Coronavirus company news summary – Alrosa restarts Minry diamond mine – Kirkland Lake reissues guidance – Chile sees rise in mining activity

1 July 2020 (Last Updated July 1st, 2020 09:23)

1 July

Alrosa has announced the restart of operations at its International underground diamond mine located near Minry in Russia. The latest decision was made by the Mirny Mining and Processing Division management as the majority of workers and contractors were tested negative for Covid-19. 12 Covid-19 cases that were confirmed among the mine employees are being treated. The operations of the mine restarted in a two-shift mode. Alrosa management noted that regular testing for the virus will continue until the Covid-19 situation stabilises in Russia.

Kirkland Lake Gold has re-issued this year’s guidance after it withdrew its initial production guidance in April this year owing to the impact of measures introduced by the company to limit the spread of Covid-19 among its workforce. Production of 1,350,000 to 1,400,000 ounces, improved unit costs, lower expected sustaining capital expenditures and higher target growth capital expenditures are included among the re-issued guidance. Ongoing costs related to the company’s Covid-19 protocols are included in operating cash cost guidance. Kirkland Lake’s latest decision follows the ramp up of operations at Detour Lake and Macassa, which were transitioned to reduced operations as part of the company’s response to the pandemic.

Three undisclosed sources told Reuters that a dedicated emergency relief fund is being created by the World Bank to provide support and relief to 40 million artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) across the globe. A World Bank spokeswoman has confirmed the fund, which was yet to be launched officially. The fund is expected to offer short-term assistance to artisanal mining communities to better cope with the impacts of Covid-19.

Total mining activity in Chile rose by 2.1% even despite the Covid-19 pandemic hitting the country. The rise was due to an increase in the extraction as well as processing of copper and the production of  battery metal lithium carbonate. Reuters quoted INE as saying that output of copper has remained resilient amid the pandemic, creeping up 0.6% last month as Chile’s sprawling mines operated with skeleton crews.