7 July

Japan-based Mitsui Mining and Smelting has restarted operations at its Huanzala and Palka zinc mines in Peru following a closure. The two mines had been suspended since March after the local government issued a state of emergency to limit the spread of Covid-19. A Mitsui Mining spokesman was quoted by Reuters as saying that the mines resumed operations after the country restarted some economic activities and Mitsui secured approval from the local government. The company has resumed operations with measures in place to prevent infection among workers.

Freeport-McMoRan has exceeded several key performance targets included in its April revised operating plans that were announced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting negative impact on the economy worldwide. The company’s copper sales for the second quarter of this year are expected to exceed the estimate of 690 million pounds by approximately 8% and gold sales are expected to exceed expectation by about 10%. At each of its operating sites, the company has implemented operating protocols to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Hochschild Mining has reported that some of its workers have tested positive for Covid-19 at its Inmaculada operation in Peru, despite taking various preventative measures against the virus. Prioritising the health of its employees above business continuity, the company temporarily halted operations at the mine. Inmaculada is set to continue with a reduced workforce operating care and maintenance activities at the site. Hochschild’s Pallancata mine in Peru and San Jose mine in Argentina currently remain in operation.

Ivanhoe Mines has reported that its Kamoa-Kakula project has procured a polymerize chain reaction (PCR) testing device from German company Bosch as part of its Covid-19 readiness initiatives. It will initially receive 500 test kits. PCR tests are capable of detecting the presence of an antigen directly, rather than the presence of the body’s immune response, or antibodies. Additionally, the project has established a Covid-19 isolation facility at the Kamoa camp. The company will move any suspected or symptomatic cases to this facility for isolation, treatment and testing.