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October 23, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Freeport McMoRan profits exceed expectations in Q3 – Amplats production decreases marginally -De Beers optimistic about rough diamond demand

By Matthew Hall

23 October

US-based miner Freeport McMoRan reported a 22% increase in revenues to $3.85bn in Q3, owing to rising gold prices due to the coronavirus pandemic and cost cuts. The company reported a 7% decline in costs and expenses to $2.97bn during the quarter.

Anglo American Platinum, a platinum group metals (PGM) mining company, reported a 2% decline in PGM production in Q3 due to impact of the Covid-19 restrictions on its Kroondal and Modikwa mines. The decline in production was offset by rise in production at the Mogalakwena, Unki and Motolo mines by 12%, 9% and 6% respectively.

The Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF), released a report on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the mining sector. The report highlights that the pandemic will have a long-term impact on the mining industry as mining companies reduce capex and investments. The pandemic is also expected to increase local opportunities, while accelerating automation, the report stated.

Diamond mining company De Beers reported a decline in diamond output to 7.2 million carats in September quarter, a 4% drop compared to the same period in 2019. The decline was attributed to production cutbacks due to lower rough diamond demand amidst the pandemic. Rough diamond demand, however, increased by the end of Q3, as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted across the globe.

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