Coronavirus company news summary – Wescoal posts profit despite pandemic – Kumba’s production guidance at 37Mt – Australian coal mine to close down for two months

7 December 2020 (Last Updated December 7th, 2020 09:33)

7 December

South African coal miner Wescoal posted a net profit of $724,000 in the March-September period, weathering the impact of coronavirus pandemic, reduced growth and a global price slump. The company’s operating income for the same period stood at $6.7m. Wescoal held back from announcing its dividend as the government-owned utility firm Eskom was purchasing coal at lower volumes over the last few months.

Kumba Iron Ore estimated its output guidance for the current year to be 37Mt, from the earlier range of 37Mt and 39Mt, while its sales are expected to stand at 39Mt, falling in the previous guidance’s range of 38Mt and 40Mt. The company said it is doing well despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Peabody Energy-owned Metropolitan coking coal mine located in New South Wales in Australia will shut operations from early next month to the end of February, due to slump in exports triggered by China’s ban on Australian coal imports and expiration of local contracts. The company retrenched one-third of its employees at the mine in June, as coal demand plunged due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Diamond mining company De Beers’ global market promotion platform Gemfair laid out a plan to help artisanal and small-scale miners affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Gemfair’s team, based out of Kono in Sierra Leone, will offer food and medical aid to its members, extended families and the larger community, with the objective of supporting them during the crisis.