Coronavirus company news summary: Silver demand expected to surge in 2021 – Ethiopia’s mining revenue soars – PRB coal production declined in 2020

4 January 2021 (Last Updated January 4th, 2021 09:22)

4 January

The demand for precious metals soared in 2020 as global investors stockpiled gold, silver and platinum during the Covid-19 pandemic in order to safeguard their assets. In 2021, silver is expected to outshine all other precious metals including platinum, as experts remain sceptical about the future of gold as the global economy recovers from the pandemic-induced demand slump.

Ethiopia’s mining revenue reached $303m in the last five months of 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic adversely affecting the industry. The revenue of $303m is more than the $207m earnings recorded during the previous fiscal year. The increase in mining income is attributed to higher prices of gold, increase in investment into the sector, government reforms and border closures in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coal production in the Powder River basin (PRB) in the US dropped by 20% to 243 million short tonnes in 2020, compared with the previous year levels, and the declining trend is expected to worsen in 2021. The fall in PRB demand is due to Covid-19 induced lockdowns and a warm winter. Experts are estimating that coal consumption in 2021 will be 10% lower than they expected at the end of 2020.