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June 4, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Great Panther to restart – LBMA urges support for small-scale miners – Mexico mining output expected to fall

By Matthew Hall

4 June

Canadian miner Great Panther Mining is restarting operations at its Topia and Guanajuato mines in Mexico after temporarily closing the mines as a result of government-mandated restrictions put in place to contain Covid-19. The company noted that it is restarting the mines under a phased approach to work under strict safety and health protocols to limit the spread of the virus. The company has already commenced operations at the Topia mine, while the Guanajuato mine complex is expected to resume work next week.

LBMA, the international trade association for precious metals, stated that the artisan and small-scale mining (ASM) industry requires emergency support as the industry becomes exploitative and violent as a result of the rise in gold prices. According to LBMA CEO Ruth Crowell, over 83% of the world’s mining workforce (around 40.5-million people) relies on ASM mines for their livelihood. The vulnerability of ASM miners is increasingly worsening as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mining output in Mexico will likely fall by around 17% this year as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported. It is expected to recover by Q1 2021, according to Mexican mining chamber Camimex head Fernando Alanis. Alanis also estimated that mining exports in the country would reduce by around 10% this year.

India’s state-owned coal mining and refinery company Coal India (CIL) has reported an 11.2% decline in production at 41.43 million tonne (Mt) last month, when compared with 46.69Mt production in May 2019. The decline is due to a tepid demand for coal as a result of Covid-19 outbreak. Coal offtake at CIL was up at 39.95Mt last month compared with 39.06Mt in April.

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