety of our people is Rio Tinto’s key priority and we are supportive of the action being taken by various governments to address the threat of Covid-19. We will continue to work with our employees, customers, communities and suppliers to minimise any impact of action being taken to reduce the spread of Covid-19,” CEO Jean-Sebastian Jacques said.