Miners have revised their output forecasts for the year in response to of Covid-19 impact with Anglo American saying it would cut capital expenditure by almost as much as $1 billion.
“We are taking all necessary steps to ensure the security and integrity of our assets for the long term, preserving our ability to swiftly return affected operations to normal levels of production when appropriate,” said CEO Mark Cutifani. The miner is also looking to reduce its operating cost by $500 million.
Anglo American’s platinum operations have been put on care and maintenance since the start of the lockdown aimed at limiting the spread of the virus on 26 March, with its mechanised mine Mogalakwena operating with half of its workforce.
Mining houses were instructed to put their operations on care and maintenance, with essential services, such as smelters allowed to operate with reduced staff.
Anglo’s diamond subsidiary, De Beers, had revised down its production forecast for 2020 by seven-million carats to 25- 27 million carats.
Golf Fields impact of Covid-19 on operations has so far been “relatively muted.” However, the gold producer stressed that the situation remained fluid and that there was a possibility of further restrictions in the countries in which it has presence.
The company said it only adjusted the full year guidance to take into account the production losses estimated for South Deep and Cerro Corona in Peru.
Peru imposed a 15-day curfew on 16 March 2020 that has since been extended to 26 April 2020.
In South Africa, government has allowed mining companies to phase-in operations, as part of kick starting economic activity Companies were urged to consult with labour unions and develop start-up procedures which must be shared with the department prior to ramp-up of operations.
The national lockdown is expected to expire at the end of the month.