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Covid-19 News

Ecuador's largest gold and copper mines scale back as Coronavirus cases rapidly grow

By: Bloomberg     22nd March 2020 Ecuador said on Sunday that its largest gold and copper mines would reduce the number of workers and scale back operations to a minimum as the country registers a rapid growth of coronavirus infections. The Fruta del Norte gold mine, operated by Canadian company Lundin Gold, and the Mirador... 

As coronavirus spreads, Rusal puts brakes on Nornickel's palladium JV

By: Reuters     22nd March 2020  Norilsk Nickel said on Friday that Russian Platinum had withdrawn from talks about creating a joint venture for their Arctic palladium project due to a lack of approval from Rusal, one of Nornickel's shareholders. Nornickel is the world's largest producer of palladium, which has been hit hard by... 

BHP to exclude contractors at Chile copper mines for 15 days

By: Reuters     22nd March 2020 Global miner BHP Group will exclude contractors from its Chile copper mines for 15 days, it announced on Sunday, saying this is part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus. BHP operates the Escondida and Pampa Norte mines in Chile, which on Saturday confirmed its first coronavirus death.... 

Burkina Faso Mines Minister tests positive for coronavirus

By: Bloomberg     22nd March 2020 A senior member of Burkina Faso’s government tested positive for the coronavirus, just days after another lawmaker became the West African country’s first casualty of the pandemic. Minister of Mines and Quarries Oumarou Idani developed symptoms after returning from a conference in Toronto, his... 

South Africa economy silence contrasts with drastic virus steps

By: Bloomberg     22nd March 2020 South Africa’s government won praise for taking swift action to contain the coronavirus outbreak. It’s said little on how it plans to protect the economy. With just 61 infections on March 15, President Cyril Ramaphosa imposed travel bans, instructed schools to close and outlawed large gatherings.... 

Ramaphosa meets business leaders as virus spreads 

By: Bloomberg     22nd March 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet with business leaders today as the government mulls relief measures to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on the economy. The country has escalated measures to curb the spread of the virus, including banning travel to and from... 

Pennsylvania coal mines must shut down, governor orders

By: Bloomberg     20th March 2020 Coal miners including Consol Energy and Contura Energy must shutter their operations in Pennsylvania after the governor ordered “non-life-sustaining” businesses to close. The order took effect Thursday night, according to a statement from Governor Tom Wolf. Pennsylvania is the latest state to... 

Pennsylvania coal mines must shut down, governor orders

As coronavirus rages, Rusal puts brakes on Nornickel's palladium JV

By: Reuters     20th March 2020 Russia's Norilsk Nickel said on Friday that Russian Platinum, its partner in an Arctic palladium project, had withdrawn from talks on creating the joint venture due to a lack of approval from Rusal, one of Nornickel's shareholders. Nornickel is the world's largest producer of palladium, which... 

Jervois suspends activities in Uganda amid Covid-19 outbreak

By: Simone Liedtke     20th March 2020 ASX- and TSX-V-listed Jervois Mining has suspended its activities in Uganda in response to Covid-19, with no fixed  remobilisation date yet. The miner said on Friday that measures have been undertaken to safeguard the health and safety of its employees, contractors and local communities. 

Two workers that sparked Kinross Russia gold mine lockdown test negative

By: Reuters     20th March 2020 Two workers that sparked the lockdown of a gold mine in Russia's Far East involving almost 900 workers have tested negative for the new coronavirus, local authorities said. Mine operator Kinross Gold of Canada, which produces gold and silver in Russia, isolated its Kupol mine complex this week,... 

Gold pares weekly losses after weaker dollar brings relief 

By: Bloomberg     20th March 2020 Bullion got a reprieve Friday as the dollar halted its rally, although the metal remains poised for a back-to-back weekly loss. Gold headed for its biggest daily gain since March 3 and silver earlier jumped the most since 2014. Precious metals are rebounding after days of relentless selling by... 

Gold pares weekly losses after weaker dollar brings relief

Argentina mines and projects halted as Covid-19 isolation hits

By: Mariaan Webb     20th March 2020 Mines and projects are ramping down in Argentina, after a mandatory social isolation declaration was issued, with Yamana Gold and Hochschild Mining confirming on Friday that their operations in that country would be reduced and Lithium Americas suspending construction at the Cauchari-Olaroz... 

