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October 28, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Teck Resources’ Q3 profit slumps by more than 60% – Caterpillar’s revenue falls in third quarter – Medusa Mining reports Covid-19 infection

By Matthew Hall

28 October

Canadian miner Teck Resources has reported a more than 60% drop in gross profit in the third quarter due to a steep fall in steelmaking, coal prices, and Covid-19 related restrictions. The company’s gross profit prior to amortisation and depreciation was $703m during the September quarter compared to $1.22bn in the same period last year. Mining activities have resumed at all mines operated by the company after coronavirus related disruptions, although operations continue to be affected due to more stringent safety procedures.

South African diamond producer Petra Diamonds’ debt restructuring plan aimed at managing its debt is expected to continue despite a 20% increase in rough diamond prices and the resumption of operations at three of its mines after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. The debt restructuring plan is needed to make payments for a $650m bond due in 2022. Petra has signed an agreement with bond holders to take a 91% share in the company’s equity in exchange for $400m in bonds. The deal will dilute shareholders stake in the company to 9%.

Caterpillar, a US-based mining equipment manufacturer, has reported a 23% decline in sales and revenues in the third quarter. Lower sales of its equipment and services owing to slow economic recovery after the Covid-19 related lockdowns were the primary reasons behind the decline in revenues. The reduction in sales of mining trucks and bulldozers was offset by the economic recovery in China and a boost of residential activity in the US.

Australian gold producer Medusa Mining has shut down operations at its Co-O mine located in the Philippines, after employees tested positive for coronavirus. The mine has been placed under care and maintenance for a period of seven days to disinfect the workspaces. All employees working at the mine will be tested for the virus before returning to the site.

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