Several Mexican miners have halted operations to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The Ministry of Health issued the decree on March 31 requiring non-essential businesses, including mining, to temporarily suspend activities until April 30.
In light of flagging global demand, as well as the need to protect workers from infection, Grupo Mexico, the largest copper mining corporation in the country, started gradually reducing its mining operations.
First Majestic was yet another miner that announced operations at its San Dimas, Santa Elena, and La Encantada mines in Mexico were temporarily suspended, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s order. The miner added that it is too early to determine how the operational moratoriums will affect its production and cost guidances, and has, therefore, withdrawn them.
Pan American Silver also announced that it reduced its workforces at La Colorada and Dolores, but did not confirm whether or not mining activities would be stopped.
Newmont Corporation, too, announced an orderly operational ramp down at its Peñasquito mine in the central state of Zacatecas because of COVID-19. The company said that is was unable to determine the extent to which ramp down activities will impact Peñasquito’s production and costs this year.
Fortuna Silver initiated a temporary suspension of mining and processing activities at its facilities in San José, which is located in in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The company added that it could not determine the impact on both its production and cost guidances for 2020, and withdrew them both.
Other miners that recently halted operations are the Telson Mining Corporation, which began the process of winding down operations at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero state.
Mexico’s mining production increased by 0.1pc in January 2020 compared to the same month in 2019, driven by higher zinc, sulphur, silver, lead, cast, non-coking coal, and gold production. Conversely, production of coke, iron, copper, and fluorite granules declined, according to the latest figures from the National Statistics Agency (Inegi).
Mining production declined by by 5.1pc last year compared to 2018, due to lower demand for metallic and non-metallic minerals, Inegi said.