Coronavirus company news summary – Fortescue ups production guidance – Glencore provides Covid-19 tests – Russian miners cut spending

30 April 2020 (Last Updated April 30th, 2020 09:24)

30 April

Fortescue Metals Group has achieved record quarterly shipments in the March 2020 quarter despite the impact of Covid-19. The company shipped 42.3 million tonnes, an increase by 10% from the 38.3 million tonnes shipped in the previous year same quarter. As a result, guidance for shipments in the 2020 financial year will also increase from 175 million tonnes to 177 million tonnes.

Three Russian metals and mining companies Alrosa, Petropavlovsk and MMK have reduced investment and are planning to delay dividends or postpone asset purchases as the Covid-19 outbreak increases risks. Reuters reported that the country has so far managed to keep production largely unaffected at its main smelting and mining regions.

Glencore has partnered with Queensland Health and the Laura Johnson Home to provide crucial Covid-19 testing equipment for the Mount Isa Hospital. The company has provided $45,000 for a new GeneXpert IV-4 instrument, cartridge and nasal swab collection kit. Glencore health, safety, environment and community health manager Maryann Wipaki said that the company has targeted its funding for purchasing vital medical equipment in response to the pandemic.

Around 100 illegal gold miners in South Africa are hiding underground amid the lockdown that came into effect on 27 March due to Covid-19. Known as zama-zamas, a Zulu expression for “taking a chance”,  the miners are hiding over worries of being arrested if they surface with police on patrol. Johannesburg gold miner Zach was quoted by Reuters as saying that police are blocking the entrances which means the miners are struggling to get to the surface.