Coronavirus company news summary – Trevali Santander mine restarts – Hochschild and Sierra Metals report Q2 production – South Africa mines minister tests positive

16 July 2020 (Last Updated July 16th, 2020 09:21)

16 July

Trevali Mining is restarting operations at the Santander mine in Peru with additional Covid-19 health controls in place. The mine restart is expected to take approximately two weeks to reach stable production levels. The company suspended mining and milling operations at the mine on 25 June to provide screening for all workers after 19 mineworkers tested positive during routine testing. Due to complications related to Covid-19, one individual has been admitted to intensive care and is currently in stable condition. All other workers who tested positive were asymptomatic or displayed very minor symptoms. They have now completed their quarantine period.

Hochschild has reported attributable production of 32,712 gold equivalent ounces and 2.8 million silver equivalent ounces during the second quarter of this year. Production was affected by the impact of Covid-19 on the mining sector. The company’s Inmaculada and Pallancata mines were halted for a period of 11 weeks. Operations at each mine restarted on 31 May and 1 June whilst the San Jose operation in Argentina stopped for six weeks and resumed on 27 April.

Sierra Metals has reported production results for the second quarter of this year including strong production from Bolivar, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. President and CEO Luis Marchese said that the company reported solid production results during the quarter despite the negative implications of the shutdowns that occurred due to the pandemic. It could maintain essential activities at Yauricocha and Bolivar mines, while fully complying with the government protocols during the state of emergency. The company’s Cusi mine remained in care and maintenance due to its proximity to urban centers.

Gold prices have retreated from a one-week high hit earlier in the session as other assets increased, but were kept above the key $1,800 level due to rising cases of Covid-19 and simmering tensions between the US and China. Spot gold edged down 0.1% to $1,805.97 per ounce. US gold futures declined 0.3% at $1,807.70. Reuters quoted CMC Markets UK chief market analyst Michael Hewson as saying that expectations of a vaccine are giving all markets a lift and gold is suffering a small amount on the back of that.

South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe has tested positive for Covid-19, according to the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). Mantashe’s wife Nolwandle also tested positive for the virus. GCIS said that this was third round of tests to be conducted for the Minister since the outbreak of this virus. Mantashe and his wife are currently in isolation and the minister will continue to work from home.