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July 2, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – PGG provides update on outbreak – BHP to ramp down at Cerro Colorado – India gold imports plummet

By Matthew Hall

2 July

Polish coal producer PGG has reported that 82% of its miners infected with Covid-19 have recovered, as it relies on support from the government to see it through the crisis. As of 1 July, the company reported a total of 1886 cases. The government halted output at ten PGG mines and at two mines owned by JSW on 8 June to contain the spread of the virus. PGG said that the epidemic in the company is expiring and the wave is under control.

Global mining company BHP has announced plans to ramp down activity at its Cerro Colorado copper mine located in Chile amid the pandemic. Last year, the mine produced 71,700t of copper, or about 1.2% of the country’s total. Cerro Colorado has also initiated a process to adjust its mine plan to meet operational requirements for the remaining period of its existing environmental licence, which is set to expire at the end of 2023.

The Peru government said that mining activity in the country plummeted in May this year compared to a year earlier due to the implementation of lockdown to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. During mid-March, the country started a strict quarantine, while in May the government passed an order for restarting some key industries. Following this order, mining companies started increasing production. According to the national INEI statistics agency, copper output for May declined by 42.2%, while that of gold slipped 65.1% and production of Zinc tumbled 75.7%.

Last month, India’s gold imports plunged 86% year-on-year due to record high prices and a ban on international air travel amid a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19, a government source told Reuters. Many jewellery shops were also closed during lockdown. India, which is the world’s second-biggest consumer of gold, imported around 11t of gold last month, down from 77.73t a year ago, the undisclosed source said.

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