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August 5, 2020

Mineral exploration to be suspended as Covid-19 hits Victoria

By JP Casey

Mining services are one of many industries that have been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the Australian state of Victoria, with the recent tightening of lockdown measures preventing work at many mining operations.

Over the weekend, the state implemented “stage four” of its lockdown measures, which include rules to make the wearing of masks mandatory in public spaces and the implementation of a curfew every night across the state, in response to a surge in new cases of the virus. In the 28 days to 4 August, the number of cases in Victoria quadrupled to over 12,000, and the number of deaths reached 147.

Mineral exploration work has been shut down for six weeks in metropolitan Melbourne as part of these measures, and other mining process, such as coal and metal ore mining, are only permitted to continue with what state premier Daniel Andrews called a “Covid-safe plan”. While it is unclear how other mining projects around the state will be affected beyond these broad impacts, the state government is offering grants of up to A$10,000 to companies affected by the lockdown, so there is hope that the mining sector will not be too significantly disrupted by the measures.

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