Argentina mines and projects halted as Covid-19 isolation hits

New Gold's Rainy River suspended for two weeks

By: Mariaan Webb     20th March 2020 Canadian gold miner New Gold has suspended operations at its Rainy River mine, which is close to the US border, to allow its workforce to self-isolate for 14 days. Border crossings to the local Minnesota communities is a common practice in the region and New Gold said that a significant number... 

New Gold's Rainy River suspended for two weeks

Anglo takes companywide measures to limit spread, mitigate impacts of Covid-19 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th March 2020 Global diversified miner Anglo American has announced the measures that it is taking in light of the Covid-19 outbreak across its mining and corporate operations. CE Mark Cutifani says the measures are often tailored to the specific nature and location of a particular site to protect the... 

Anglo takes companywide measures to limit spread, mitigate impacts of Covid-19

Aurania and others place Ecuador projects on hold

By: Mariaan Webb     20th March 2020 Canadian exploration company Aurania Resources has extracted its personnel from the field in Ecuador in response to the outbreak of Covid-19, which has already infected more than 150 people in that country and killed two. The Ecuador government has moved to limit the spread of coronavirus... 

Australian oil and gas supply secure - Appea

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th March 2020 The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) and the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) on Friday said that their members were working to ensure the delivery of essential gas supply to local customers amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Appea CEO Andrew McConville... 

Amec calls for breathing space for explorers

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th March 2020 The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (Amec) has called on the state and federal governments to implement a moratorium on tenement rentals and associated expenditure requirements for mineral exploration licenses. “The human impact of Covid-19 and the safety of those in our... 

BHP to hire 1 500 Australian staff to stimulate economy

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th March 2020 Mining major BHP on Friday announced that it would hire 1 500 additional staff across Australia to support its current workforce and to stimulate the economy. The miner said that the jobs would be offered as six-month contracts and would cover a range of skills needed in the short term,... 

BHP to hire 1 500 Australian staff to stimulate economy

Codelco says sales, shipments of copper not yet hit by coronavirus

By: Reuters     20th March 2020 Chilean State miner Codelco said on Thursday that sales and shipments of copper had not yet been impacted by the spread of coronavirus, even as it took precautions to ensure the safety and security of its workers. The world´s largest copper miner told Reuters it had secured its supply chain and... 

Agnico Eagle sends Nunavut workers home to protect communities

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th March 2020 Gold miner Agnico Eagle Mines has sent home its Nunavut-based work force (Nunavummiut) from the Meliadine and Meadowbank operations, as well as the exploration projects, for four weeks to protect the communities from the coronavirus. Agnico Eagle will also be meeting with its Nunavut contractors... 

The Meadowbank Complex in Nunavut.
The Meadowbank Complex in Nunavut.

Anglo American reduces operations at Los Bronces copper mine in Chile

By: Reuters     19th March 2020 Global miner Anglo-American said on Thursday it would scale down operations at its Los Bronces copper mine in Chile to the minimum necessary to ensure "operational continuity" amid the spread of the coronavirus in the South American nation. The miner said in a statement it expected only minimal... 

Anglo American reduces operations at Los Bronces copper mine in Chile

South Africa gazettes regulations around Covid-19 management  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th March 2020 The South African government has gazetted regulations related to the current state of disaster that was announced on Sunday. The regulations are effective immediately.  

South Africa gazettes regulations around Covid-19 management

Gold to remain attractive investment asset despite impact of Covid-19

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th March 2020 The World Gold Council (WGC) on Thursday said deceleration in economic growth globally will undoubtedly impact on consumer demand for gold and gold’s volatility may remain high. However, high risk levels, coupled with widespread negative real rates and quantitative easing, will be supportive of... 

Gold to remain attractive investment asset despite impact of Covid-19

Fitch lowers mineral output forecasts for 2020 in light of mine stoppages

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th March 2020 Research agency Fitch Solutions has revised downwards some of its mineral production forecasts for this year, in light of increasing operational disruptions while Covid-19 continues to spread globally. For example, Fitch revised its production forecast for copper to 20.28-million tonnes, from... 

BHP says no hit to operations so far from coronavirus

By: Reuters     19th March 2020 BHP said on Thursday its operations had not been materially impacted so far by the coronavirus pandemic and that it had implemented additional procedures to prevent the spread of the disease among its employees. "BHP supply chains are still open and we currently have adequate supplies to operate... 

