Coronavirus company news summary – Iamgold restarts Rosebel mine – Brazil mining sector optimism – Swiss gold shipments remain low

22 July 2020 (Last Updated July 22nd, 2020 09:29)

July 22

Canada-based gold mining company Iamgold is set to resume operations at its Rosebel gold mine located in Suriname. The company closed operations at the mine last month following a stop work order issued by union leaders after seven employees tested positive for Covid-19. During that month, the company had quarantined the infected employees and took measures to disinfect working areas. The Rosebel Goldmines Employees Organization has agreed to allow a restart following a meeting with management and the company’s medical team.

Vedanta Group firm Hindustan Zinc (HZL) has reported that the company’s June quarter performance was impacted by lockdowns related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company’s mined metal production declined 5% year-on-year and 19% sequentially to 202,000t, led by lower production days in April as well as reduced workforce availability due to restrictions. HZL deputy CEO Arun Misra said that the company resumed operations after lifting of Covid-19 lockdown in April. Operations were also ramped up across all mines and smelters to near normal levels.

Brazilian mining institute Ibram has reported that the mining sector in the country has ended the first half of the year on a positive note, amid major doubts regarding the production and revenue outlook for miners due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ibram chairman Wilson Brumer was quoted by BNamericas as saying in a webcast that sector revenues this year will be higher than last year. According to Ibram, the country’s mining sector reported second quarter gross revenues of $7.52bn, representing an increase of 9% compared to the first quarter. Since the beginning of the pandemic, miners have implemented strict measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The volume of gold moving from Switzerland to the US states has declined from record levels last month and shipments dropped by almost half to 68.3t, according to Swiss customs data. Meanwhile, gold shipments from the country to China and India remained close to zero. The usual order of the gold market across the globe has tossed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Switzerland is the biggest refining and transit centre in the global market. Disruption caused due to the pandemic to supply chains worldwide has pushed prices of US gold futures above global prices.