Currently viewing Global edition

COVID-19 weekly update: Resources & METS sector

Companies continue to withdraw FY20 guidance and announce temporary mine closures. In more positive news, there have been several announcements of operations restarting, specifically in Quebec where the government has allowed mining to resume. Aspermont’s Research and Intelligence Unit brings subscribers the latest weekly resources sector updates in response to COVID-19.
COVID-19 weekly update: Resources & METS sector COVID-19 weekly update: Resources & METS sector COVID-19 weekly update: Resources & METS sector COVID-19 weekly update: Resources & METS sector COVID-19 weekly update: Resources & METS sector

COVID-19 continues to force mine closures across the globe

Aspermont Research & Intelligence

Editor's Note: Mining Journal is making some of its most important coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic freely available to readers. For more coverage, please see our COVID-19 hub. To subscribe to Mining Journal, click here

Week 14 (10/04/2020-16/04/2020)

Company news 

Americas 

  • Barrick Gold announces donations to support Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Mali in its campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Newmont announces the establishment of a US$20 million fund to help host communities, governments and employees combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Vale's first batch of 286,000 N95 masks arrive in Brazil; the company is bringing more than 600 tons of equipment in 14 planes.
  • Newmont announces the establishment of a US$20 million fund to help host communities, governments and employees combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Cameco extends Cigar Lake suspension and withdraws FY20 guidance.
  • Agnico Eagle is taking steps to resume its operations in the Abitibi region of Quebec - the LaRonde Complex, the Goldex mine and the Canadian Malartic mine.
  • Yamana Gold announces that the Canadian Malartic mine in the Abitibi region of Quebec, a 50-50 joint venture between Yamana and Agnico Eagle Mines, will resume operations.
  • Eastern Platinum's Barplats announces operations have resumed at Crocodile River.
  • Eldorado Gold announces the restart of operations at Lamaque as a result of the Quebec government's confirmation that mines in the Province are allowed to resume operations.
  • Gran Colombia Gold's first quarter production came in "slightly lower than expected" due to the impact of the national quarantine in Colombia at its Segovia operation.
  • New Gold withdraws FY20 operational guidance.
  • Triple Flag Precious Metals says that despite the near-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on its producing and development assets, it remains on track to top 100,000oz of gold-equivalent sales by 2023.
  • Hecla Mining announces the resumption of operations at Casa Beradi, following the decision by the Quebec government to allow mining operations to resume.
  • IAMGOLD announces the restart of its Westwood gold mine in Preissac, Quebec.
  • Stornoway Diamonds announces it will extend the care and maintenance period of its Renard operations due to market conditions, despite the Quebec government announcement.
  • Teck Resources suspends operations for at least two weeks at Antamina; the company announces $20 million COVID-19 response fund.      
  • B2Gold announces that one employee has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Fekola exploration camp.
  • Cleveland-Cliffs temporarily idles its Northshore mine in Minnesota and Tilden operation in Michigan.
  • Consol Energy announces their workforce at the Bailey Mine has returned to a normal production schedule; the company is temporarily idling operations at Enlow Fork Mine.

EMEA 

  • Petra Diamonds will continue to monitor the market before making decisions on the continuation of the tender scheduled in May. 
  • BHP says it has had a "small number" of confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its global workforce of 72,000 people.
  • Rio Tinto relocates 700 employees with "specialist skills" to Western Australia to beat the state's border shutdown.
  • Sibanye-Stillwater receives approval for limited mining and processing at its South Africa operations; the board and executive team will contribute a third of their remuneration for the next three months to the national Solidarity fund.
  • Horizonte Minerals commits to donating 300 food parcels to those identified as extremely vulnerable in local communities.
  • Hochschild Mining withdraws proposal to pay final dividend due to COVID-19 uncertainty.
  • Mopani Copper has placed its mining operations on care and maintenance and put its projects on hold in Zambia amid the spread of COVID-19.
  • RUSAL receives its first coronavirus patient at its Guinean hospital.
  • Glencore is analysing options to restart the Raglan and Matagami operations in Quebec.

Australasia

  • Northern Star Resources announces an employee at its Pogo mine in Alaska had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Gekko Systems receives a Victorian government grant to co-fund the development of its ventilator prototype the Geventor.
  • Medusa Mining places its Co-O gold mine on care and maintenance.
  • Nova Minerals announces intentions to re-commence drilling at the Estelle Gold Camp.
  • MMG withdraws Las Bambas copper guidance as Peru extends its state of national emergency. 
  • Mineral Commodities announces mining and processing operations have resumed at the Tormin Mineral Sands Operation.
  • Panoramic Resources suspends operations at the Savannah Nickel Mine; company withdraws production and cost guidance. 

Commodities & market outlook

  • Jefferies says the shift from a demand shock to a more substantial supply shock just as demand is recovering could lead to higher than expected iron ore and copper prices in the weeks/months ahead. 
  • GlobalData says China's iron ore production is forecast to decline by 3% to 78.2 Mt in 2020 and Iron ore exports from India to decline by 25% in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19; Global coal production growth is expected to slow in 2020 to only 0.5%, from 8.13 billion tonnes in 2019 to 8.17 billion tonnes
  • Roskill says COVID-19 could wipe out US$1 billion of lithium supply in 20‌20; Spanish tungsten producers hit by COVID-19 lockdowns; Roskill cancels the event "On the road… Santiago 20‌20"
  • Wood Mackenzie expects South Korean hot metal production will decline by 4.2 Mt in 2020, almost 10%.
  • S&P Global identifies at-risk production for a wide range of commodities. Platinum's at-risk production represents 2.85% of their original 2020 production forecast; copper's at-risk production has increased to 1.9% from approximately 1.1%; gold's at-risk output has risen slightly to about 0.9% from 0.7%; silver's at-risk production has climbed to 2.0% from 1.6%. 

Industry bodies, government departments & regulators

  • Mining Association of Canada (MAC) initiates a campaign donating $36,000 to the Ottawa Food Bank in partnership with Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) and Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC).
  • The Quebec government has permitted mines to restart operations on April 15, as mining has now been designated a "priority manufacturing activity" in the province.
  • The South African government has allowed mining companies to resume operations at 50% capacity, although     it said the industry may only be fully operational by next month.

Most read Mine Risk Management