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October 7, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Australia budget for mining support – Copper price dips over economic concerns – South African miners “almost unscathed” by Covid-19

By Matthew Hall

The Australian Government’s 2020-21 federal budget has allocated support to the mining industry as it prioritises training and education as well as research and development in manufacturing and supporting industries. This includes a new employment support scheme, “JobMaker”, which will ensure Australians have the right skills for the future jobs. Minerals Council of Australia CEO Tania Constable said: “Mining companies had already mapped new opportunities for education and training of existing and future workers, and the industry welcomes the support in the Budget for this response.”

Copper prices have edged-down due to worries over the economic impact of rising cases of Covid-19 infections. The price drop also comes as the rise in metal inventories counters concerns about possible strike action in Chile, Reuters reported. Saxo Bank Copenhagen commodity strategy head Ole Hansen said: “The wage negotiations and potential strike action is providing underlying support for copper. But copper has really not been able to build on Friday’s gains… so copper remains fragile.”

The mining industry in South Africa has been “almost unscathed” by the coronavirus pandemic, and largely fared better than any other sector, according to the 2020 PwC SA Mine report. Despite an extremely challenging year as a result of the global pandemic, South African miners remained resilient and performed on all fronts. PwC Africa Energy Utilities & Resources Leader Andries Rossouw stated: “South Africa’s mining sector continues to be a meaningful contributor to the economy and has weathered the Covid-19 pandemic in many respects – showing good profitability and retaining strong balance sheets.”

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