Engineering News A number of miners, including some giants of the industry, have been forced to halt or curtail production and processing as governments worldwide implement measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Unprecedented disruptions to operations and supply chains have thrown the outlook for industrial and precious metals into disarray, just as demand is hit by prospects for the steepest recession in almost a century.
The industry is also grappling with uncertainty as governments deepen, revise or relax measures to contain the pandemic. Miners in copper giant Chile have scaled down operations, while an extensive nationwide lockdown has curtailed producers in Peru. Elsewhere, Zambia raised the stakes in its feud with Glencore, threatening to strip it of copper mines after the company said it needs to close shafts.
At the same time, others are looking to reopen. Canada’s Quebec has reclassified mining as essential, clearing the way for the resumption of operations. South African platinum producers are also taking steps to to restart after the government relaxed some restrictions, although some miners have said police blocked workers from returning to their operations.