Coronavirus company news summary – Trevali suspends Santander mine operations – Tata Steel closes Jamadoba mine – Chile reports copper output fall

29 June 2020 (Last Updated June 29th, 2020 09:30)

29 June

Trevali Mining has temporarily suspended mining and milling operations at the Santander mine in Peru after 19 workers tested positive for Covid-19. For these workers who are asymptomatic, the company says it has provided safe and preventative quarantine. Operations were suspended to undertake additional testing on site. Prior to a roster change, a total of 69 workers were screened with rapid serological tests of which 19 yielded Covid-19 positive results. The company said new transport options and protocols between the operation and the main areas where its workers live will also be agreed and implemented prior to restart of operations.

Tata Steel has announced the temporary closure of its Jamadoba underground coal operation after a mine manager tested positive for Covid-19. The manager, who was posted at the mine’s pit number two, is currently admitted to Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur. Tata Steel spokesperson Rajesh Thakur was quoted by The Economic Times as saying that operations at the mine have been halted as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of the virus. It also launched sanitisation work of the coal mine and the surrounding areas. Furthermore, all mine staff and associates of the mine manager have been directed to undergo necessary health check-ups.

Chile’s Mines Minister Baldo Prokurica has reported a 3.5% fall in copper output due to the growing impact of Covid-19 on the industry. The country’s copper output has declined 200,000t. Reuters quoted Prokurica as saying that the projection - by the Cochilco copper commission representing around 3.5% of the country’s total production for last year - was a best guess since the combined impact of the virus and economic fallout made it “very difficult” to predict with certainty. Prokurica will meet the Interior Ministry’s Crime Prevention undersecretary this week to outline an audit of the mining industry’s anti-coronavirus measures that would be carried out by Chile´s Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin).

The Czech Republic's daily number of Covid-19 cases increased to 260, which is said to be the highest since 8 April primarily due to surge in an eastern mining region, according to Health Minister Adam Vojtech. Almost half of the new cases were identified in the Karvina region in the east of the country, where a hotspot is believed to have appeared among mine workers. Reuters quoted Vojtech as saying in a live debate on Prima television that massive testing is being conducted in the most-affected region, Karvina, and it is primarily about mining company OKD.