Coronavirus company news summary – Odisha urges Indian government to defer coal blocks auction – Russian lawmakers support plans to raise tax on mining firms – Yancoal cuts capex

23 September 2020 (Last Updated September 23rd, 2020 09:35)

23 September

The government of Indian state Odisha has requested that the central government, postpone the process of coal block auctions by three months in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, ANI reported. In a letter to India’s Union Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi, Odisha Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallik stated: “The coal trading has been adversely affected by Covid-19 outbreak, the market value of coal has significantly gone down in comparison to the last year.” According to Mallik, the government may not get a good price for natural mineral resources if the coal block auction is allowed at this time.

Russian lawmakers have supported a plan by the finance ministry to increase taxes for some mining companies and the oil industry. The latest move comes as part of Moscow’s efforts to plug holes left by the Covid-19 crisis, Reuters reported. The higher tax rate is expected to affect the country’s metals producers such as Norilsk Nickel, RUSAL, Evraz and Severstal.

Australian based coal producer and developer Yancoal has decided to defer all non-essential capital expenditure (capex). The latest move comes in the wake of uncertain conditions brought by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Yancoal reduced this year’s capex budget to below A$300m ($217m) from A$380m ($275m) as its main focus is on ‘cost control’ during this period of weaker coal prices.