ESG

COVID-19 weekly update: Resources & METS sector

This week we are seeing more companies announcing plans to restart operations. We are also seeing more companies announcing initiatives to help fight the pandemic. Aspermont’s Research and Intelligence Unit brings subscribers the latest weekly resources and METS sector updates in response to COVID-19.

Aspermont Research & Intelligence
Deaths from COVID-19 worldwide now total 302,000

Deaths from COVID-19 worldwide now total 302,000

Week 18 (07/05/2020-14/05/2020)

Company news 

Americas 

  • Newmont donates $500,000 to Support the Colorado COVID-19 Relief Fund. The company expects to begin safely ramping up operations at Peñasquito in Mexico on May 18 following the government's designation of mining as an essential activity.
  • Integra Resources recommences drilling at the DeLamar Project, with comprehensive operational procedures in place designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission amongst essential site staff and crews.
  • 1911 Gold says it's returning personnel to its True North complex in Manitoba to start its 2020 tailings reprocessing season.
  • B2Gold says its proactive testing and response plan has identified 10 employees with the COVID-19 virus at its Fekola mine in Mali, however, operations continue unhindered by the pandemic.
  • Cameco says it will restart the Ontario-based Port Hope conversion facility's uranium hexafluoride plant and the Blind River refinery after a four-week COVID-19 shutdown.
  • SilverCrest announces restart of Las Chispas Operations and Babi Vista Vein Expansion.

EMEA

  • Kennecott Exploration is set to start an expanded exploration drilling campaign on the Madison copper-gold project in Montana as soon as COVID-19-related restrictions ease, pushing the start of the campaign out by a couple of months to mid-July.
  • Polska Grupa Górnicza (PGG) has begun mass drive-through virus testing this week after three of its mines were suspended due to hundreds of workers testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Buffalo Coal announces it has successfully implemented employment requirements set by the South African government to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, enabling it to return 50% of its staff to work.
  • Alrosa is suspending mining activity at its Aikhal underground mine and the Zarya openpit mines in Yakutia due to an expected decline in demand caused by COVID-19.
  • Rio Tinto partners with Perth-based freight and logistics provider Matic Transport to donate 6000 litres of hand sanitiser to remote communities in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.
  • Polyus implements a COVID-19 testing programme for all employees after 89 workers at its Olimpiada mine tested positive for the virus, but is not suspending operations there.
  • BlueRock Diamonds announces it has restarted operations at its South Africa mine, but is making operational changes to keep production costs low amid COVID-19-related economic uncertainty.
  • Anglo American is providing extensive support to its employees and host communities through its global WeCare lives and livelihoods programme. The company announces its contribution towards accelerating the fight against gender-based violence, given the significant increases in cases of gender-based violence in many countries during lockdown. 

Australasia

  • BHP offers workers who lost their jobs from Qantas, Virgin and Monadelphous, six-month contracts in Western Australia and Queensland, as part of its drive to bolster the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • South32 reinstates production guidance for its South African and Colombian assets following easing of lockdown restrictions. The company also updated FY20 operating cost guidance incorporating production disruptions, costs and forex assumptions.
  • Newcrest Mining announces a $1 million partnership with the University of Queensland to fast-track UQ's molecular clamp technique to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

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