Zinc and COVID-19: Who’s Reacting and How?

Base Metals Investing

(Now updated). How are zinc companies reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak? Check out our list of how majors and juniors have responded so far.

COVID-19 continues to have an unprecedented impact on markets worldwide, and the commodities space is one sector that’s been hit hard.

While base metals have faced less volatility than precious metals, the effect of the outbreak has been immediate. Prices for base meals are trending down, and forecasts made by market watchers at the end of 2019 have been thrown out the window.

To help investors track what’s happening in the industry, we’ve gathered our zinc-focused COVID-19 coverage below and listed responses from both major and junior zinc companies. Read on to learn what they’ve done or said so far in the face of the coronavirus.

All news and data were current as of March 30, 2020. This article will be updated as new information becomes available — if you know of a zinc company that has issued a response to COVID-19 but is not listed, please email editorial@investingnews.com.

Zinc and COVID-19: INN coverage

Click the links below to read what INN has written so far about COVID-19 and zinc:

Zinc and COVID-19: Major companies

Companies are listed in alphabetical order.

Ascendant Resources (TSX:ASND,OTC Pink:ASDRF) — Zinc miner Ascendant Resources is focused on its Honduras-based El Mochito zinc-leadsilver mine, as well as a project in Portugal. It said on March 25 that due to COVID-19 it would be postponing the release of its Q4 and full-year results for 2019, which were originally scheduled for release on March 26.

Glencore (LSE:GLEN) — Major miner Glencore produces diverse commodities, including zinc, with mining and processing operations for the metal in Australia, South America, Kazakhstan and Canada. In a March 26 update, it said that it has placed its Matagami zinc operation on care and maintenance for three weeks as per requirements from the Quebec government. The company is releasing COVID-19 updates in a special section of its website.

Lundin Mining (TSX:LUN,OTC Pink:LUNMF) — Base metals miner Lundin Mining produces copper, zinc, gold and nickel. It has operations around the world in Brazil, Chile, Portugal, Sweden and the US.

On March 15, the company announced that it would suspend construction and commissioning activities related to the zinc expansion project at its Portugal-based Neves-Corvo operation. 2020 guidance for Neves-Corvo was originally set at 38,000 to 43,000 tonnes of copper and 95,000 to 105,000 tonnes of zinc; the company has yet to provide information on how the suspension will impact those numbers.

“As the workforce for the project includes many contract employees who travel from other regions of Portugal and internationally, the risk is that the virus could be brought to the Alentejo region by people travelling to come to work on our project,” said President and CEO Marie Inkster.

Lundin continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and has taken other actions such as restricting travel and limiting external visitors to its sites.

Nyrstar (OTC Pink:NYRSY,EBR:NYR) — Nystar is the world’s second largest zinc producer and has global mining and metals processing operations. It said on March 16 that it would be taking precautionary measures at its upcoming shareholder meetings due to COVID-19.

Trevali Mining (TSX:TV,OTCQX:TREVF) — Trevali Mining produces base metals at four mines in North America, South America and Africa. It also has exploration assets in North America and Africa.

The company said on March 17 that its Santander zinc-lead-silver mine in Peru continued to operate even though a state of national emergency had been declared in the country. The government order, which was set to last for 15 days, restricted travel and required people to stay at home other than for key outings, but the rules do not apply to operations like Santander.

Ten days later, Trevali released an update on the situation after the Peruvian government extended the state of emergency for an additional 13 days. While mining and other activities will continue at Santander during that time, the company said that it will not be able to process ore during the extension.

Additionally, on March 26, activities were suspended at Trevali’s Caribou zinc-lead-silver mine in New Brunswick. According to the company, the decision was driven by market conditions, including COVID-19 and a deteriorating zinc market, as well as high concentrate treatment charges. The asset is being placed on care and maintenance to preserve its value.

Zinc and COVID-19: Junior companies

Companies are listed in alphabetical order.

Adventus Mining (TSXV:ADZN,OTCQX:ADVZF) and Salazar Resources (TSXV:SRL) — The firms said on March 18 that they have suspended work at the Curipamba, Pijili and Santiago assets in Ecuador, where a state of emergency has been declared. The suspension may delay further work at the sites.

Salazar Resources is an Ecuador-focused project generator and Adventus Mining is an exploration-stage company working to earn into the assets. Its main focus is Ecuador as well.

“Work at site will only restart once the COVID-19 situation has stabilized and it is deemed safe to do so by the national and regional authorities of Ecuador who are working closely with the World Health Organization,” their release reads.

Heron Resources (ASX:HRR) — Heron Resources’ main asset is its Woodlawn zinc-copper project in Western Australia, and on March 24 it suspended work at the site due to travel and other restrictions. It did not indicate when operationsasd may restart.

Tinka Resources (TSXV:TK,OTC Pink:TKRFF) — Exploration company Tinka Resources is focused on its Ayawilca polymetallic project in Peru. It announced on March 26 that an employee at the asset tested positive for COVID-19, but is now in recovery at home in self-isolation.

Additionally, Ayawilca has been on lockdown since Peru announced its national state of emergency, with all non-essential personnel removed from site.

More COVID-19 coverage from INN

Stay tuned for more of INN’s commodity-specific coverage of COVID-19:

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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