11 August

Canadian company Teck Resources is set to resume work on its Quebrada Blanca phase 2 copper project expansion in Chile after closing it in March as the first Covid-19 cases appeared in the country. Teck vice-president Amparo Cornejo was quoted by Reuters as saying that Teck is working with local authorities and expects to reach full staffing levels at Quebrada within three months. Earlier, the company said that its Quebrada Phase 2 project is expected to begin production next year and increase to 316,000t at full capacity.

Barrick Gold said it is on track to achieve annual production within its 2020 guidance range, despite Covid-19 challenges. The company’s second quarter results show year-to-date gold production of 2.4 million ounces driven by strong operating performances, particularly from Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) in the US, Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali and Kibali in the Democratic Republic of Congo. During the quarter, operating cash flow was more than $1bn and free cash flow was $522m. President and chief executive Mark Bristow said that the strong cash generation demonstrated the effective operational execution and the group’s deft handling of the impact of the pandemic.

Thor Explorations has announced that construction and procurement at Segilola Gold Mine in Osun, Nigeria are progressing on schedule with Covid -19 monitoring and mitigation measures in place. First concrete has been poured at the process plant and detailed design is 80% complete. Thor president and CEO Segun Lawson said that EPC contractor Norinco International Cooperation is continuing to deliver on its targets in a challenging operating environment due to the pandemic.

Mining stocks in Australia climbed 0.8% as Victoria, the country’s second-most populous state, reported a small rise in new Covid-19 infections. On 5 August, daily infections in the state peaked at 725 and have been declining in recent days after a lockdown was imposed in Melbourne on 19 July. Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group added nearly 2% to hit a record high after it secured a tender to supply Chinese steelmaker HBIS Group.

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