Coronavirus company news summary – Gold prices rise amid Covid-19 concerns – US coal mining communities strained – Greenpeace warns of risk to Amazon indigenous peoples

30 June 2020 (Last Updated June 30th, 2020 09:20)

30 June

Gold prices have increased as concerns over a surge in Covid-19 infections across the globe dented optimism for a swift economic rebound. This drove investors towards the safe-haven metal. Spot gold increased 0.2% at $1,773.41 per ounce. US gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,788.40 per ounce. ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said that the safe-haven buying is coming through fairly strong, following the second wave of Covid-19 infections in the US.

Coal mining communities in the US have urged for urgent help to stem the economic damage caused due to the decline of coal, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Consumption of coal is believed to have declined by 23% this year, and due to the pandemic, several mines were closed. The fall in coal industry activity is expected to have significant impact on communities such as Appalachia, the Navajo nation, and parts of Illinois and Wyoming that are historically dependent on coal.

Non-governmental environmental organisation Greenpeace International said that illegal miners in Brazil are threatening not only the Amazon rainforest, but also exposing indigenous people to the virus by going further and further into indigenous lands in the rainforest. Last month, Greenpeace Brazil filed a complaint to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office of the Pará state demanding the urgent and definitive removal of the miners from their lands. The Munduruku and Sai Cinza indigenous lands are located in the Pará state.

A new study conducted by the Kimberly Process Civil Society Coalition has revealed that Zimbabwe is among seven countries negatively impacted by the stoppage of diamond sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The study added that this has led to a rise in illicit flows and rampant smuggling of the precious gems. Furthermore, it indicated that the sector has been hit hard by the virus and the pandemic has disrupted activities across the supply chain.