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April 17, 2020

Company news summary – South African mines set to restart – Rio Tinto cuts copper forecast – B2Gold reports positive Covid-19 test at Mali mine

By Matthew Hall

17 April

Mining companies in South Africa are being permitted to restart operations at 50% of their normal capacity as part of the government’s initial measures to ease the nationwide lockdown aimed at suppressing the spread of Covid-19. Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Mines Minister Gwede Mantashe were quoted by Bloomberg as saying that the companies are required to observe strict health protocols and include screening and testing of workers for coronavirus.

Barrick Gold has announced that preliminary first quarter results have positioned it well to achieve its guidance for the year despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdowns across the globe. The company is also implementing comprehensive programmes at all of its operations to counter the spread of the virus with necessary steps in place to manage its impact on the business.

Rio Tinto has cut its forecast annual copper output citing disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company retained its annual output guidance for iron ore in light of stronger than expected output in Q1 for the metal.

B2Gold has reported a positive Covid-19 case at the Fekola exploration camp, located about 5km from the Fekola mine site in Mali. The company said there is no impact on mine operations and the mine continues to operate at full capacity.

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