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July 10, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Minerals Council provides worker update – Endeavour Silver reports quarterly production – Gold price continues gain

By Matthew Hall

10 July

Minerals Council South Africa said that foreign mineworkers have started returning to work in the country’s mines as the industry restarts production after the easing of the nationalk lockdown. South Africa is said to be the world’s biggest producer of platinum and chrome and a major gold and diamond producer. Mines in the country have been increasing output after the restrictions. While migrant mineworkers are returning, this is happening at a slower rate than hoped. On 7 July, 698 foreign mineworkers had returned, which is lower than the 1,150 workers the Minerals Council planned to bring back.

Endeavour Silver has reported production of 596,545 silver ounces (oz) and 5,817 gold oz in the second quarter of this yea. The company, which suspended mining activities during the quarter as mandated by the Mexican government, restarted in May after mining was deemed to be an essential activity by the authorities. The company implemented a Covid-19 prevention and response plan and has built up ore stockpiles at each mine site. This enabled Endeavour to restart its operations, initially with plant personnel only, to process the ore stockpiles built up in the first quarter.

Coal India (CIL) has exceeded its targeted capital expenditure (capex) of $96.1m, spending $112.69m during the first quarter of the current fiscal year amid the Covid-19 slowdown. The expenditure was 117% of the target and 4.2% more when compared with the corresponding period last year. A senior CIL executive said that capex is a key scoring performance parameter in the memorandum of understanding signed by the company with the ministry of coal every year.

Prices of gold were set for a fifth straight weekly gain as concerns over an increase in US Covid-19 cases kept the metal near the technical $1,800-per-ounce threshold, Reuters reported. Spot gold remained little changed at $1,801.47 per ounce, representing nearly 1.5% increase for the week. Gold futures in the US edged up 0.2% to $1,806.80. IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda said that longer-term technicals suggest a slowing in the price momentum, and positioning is pointing to a market very long on gold.

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