Coronavirus company news summary – Impala Platinum suspends operations – Ecuador set for restart – Sepon gold mine ahead of schedule

18 May 2020 (Last Updated May 18th, 2020 09:21)

18 May

South Africa’s Impala Platinum has temporarily suspended operations at its Marula operation in Limpopo province after it identified 19 Covid-19 positive cases. Of these cases, 14 were identified as the result of proactive testing of employees returning to work. One of the remaining five was identified as a primary contact and the remaining four were identified through contact tracing. Two of the active cases had recently returned from the Eastern Cape.

China’s Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining has started processing gold ore from its Sepon mine in Laos three months ahead of schedule, despite the Covid-19 outbreak. This marks the first time the project has produced gold in almost six and a half years. Reuters reported that the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted investors to pile into the safe-haven precious metal. The company said in a statement on its website that finished gold can be produced in early June.

Ecuador’s National Emergency Operations Committee (COE) has issued a favourable opinion for the restart of mining activities in the country, with the approval of the Biosecurity Prevention Protocol for the Mining Sector in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision will allow start of the process to reactivate mining operations in all phases in the next few days. This is expected to re-establish around 33,000 direct employment places and 100,000 indirect employment places.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is set to organise a digital conference on 21 May in partnership with Finnish-Russian digital solutions provider Zyfra for the mining sector. As part of a series of web-based seminars to support the industry, the countries will brainstorm on emerging industry 4.0 and mining sector in the world after Covid-19, The Economic Times reported. The webinar will focus on the mining industry.