COVID-19 weekly updates: Resources & METS sector

Aspermont’s Research and Intelligence Unit brings subscribers the latest weekly resources and METS sector updates in response to COVID-19.

Aspermont Research & Intelligence
COVID-19 has claimed 413,000 lives worldwide to date

COVID-19 has claimed 413,000 lives worldwide to date

Week 22 (05/06/2020-11/06/2020)

Company news 


  • Vale is suspending the Itabira iron ore complex to comply with a court ruling regarding COVID-19 containment measures. Vale maintains that it has tested almost the entire workforce at Itabira and that has rigorous controls in place to protect employees and communities. 
  • Codelco workers have threatened to "paralyse" mining areas until adequate conditions are put in place to protect them from the spread of COVID-19. 


  • Johnson Matthey announces they are targeting additional annual cost savings of at least £80 million by the end of 2022/23. The company estimates 2,500 job losses globally over the three year period.
  • Bacanora Lithium's plan to start construction of the Sonora lithium clay project in Sonora, Mexico, has been pushed back to the end of the year. 


  • Austral Gold expects its flagship Guanaco/Amancaya precious metals mines in Chile to restart this week.
  • Austin Engineering and an unnamed client in Colombia have agreed to part ways, terminating a site repair contract, a move that will cost A$1 million in entitlement payments and see the loss of 200 jobs from a workforce estimated at around 1720. The firm said the client blamed COVID-19 for the suspension of mining operations.

Commodities & market outlook

  • Roskill says despite the economic dislocation underway, prices in several metals markets have actually gone up in the year-to-date and mining equities have out performed many other sectors.  
  • BMO updates global diversified mining company rankings after assessing a number of COVID-19 recovery cycle linked factors, including: 1) the evolution of valuation multiples during recovery cycles and the influence of commodity estimates; 2) how the relative commodity mix can drive differentiated equity performances through the recovery; and 3) a spot price analysis as a guide to the potential direction of sell-side estimate revisions.

Industry bodies, government departments & regulators

  • Poland's state assets minister Jacek Sasin announces state-run mines will be closed for three weeks to stamp out local outbreaks of COVID-19.
  • The Minerals Council South Africa has hit back at recent assertions which labelled the mining sector as the country's "epicentre" of COVID-19.
  • The International Council on Mining and Metals said company members had donated more than US$315 million to global COVID-19 response efforts, as it outlined the industry's support to nations, communities and supply chains in a briefing this month.


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