Business investment in the global mining sector has fallen by 37% according to tax relief consultancy Catax, with concerns regarding the long-term viability of many mining operations amidst the Covid-19 pandemic discouraging investment in the sector.

Total investment in mining projects reached £1.2bn in the first quarter of 2020, down from £1.9bn in the same period last year, as investors turn away from large-scale mining projects. This hesitancy has had ripple effects around the world, with the industrial price of diamonds collapsing from $2,500 per carat to just $100 per carat according to the Zimbabwean Centre for Natural Resources Governance, a particularly stark example of the sudden lack of faith in the mining industry.

“The mining industry has been hit hard by coronavirus, with demand collapsing as factories and whole industries stopped production due to the pandemic,” said Catax CEO Mark Tighe. “Demand is starting to pick up, but it will be hard for the sector to make up the ground it has lost over the past three months.”