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September 4, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Datametrex supplies Covid-19 kits to Canadian miner – Minerals Council SA updates on virus testing – Implats reports rise in annual earnings

By Matthew Hall

4 September

Technology company Datametrex has received a purchase order from a mining company in Canada for Covid-19 test kits for its Peru and Suriname mining operations. Datametrex will provide an initial 50,000 units of the Covid-19 qPCR Detection Kits which were manufactured by 1drop . Additionally, the company will supply 50,000 Universal Transport Medium (UTM), Sterile Swabs with 16x100mm and Skirted Tubes. It is also shipping two Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Detection System (PCR) machines along with software to ensure optimal assay performance of the samples, and 50,000 RNA extraction kits.

Members of the Minerals Council South Africa have outlined their Covid-19 testing initiatives and the mitigating impact it has had on the incidence of the virus at their operations. The initiatives also improved the availability of testing in their surrounding communities. Minerals Council public affairs and transformation senior executive Tebello Chabana said that the industry realised early that its testing approach was going to be risk-based and rigorous compared to other industries.

South African company Impala Platinum (Implats) has reported an increase in annual earnings by nearly 400% after higher metal prices and a weaker rand offset the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The company extracts palladium and rhodium together with platinum. Higher prices of these metals also boosted profits as the dollar basket price of the main minerals the company mines increased by 46% year-on-year. South Africa’s mining has been hit hard by Covid-19 as lockdowns led to mine closures, but a weak local currency limited the impact of reduced output.

Gem Diamonds has reported that its pretax profit sharply narrowed during the first half of the year, amid a decline in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the first half, the company made a profit of $2.5m compared with $18.7m in the same period a year agoas the pandemic hit the diamond industry. Revenue declined to $69.5m from $91.3m a year ago.

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