BHP CEO Mike Henry
BHP CEO Mike Henry

Kenmare declares first full dividend, says major virus-related market issues unlikely

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th March 2020 London-listed mineral sands miner Kenmare Resources has declared a maiden full-year dividend of $0.08 for the year ended December 31. The dividend comprised a $0.026 apiece interim dividend paid in October last year, and a final dividend of $0.052 apiece to be paid in May.  

Kenmare Resources MD Michael Carvill
Kenmare Resources MD Michael Carvill

Gem launches flexible sale process to make up for cancelled tender

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th March 2020 London-listed Gem Diamonds has had to cancel its Letšeng large tender, owing to travel and other restrictions imposed by various governments, including in Belgium, where the tender would have been held from March 16 to 25. In its place, Gem has launched a “flexible direct sales process” for... 

Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick
Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick

Codelco to cut operations as coronavirus spreads

By: Reuters     19th March 2020 Chilean copper miner Codelco said on Wednesday it would reduce its operations to comply with a state of catastrophe announced by the government in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus. The miner, the world's biggest of the precious red metal, said it would maintain "operational continuity"... 

Codelco to cut operations as coronavirus spreads

Mines labelled as critical to Qld economy amid Covid-19

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th March 2020 The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed measures announced by the state government to protect the economy, as both state and federal governments classified mining as an ‘essential service’. “As an industry, we are following the advice of health authorities to minimise the impact on... 

Sandfire keeps firing amid Covid-19 fears

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th March 2020 Copper miner Sandfire Resources is undertaking business as usual while continuing to implement protocols to minimise the potential transmission of COVID-19. The ASX-listed miner on Thursday said that its DeGrussa operations, in Western Australia, continued to operate at full capacity, with... 

From using drones to stockpiling cyanide, miners keep digging amid pandemic

By: Reuters     18th March 2020 From using drones for field inspections to stockpiling cyanide, miners are scrambling to maintain output amid the coronavirus pandemic, a task made trickier in underground mines where social distancing is nearly impossible. The virus has claimed 8 700 lives and infected over 200 000 globally.... 

From using drones to stockpiling cyanide, miners keep digging amid pandemic

Kinross gold mine in Russia on lockdown after coronavirus suspected

By: Reuters     18th March 2020 Canada's Kinross Gold has isolated its Kupol mine in Russia's Far East after two workers were hospitalised with suspected coronavirus infections in the biggest mining lockdown since the outbreak of the disease in December last year. The plant, which has the capacity to produce 4 500 t/d of ore,... 

Kinross gold mine in Russia on lockdown after coronavirus suspected

Workers at BHP's Escondida call for mine closure

By: Reuters     18th March 2020 Unionised workers at BHP´s Escondida copper mine, the world´s largest, said on Wednesday they would ask authorities to shut down the mine unless management begins to implement stricter measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The union said in a statement its members were particularly... 

Arc sells last non-copper interest

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th March 2020 London-listed Arc Minerals has entered into a binding agreement to sell its 99.43% interest in Casa Mining to Golden Square Equity Partners for up to $50-million. Golden Square will assume all existing liabilities pertaining to Casa, which were £1.95-million, or about $2.3-million as at the end... 

Minerals Council commits to protecting employees, industry as Covid-19 spreads  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th March 2020 Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter on Wednesday said the mining industry’s preparedness plans for dealing with the impact of Covid-19 were “very far advanced”. Following a meeting on Tuesday by the council’s board and Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, to discuss... 

Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter
Photo by Creamer Media
Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter

Another major copper project grinds to halt over Covid-19

By: Mariaan Webb     18th March 2020 Canadian diversified miner Teck Resources on Wednesday announced that it had suspended construction activities at the $4.8-billion Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) project to support Chile’s efforts to limit the transmission of Covid-19. The suspension would be for an initial two weeks, at which... 

An October 2019 photo of construction at the QB2 project, in Chile.
An October 2019 photo of construction at the QB2 project, in Chile.

Australian miners concerned about Covid-19 spread

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th March 2020 Australian miners are banding together in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, with a working group meeting on Wednesday. The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) noted that the working group, which include senior member company representatives and state associations met to discuss how the industry... 

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