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COVID-19 weekly updates: Resources & METS sector

This week we see an increasing number of companies announcing cases of COVID-19 at operations. We are also seeing companies launching initiatives to help local communities fight against the pandemic. Aspermont’s Research and Intelligence Unit brings subscribers the latest weekly resources and METS sector updates in response to COVID-19.
COVID-19 weekly updates: Resources & METS sector COVID-19 weekly updates: Resources & METS sector COVID-19 weekly updates: Resources & METS sector COVID-19 weekly updates: Resources & METS sector COVID-19 weekly updates: Resources & METS sector

COVID-19 has claimed around 360,000 lives worldwide to date

Aspermont Research & Intelligence

Week 20 (23/05/2020-28/05/2020) 

Company news 

Americas 

  • Golden Star Resources puts close to 60 workers at the mine in Ghana under quarantine but expects only limited impact on production and underground development.
  • Sierra Metals says it's seeking approval to restart mining activities at Yauricocha as the country's state of emergency and nationwide lockdown have been extended again, to June 30.
  • Teck Resources announces Compania Minera Antamina, in which Teck has a 22.5% interest along with BHP (33.75%), Glencore (33.75%) and Mitsubishi Corporation (10%), has now resumed operations at the Antamina mine.

EMEA

  • Sociedade Mineira de Catoca (Catoca Mining Society), which operates the country's Catoca mine, suspends operations and launches cost-cutting measures due to operating restrictions and a drop in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • AngloGold Ashanti suspends operations at the Mponeng mine temporarily following 196 confirmed positive tests for COVID-19 since commencement of a contact tracing and testing program on May 21.
  • OKD closes the Darkov coal mine in the city of Karviná after over 200 workers tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Harmony Gold Mining CEO Peter Steenkamp indicates the company's US$300 million deal to acquire AngloGold Ashanti's assets in South Africa may be slightly delayed but hasn't been derailed by COVID-19.
  • Kangra is placing its mine in Mpumalanga, South Africa, on care and maintenance citing the impact of COVID-19 global lockdowns, paired with low prices and depressed demand for thermal coal. 
  • Axora launches Smart Mining Resource Centre to help mining companies recover from COVID-19.

Australasia

  • Peabody Energy lays off 50 contractors from its Coppabella mine in Queensland as the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the global economy takes hold and repairs to the mobile plant on site are made.
  • Newcrest Mining donates $600,000 towards a United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund initiative to get personal protective equipment to Papua New Guinea's frontline health workers.
  • BHP is giving another $3.3 million to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled community health services across Australia support their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commodities & market outlook

  • International Energy Agency found April 2020 coal exports from Australia's biggest competitor, Indonesia, hit their lowest level since June 2009 amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Industry bodies, government departments & regulators

  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announces the country will move to level three restrictions  from June 1, which means all mines can ramp back up to 100%.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin orders the army to help gold miner Polyus treat an outbreak of COVID-19 at its Siberian unit. 77 doctors and nurses set up a field camp and mobile hospital near the Olimpiada asset, the nation's largest mine. There are approximately 866 virus infections in the area.
  • Peruvian government extends the COVID-19 national emergency and lockdown to the end of June, but certain economic activities will be allowed to restart.
  • Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter believes the country's mining production will be impacted up to 10% this year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Victoria's Earth Resources Regulation is deferring the collection of rent and annual fees worth $3.5 million until January to help preserve the cash flow of the state's mines, quarries and exploration companies and help them deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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