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June 1, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Australian share prices rise – Vale partners on virus testing – South Africa to ease lockdown

By Matthew Hall

1 June

Copper mine workers in Chile are arguing that they should be compensated sufficiently for working in a riskier environment to keep pits open during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic is said to have exacerbated visible inequality in the country. According to some union leaders, it will be difficult to increase wages, as well as pay bonuses and benefit boosts, given that the pandemic has had a detrimental effect on the copper price and has hit profits for Chilean miners.

Australian share prices have increased as optimism around further easing of measures aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 had a positive effect on the markets. Reuters reported that the ASX 300 metals and mining index rose 1.71%, with global miners BHP and Rio Tinto rising 2.6% and 2.8%, respectively.

Mining company Vale and local authorities in the Parauapebas municipality are partnering to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The company, in conjunction with the mayors’ office said they are set to start a joint programme to test 100,000 people in Parauapebas. The company has taken various measures to help the region prepare for the virus and protect employees. Last month, it also started testing all workers entering its mines in the Brazilian state of Pará.

The Minerals Council South Africa and the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure are working together to bring mine workers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region back to work as the country-wide lockdown eases, IOL reported. South Africa is moving to level 3 of its national lockdown easing process, at which point deep mining operations will be expected to return to full capacity.


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