Coronavirus company news summary – AngloGold Ashanti suspends Mponeng – Sierra Metals seeks Peru restart – Newcrest offers PPE support

26 May 2020 (Last Updated May 26th, 2020 09:17)

26 May

AngloGold Ashanti has suspended operations at its Mponeng mine in South Africa after a total of 164 Covid-19 positive cases were identified at the site. Mining at Mponeng, the world’s deepest operating mine, will remain suspended while the company implements contact tracing, deep cleaning and sanitisation. The company has processed a total of 651 tests for the virus at the mine.

Sierra Metals said that it continues to seek consent from the Peruvian government to restart mining activities at the Yauricocha Mine after the country extended its lockdown until 30 June. The company wants to restart activities, citing its remote location and implementation of strict health protocols exceeding the guidelines put in place by the government. Large open-pit mines and a select number of underground mines in the country have already received permission to restart operations.

Newcrest Mining is supporting an initiative for the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) by UNICEF for national distribution to Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) frontline health workers. The company is working with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the World Bank and the Japanese Government to support the procurement. Newcrest PNG chief operating officer Craig Jones said that the company is supporting the PNG government and its host communities to manage the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) is urging the Australian government to introduce reforms in an effort to protect the minerals industry and accelerate the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery. These reforms form part of the council’s priorities to fast track economic recovery in the sector. It has placed heavy emphasis on the mining industry’s major contributions to the country’s economy and declared that projects need to be accelerated to increase regional communities’ jobs as well as investment.