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July 28, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Poland begins to get handle on mining infections – Amplats reports 7% drop in H1 profit – Rusal reports lower aluminium sales

By Matthew Hall

28 July

The health ministry of Poland expects the number of new Covid-19 cases to begin dropping as it tests and isolates the possible cases in the Silesia mining region. Health Ministry spokesman Wojciech Andrusiewicz was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We have big outbreaks in Silesia, mainly in three coal mines. This week we’ll test 2,000 mine workers, then the number of new infections should fall to 300 daily next week.” In May, the southern mining region of Silesia emerged as the country’s Covid-19 hotspot with a quick growth in the number of infections among miners. The new cases grew by 584 on Saturday. Since the pandemic began, this was the second-highest tally in day, and was followed by another 780 cases over the next two days, taking the total number of confirmed cases in Poland to 43,402.

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has reported a 7% drop in H1 profit due to lower production as a result of shutdowns caused by Covid-19. The firm also warned that more closures and power outages may put its full-year guidance at risk. Amplats expects production to boost in the second half of the year in spite of a 25% fall in year-on-year production of platinum group metals (PGM) to 1.6 million ounces as a result of shutdowns in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Aluminium producer Rusal has posted a 10% drop in Q2 aluminium sales when compared with the corresponding period in 2019 as Covid-19 dented hit demand for the metal. Rusal is optimistic about the prospects for July-December period if the Covid-19 infection cases do not surge. In the April to June 2020 period, its aluminium sales totalled 976,000 tonnes, compared with 1.08 million tonnes in the same period of 2019.

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