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July 17, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Mopani suspension rejected – Barrick reports Q2 figures – Kirkland Lake extend Holt suspension

By Matthew Hall

17 July

Zambia’s Mines Minister Richard Musukwa has rejected Glencore subsidiary Mopani Copper Mines’ proposal to suspend operations due to low copper prices and disruptions caused by the Covid-19 crisis. Mopani plans to appeal against the decision and said it will continue mining operations pending the appeal process outcome. Operations at the company’s mines were stopped at the start of April because of the pandemic and other problems. However, after a month, mining restarted after the decision sparked a backlash from the Zambian government.

Kirkland Lake Gold is set to extend the suspension of operations at its Holt Complex until further notice. Business activities at the complex were suspended from 2 April 2020 as part of the company’s Covid-19 protocols. Simultaneously, Kirkland Lake continued with a strategic review to evaluate a potential restart of the operations. The company declared the Holt Complex, including the Holt, Taylor and Holloway mines and Holt Mill, as non-core on 19 February this year and plans to consider all options to increase the value of the assets.

Barrick Gold has reported solid preliminary second quarter production of 1.15 million ounces of gold and 120 million pounds of copper. President and CEO Mark Bristow said these results have positioned the company well to achieve its guidance for the year, despite the global Covid-19 pandemic impact as well as the resultant lockdowns. The company has also put in place comprehensive programmes at all of its operations to counter the spread of Covid-19. It is also taking necessary steps to manage the impact of the pandemic on its business.

Anglo American is set to increase metals and diamond production to hit full-year targets, after reporting a sharp decline in second quarter production caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The targets, according to the company, were dependent on the course taken by the pandemic. The company’s overall production in the three months to June declined 18%, with diamonds, platinum, palladium, iron ore, coal and manganese all falling, while production of copper and nickel increased.

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