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Weekly Roundups

Mexican Government Issues Vague Decree on COVID-19

By Alejandro Ehrenberg | Fri, 04/03/2020 - 14:32

The Week in Mining highlights developments in Mexico’s mining industry. Authorities issued an equivocal decree regarding the suspension of nonessential activities in the fight against COVID-19. Mining companies’ responses have been a mix-up.


Global Trends

After rising to a five-month high in February, the silver price experienced a strong fall in March, as precious metals got caught up in a broader market sell-off amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The mining sector is just one of many that has been affected by the health emergency. Quarantines are preventing people and employees from meeting up to work, there are uncertainties across the supply chain and commodity prices show high volatility. This is how COVID-19 can impact mining in the long run.

Mexico, the world’s largest silver producer, has become the latest country to enforce a suspension of non-essential activities. The government’s decree, effective until April 30, is expected to have a significant impact on the supply of silver at a time when demand for silver coins is high. 

Brazilian authorities have ordered the closure of 25 Vale dams deemed unsafe. The safety of Vale’s facilities has been under heavy scrutiny after one of its dams collapsed last year, releasing a torrent of mining waste that killed approximately 270 people. It was the second Vale dam to collapse in four years.

Mexico in times of COVID-19

The government has announced a decree to stop all non-essential activities. The decree being clear as dishwater has led Mexican miners to have mixed responses. 

Great Panther Mining has begun ramping down mining and processing at the Guanajuato Mine Complex and Topia Mine until April 30.

Torex Gold Resources announced that operations will be temporarily suspended at the company’s El Limón Guajes mine until April 30.

Pan American Silver is suspending operations at two mines in Mexico and is also voluntarily scaling back its Timmins operation in Canada.

Agnico Eagle Mines is ramping down operations at Pinos Altos, Creston, Mascota and La India.

Photo by:   Wikimedia Commons
Alejandro Ehrenberg Alejandro Ehrenberg Journalist and Industry Analyst