Coronavirus company news summary – Harmony Gold confirms cases – Brazil’s crisis drives higher iron prices – Sulphur prices rise 10%

21 May 2020 (Last Updated June 11th, 2020 13:43)

21 May

Harmony Gold has confirmed that two employees of a contractor working at its Kalgold gold mine located near Mafikeng in South Africa’s North West province have tested positive for Covid-19. Both the individuals were asymptomatic and identified as positive through the company’s testing process that is being conducted in collaboration with the Department of Health. Harmony is currently tracing possible contacts and all those identified will be either self-quarantined or quarantined at a company facility for 14 days.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Chamber of Mines said that the mining sector in the country will see a rise in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activities following the Covid-19 pandemic. Standard Bank DRC CEO Amedeo Anniciello was quoted by Reuters as saying that the country has value of mineral resources in the country is $24tn. The bank is expected to provide capital for deals in partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

The Covid-19 crisis in Brazil has disrupted supplies of iron ore across the globe, just as demand from China is picking up, The Wall Street Journal reported. This pushed the price of the commodity to a seven-month high. Iron ore, which is a heavily traded commodity, can influence the price of other materials used in everything from buildings to cars.

Disruptions caused by Covid-19 have resulted in the increase of sulphur prices by about 10% this year in the DRC, Reuters reported. This has increased the costs of a vital ingredient for mining cobalt and copper in the country. The DRC, which accounted for 70% of global supplies of cobalt last year, is the world’s biggest producer of the metal, which is used in alloys for jet engines and batteries for phones and electric cars.