12 August

European copper producer Aurubis has reported that its operating earnings before taxes (EBT) for the first three quarters of the current fiscal year increased to €133m despite the Covid-19 crisis. A good operating performance boosted concentrate throughput, though treatment and refining charges were lower. So far, during the fiscal year, the company has been able to compensate well for the impacts of the pandemic. Aurubis executive board chairman Roland Harings said that the past quarter was very challenging with regard to external factors due to the pandemic.

Canada’s New Gold is set to try a new test that can diagnose Covid-19 cases in a shorter span of time. Last month, the company received the Precision Biomonitoring test kits at Rainy River mine. The kits have tubes containing reagents, or biomedical ingredients, and a machine analyser that weighs about 1.4kg. After getting training from Precision Biomonitoring through videoconference on how to use the test kits, health-care workers at the mine have started testing some employees.

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) said that a legislated hold on the rate of royalties applied by the State Government to Queensland’s resource commodities for ten years will create more jobs and strengthen Covid-19 recovery efforts. QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said that the government confirmed the royalty rates on coal and metals would remain stable until 2022 before the pandemic. Before Covid-19, the resources sector in the state employed more than 372,000 people and generated $76bn in economic activity across the state.

The Indian government may push back the bidding for commercial coal mines as free movement is restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and investors need more time to place their technical bids. According to official sources, they have not made any formal request for further extension of the bidding dates. The e-auction process for commercial coal mines was initiated in June this year and since then the government has already extended the dates for submission of technical bids once. The current deadline for submitting a technical bid is on 29 September. The qualified bidders will be eligible for the e-auction between 19 October and 9 November.