Coronavirus company news summary – six Covid-19 deaths in South African mines – Vale signs Covid-19 monitoring deal – delays to SA mine migrant worker return

26 June 2020 (Last Updated June 26th, 2020 09:19)

26 June

Minerals Council South Africa has said that the country’s mining industry has recorded 1,796 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, with six deaths so far, as mines ramp up production after an extended lockdown. Until now, the mining sector has conducted about 15,994 Covid-19 tests in the country, Reuters reported.

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale has signed an agreement with authorities on monitoring for possible Covid-19 cases at its Itabira mine complex. Earlier this month, mine activities were suspended at the Itabira iron ore production complex, comprising the Conceição, Cauê and Periquito mines, to protect mine workers in the region from the spread of coronavirus.

Precious metals producers in South Africa are facing delays in bringing back thousands of migrant workers from surrounding countries to ramp up output at their facilities after Covid-19 lockdown. Bloomberg cited the Minerals Council of South Africa as saying that the industry has been given approval to bring back 12,432 migrant workers from Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini and other nations. However, the mining firms are still awaiting final approval to proceed.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Queensland resources sector has remained strong during the coronavirus pandemic, experiencing just a 1% drop in jobs during the May quarter. ABS data showed that direct jobs in mining sector moved just from 66,331 to 65,337 during the period.