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October 29, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Agnico Eagle Mines’ profits exceed expectations – Global gold output to drop by 5% in 2020 – Gem Diamonds reports profits as diamond prices increase

By Matthew Hall

29 October

Canadian gold miner Agnico Eagle Mines registered a Q3 profit as revenue surged to $980.6m from $683m in Q2, helped by a rise in gold prices and sales volume. The increase in gold prices is attributed to huge stimulus packages to bail out economies hit by the Covid-19 crisis. Agnico also announced an increase in total capital expenditure estimates for 2020 to between $720m and $740m from the previous estimate of $690m.

The demand for seaborne thermal coal in the Asia Pacific region will rise above 270Mt to reach 1.1Bt a year by the end of next decade, according to a report by Minerals Council of Australia. Thermal coal witnessed a decline in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak, but is expected to rebound especially in countries such as India and the Philippines, which are projected to expand import capacity by more than 30Mt.

UK precious metal dealer Direct Bullion has forecast gold production in 2020 to decline by roughly 3,368t, or 5%, as gold miners worldwide continue to bear the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. The Covid-19 related lockdowns and restrictions throughout the world led to disruption of gold supply and reduction of workforce. The demand for gold jewellery is also projected to plummet by 33% to 1,425t, although investment in gold witnessed a 190% rise in H1 compared to same period in 2019.

UK-based diamond miner Gem Diamonds reported increased cash flow and reduced debts during the September quarter, thanks to a surge in diamond prices and steady recovery after the pandemic affected the market. The company’s debt during the period decreased by $6.6m and the company generated an income of $25m as diamond sales hit the $1m mark.

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