Coronavirus company news summary – Antofagasta cuts dividend – Mining could be key to Brazil’s recovery – Newmont set to restart

20 May 2020 (Last Updated May 20th, 2020 09:14)

Antofagasta has cut its 2019 final dividend by $70m, citing uncertainty due to Covid-19 restrictions in Chile, as mining companies across the globe fight supply chain disruptions and production halts. The company, which will now pay a final dividend of 17.8 cents per share, amounting to $175.5m, said that the restrictions in the country are not expected to impact its current operations.

Brazilian mining association Ibram said that the mining sector in the country is expected to be the first to rebound from the economic shock of the Covid-19 pandemic due to large iron ore capacity and demand from China. Reuters quoted Ibram president Flávio Penido as saying that there could be a negative impact on the country’s production if the government fails to contain the spread of the virus, and that the mining sector will be the first sector to recover from the effects of Covid-19 on the Brazilian economy.

Newmont announced that it will continue to ramp up operations at Peñasquito, Cerro Negro, Éléonore and Yanacocha. In the coming weeks, 13 sites among the company’s 12 operating mines and two joint ventures will be completely operational. Newmont president and CEO Tom Palmer said that the company will continue to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic from a position of strength.

Mining companies that depend on indigenous workers or operate near remote communities have had to act fast to contain the virus at their operations and avoid a health crisis. Reuters reported that the companies have changed rosters to stop outsiders infecting remote communities and are paying staff with potential health issues to stay at home. There are concerns that mining operations could spread the virus to indigenous communities.