Coronavirus company news summary – Antamina restarts – Peru faces production drop – South African miners have reported 320 cases

28 May 2020 (Last Updated May 28th, 2020 09:25)

28 May

Teck Resources has announced that Compania Minera Antamina, joint-owned by Teck, BHP, Glencore and Mitsubishi Corporation, has restarted operations at the Antamina mine with comprehensive Covid-19 protocols in place to safeguard the health of workers and local communities. Antamina, which has mobilised a reduced workforce, plans to work at roughly 80% of full capacity. A gradual ramp-up to full production is expected in the third quarter of this year.

Buenaventura general manager Victor Gobitz said Peru’s mining sector will witness a fall in production by at least 15% this year due to disruptions caused by Covid-19. The decline represents a loss of up to $5bn in revenues. Gobitz was quoted by Reuters as saying at a virtual news conference that large-scale mining, which makes up 80% of the country’s copper production, would not be fully up and running until early next month. The mining sector has been hit hard by the pandemic in Peru, which has so far reported 129,751 confirmed cases of the virus.

The Minerals Council South Africa has reported that mining industry in the country has so far recorded 320 cases of Covid-19, as underground mines prepare to increase output when Africa’s industrialised economy eases lockdown measures next week. South Africa is the world’s biggest producer of platinum, chrome, gold and diamonds. Due to a nationwide lockdown that started in March, mines in the country were forced to close temporarily. According to the Minerals Council, close to 5,000 tests have been conducted so far for Covid-19 at mines.

Data released by India’s mines ministry has revealed an under-utilised fund amounting to $3.1bn, which could be a crucial resource in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The District Mineral Foundation funds were created under a law in 2015, with the money generated from contributions made by miners in addition to royalty payments, Bloomberg reported. The fund was aimed at improving the lives of people in areas affected by mining.