A number of miners are being forced to halt or curtail production and processing as governments worldwide implement emergency measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Unprecedented disruptions to operations and supply chains are threatening the outlook for industrial and precious metals, just as demand is hit by concerns about a global recession. Risks are greatest in commodities where supply is concentrated in country, such as South Africa’s dominance of platinum.
Read more on where coronavirus lockdowns can hit metals the most
Miners are also grappling with uncertainty about the impact of government measures. South Africa will allow platinum producers to run processing facilities during its 21-day national lockdown, though operations at mines will be scaled down significantly. Elsewhere, operations in copper giants Chile and Peru have been curtailed by nationwide lockdowns. Similar restrictions are hurting some Asian producers and causing chaos at ports in India.
Here’s how some key companies are being affected by the pandemic.
|Vanstar, Iamgold||Nelligan project in Canada||Diamond||Temporarily stops drilling work, evaluating other gold projects|
|Codelco||Copper projects in Chile||Copper||Halts construction of some key projects, reduced capacity for 15 days beginning March 19|
|Northern Star||Gold mines in Australia, Alaska||Gold||Estimates disruptions will result in March quarter production being 10%-15% lower than expected|
|Northern Minerals||Browns Range project in Australia||Rare earths||Project suspended|
|Rio Tinto||Richards Bay Minerals in South Africa||Zircon, rutile, iron, slag||Production will halt by midnight Thursday, company will put furnaces on care and maintenance|
|Rio Tinto||Aluminum assets in Canada||Aluminum||Company will slowproduction in Quebec, in line with provincial curbs on activity|
|Vale||Voisey’s Bay in Canada||Nickel-cobalt-copper concentrate, copper concentrate||Mine put on care and maintenance for four weeks, copper-concentrate production at Long Harbour will be reduced proportionally to the period of the stoppage|
|Freeport-McMoRan||Cerro Verde mine in Peru||Copper||Mine put under care and maintenance for 15 days beginning March 16|
|Lynas||Rare earths plant in Malaysia||Rare earths||Production at processing plant halted until at least March 31|