Coronavirus company news summary – Vale reports iron ore production increase – Perseus Mining’s output rises 6% – Gold exports to Asia from Switzerland decline

21 October 2020 (Last Updated October 21st, 2020 09:27)

21 October

Brazilian miner Vale reported a 31% increase in iron ore production in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter. The company generated 88.7mt of iron ore during the quarter and forecasts further increase in production, owing to output growth at various mines in Brazil. Operations at the company’s mines in Brazil including Itabira, Timbopeba and Fazendao were previously disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

West African gold miner Perseus Mining saw its production rise by 6% in the quarter ended September thanks to robust output from its Edikan and Sinssingue mines, despite challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The company recorded a combined output of 68,772oz at both the mines for the quarter. The gold output for the second half is forecast to range between 125,500oz and 139,000oz.

Switzerland’s gold exports to India and China declined in September, highlighting the impact of the pandemic on Asia. Investors in the west have replaced jewellery buyers from Asia as jewellery businesses remained closed and disposable income of consumers dwindled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Switzerland’s gold imports from Hong Kong rose exponentially, while exports increased to the UK during the same period.

Botswana’s finance minister has forecast the country’s economy to grow by 7.7% in 2021, predominantly due to rejuvenation of the global diamond market. The country’s economy witnessed a 24% contraction in Q2 as Covid-19 lockdowns impacted local economic activity and diamond sales. Mining is a major driver of Botswana’s economy, making up approximately 20% of its GDP.