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September 11, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – India proposes reforms for mining sector – B2Gold commissions mill expansion at Fekola – Metro Mining to close Bauxite Hills Mine

By Matthew Hall

11 September

Indian Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi and officials have reviewed the progress of the country’s mining sector and proposed reforms for stimulating overall economic growth amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Minister deliberated on a road map to make the mining industry more competitive. The reforms are also aimed at accelerating growth and employment generation in the mining sector. They include removal of the distinction between captive and non-captive mines and also the development of a transparent National Mineral Index, among others.

B2Gold has announced the successful commissioning of the mill expansion at the Fekola Mine to 7.5 million tonnes a year, which is about one month ahead of the scheduled completion date of 30 September 2020. The company noted that no operational days have been lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic or the recent political developments in Mali. Recently, B2Gold partnered with the government to assist the people of Mali in facing the challenges created by the pandemic as well as its impact on the mining sector.

Metro Mining has announced plans to close its Bauxite Hills Mine in Cape York as the company struggles to win Chinese contracts. The closure is expected to result in the loss of hundreds of jobs. Only 10% of workers are expected to be retained to maintain the site. Metro Mining CEO Simon Finnis said that the decision comes due to a dramatic decline in global aluminium prices as China, which is the company’s sole market, stopped buying bauxite to manufacture aluminium during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Karora Resources has discovered new high-grade gold and nickel zones, the Larkin Gold Zone and 30C Nickel Trough, at its Beta Hunt Mine located south of the Alpha Island Fault. Chairman and CEO Paul Andre Huet said that the company is witnessing early successes following the delays and precautions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

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