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October 26, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Merafe Resources’ ferrochrome output plunges 37% – Global steel production increases 2.9% in September – Philex Mining halts operations after outbreak

By Matthew Hall

26 October

Merafe Resources registered a 37% decline in attributable ferrochrome production to 168,000t in the January-September period, down from 266,000t compared to the same period in 2019. The production decline was attributed to the coronavirus outbreak, market environment and electricity restrictions.

The worldwide steel output in September registered a 2.9% growth to 256.4Mt, continuing the positive trend for the second month in a row. Steel production was adversely affected by the ongoing pandemic, which triggered a slump in industrial activity during the March-July period. China’s steel output, which recorded a 10.9% rise, was a major factor influencing global recovery.

Mining operations at the Padcal copper-gold mine in Benguet, operated by Philippine mining company Philex Mining, were halted temporarily as several employees working at the site tested positive for Covid-19. The company is currently conducting tests on 1,000 employees to contain the spread of coronavirus and is also performing workplace disinfection at the mine.

The K2 Potash mine in Saskatchewan, Canada has reported that two workers have tested positive for Covid-19. Local health authorities have cautioned about a potential outbreak at Sturgeon Lake First Nation health centre. The Covid-19 positive employees are now in self-isolation and people who have Covid-19 symptoms have been asked to quarantine and get tested to prevent further spread of the virus.

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