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August 10, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Glencore suspends NSW operations – Newcrest confirms PNG Covid-19 case – Queensland Resources Council affirms support for state health protocols

By Matthew Hall

10 August

Mining major Glencore has announced the suspension of several coal mines across the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia for a period of at least two weeks. The decision comes as the Covid-19 pandemic and policies by the Chinese government to avoid Australian coal cargoes hit demand for coal. According to the company, the shutdowns of the site and equipment were necessary to wind back output volumes and manage the impact on demand. During this period, workers will be required to take annual leave.

Newcrest Mining has confirmed that a Papua New Guinea (PNG) worker travelling to its remote operation in the region has tested positive for Covid-19. The company has quarantined other staff members. The worker travelled from Port Moresby to Lihir Island in the country’s east and was tested positive when he came for work at the gold mine. Newcrest said the virus case had not affected its mining operations at this stage. As per the direction from the Lihir Island chief medical officer, the island has been placed under strict isolation.

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) said that Queenslanders can count on the resources industry to continue to comply with all government protocols strictly to contain the spread of Covid-19. QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said that the industry was working with the State Government and office of the Chief Health Officer to prevent the virus from spreading, especially into regional areas. The QRC will also continue to work with the government to support the 372,000 people who are currently working in the resources sector.

Prices of gold and silver have increased, following a steep decline in the earlier session, on increasing concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic. Gold futures on MCX NSE rose 0.42% and silver futures added 1.16%. Prices of gold remained steady in international markets as concerns over the worsening pandemic and intensifying tensions between the US and China underpinned the metal’s safe-haven appeal, Reuters reported.

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