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

- March 29th, 2020

(Now updated). The coronavirus has had a huge impact on gold explorers, developers and producers. Here’s how these companies are reacting.

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a major impact on the gold market, bringing massive price swings as investors react to new developments related to the pandemic. 

Companies in the gold space have also faced headwinds due to the virus, with many suspending production or exploration, altering their guidance or making other changes at their operations.

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

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All news and data were current as of March 29, 2020. This article will be updated as new information becomes available — if you know of a gold company that has issued a response to COVID-19 but is not listed, please email

Gold and COVID-19: INN coverage

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

Gold and COVID-19: Producing companies

Companies are listed in alphabetical order.

Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX:AEM,NYSE:AEM) — On March 19, after Nunavut declared a public health emergency due to COVID-19, Agnico Eagle Mines decided to pull its Nunavut-based workers from its operations in the territory, including the Meliadine and Meadowbank mines, plus other exploration projects. Meliadine and Meadowbank will keep operating with their remaining workforces.

The gold miner, which has mines in Canada, Finland and Mexico, then said on March 24 that it is complying with the Quebec government’s order for miners to minimize activities due to the virus. Agnico Eagle said it might have to suspend mining operations at its properties in the province’s Abitibi region.

In an update later that day, the company said that it would be putting its operations in the Abitibi area on care and maintenance until April 13. It also announced that it would suspend Canadian exploration.

Alamos Gold (TSX:AGI,NYSE:AGI) — Alamos Gold took its Island gold mine in Ontario offline for two weeks on March 24. According to the company, the move was a precautionary measure due to “the unique set-up of the operation with both a large local community and fly-in, fly-out workforce,” and it is still on track to meet its Q1 production guidance.

B2Gold (TSX:BTO,NYSEAMERICAN:BTG) — B2Gold has three gold mines and various exploration and development projects in the Philippines, Namibia, Mali and Colombia.

After an initial COVID-19 announcement on March 18, the company shared an update on March 23, saying it has had to suspend mining at its Masbate mine in the Philippines due to a fuel shortage caused by new regulations related the virus. Milling continues and B2Gold expects the asset to meet its Q1 guidance. In addition, inferred mineral resource drilling has been suspended at the company’s Gramalote joint venture in Colombia, which could result in a feasibility study delay.

Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:GOLD) — Global gold miner Barrick Gold has issued several press releases on COVID-19. Its first on March 6 covered precautionary activities undertaken by the company, and in a March 20 follow up it said it was stepping up its emergency response plans. Barrick also said it had suspended non-essential business travel and work at non-essential projects.

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A further March 24 update outlines plans for the Hemlo mine in Ontario, where non-essential businesses have been ordered to close down on March 25.

Core Gold (TSXV:CGLD,OTCQX:CGLDF) — Ecuador-focused Core Gold suspended operations at its Dynasty Goldfield mine on March 23. According to the company, the country’s COVID-19 situation saw a drastic change in the week leading up to the suspension, and Core Gold does not yet know when the mine will be back online. It is the firm’s only producing asset.

Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD,NYSE:EGO) — The company will suspend operations at its Quebec-based Lamaque gold mine from March 25 to April 13 in accordance with restrictions put in place by the province’s government. Eldorado Gold has assets across three continents and is taking precautionary measures at its other sites.

Endeavour Mining (TSX:EDV,OTCQX:EDVMF) — Operations have not been impacted by COVID-19, but an employee at the company’s Houndé mine in Burkina Faso did test positive for the virus on March 14.

Equinox Gold (TSX:EQX,NYSEAMERICAN:EQX) — On March 27, Equinox Gold suspended mining activities at its RDM gold mine in Brazil for 15 days; the mill will keep processing lower-grade ore stockpiles until mining restrictions are lifted. The company, which recently merged with Leagold Mining, has six mines in total and the rest continue to operate as usual.

Fiore Gold (TSXV:F,OTCQB:FIOGF) — US-focused Fiore Gold said on March 19 that its Pan mine in Nevada was operating as normal; on March 27, it announced plans to electronically host its annual general meeting. It continues to take other precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Galane Gold (TSXV:GG,OTCQB:GGGOF) — Galane Gold is a producer with assets in South Africa and Botswana. On March 25, the company said it would have to halt work at its Galaxy operation in South Africa as the country has ordered all mines to be placed on care and maintenance until April 16.

Its Botswana-based Mupane operation will also be affected because most of its critical supplies come from South Africa. Mupane’s offtaker is also not able to ship its gold doré at this time.

Guyana Goldfields (TSX:GUY,OTC Pink:GUYFF) — Underground development has been suspended at the company’s Aurora gold mine in Guyana due to a two week period of travel restrictions in and out of the country. Open-pit and processing plant operations are continuing.

Aurora is the company’s main asset; unrelated to coronavirus developments, an ore supply gap of four to six months is already expected this year.

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Lundin Gold (TSX:LUG,OTC Pink:FTMNF) — On March 22, Lundin Gold suspended operations at the Ecuador-based Fruta del Norte gold mine. As mentioned, the COVID-19 situation has escalated quickly in the nation — just four days before the shutdown at Fruta del Norte, the company said only that it was monitoring the situation. Fruta del Norte produced 28,678 ounces of gold last year; Lundin Gold has not indicated how the shutdown may impact output.

McEwen Mining (TSX:MUX,NYSE:MUX) — McEwen Mining withdrew all of its production and cost guidance for the year on March 20. The news came after the government of Argentina declared a state of emergency and mandatory quarantine — the company was forced to halt operations at its San José mine and Los Azules copper project in the country.

Mines run by McEwen Mining in Canada, the US and Mexico continue to operate at this time.

Monument Mining (TSXV:MMY) — Per a Movement Control Order from the Malaysian government, Monument Mining has suspended operations at its Selinsing gold mine; the suspension will last until March 31. Selinsing is the company’s only producing asset, and it has written to the government to request that it be allowed to keep operating.

New Gold (TSX:NGD,NYSEAMERICAN:NGD) — On March 20, New Gold suspended work at its Rainy River gold-silver mine in Ontario to allow workers to self-isolate for 14 days. The mine is near the US border, and the self-isolation period has been recommended by Canada’s federal and provincial authorities for those who travel outside of the country.

Aside from Rainy River, the company also holds the New Afton gold-copper mine in BC and the Blackwater gold-silver project in the same province. They have not been impacted by COVID-19.

Newmont (TSX:NGT,NYSE:NEM) — Major gold producer Newmont said on March 17 that it would have to ramp down mining operations at its Yanacocha gold mine in Peru due to government restrictions put in place due to COVID-19. The asset accounts for about 3 percent of the company’s 2020 attributable gold production outlook.

Since then, Newmont has withdrawn its full-year guidance for 2020 and placed three more operations on care and maintenance: Musselwhite (Ontario), Eléonore (Quebec) and Cerro Negro (Argentina). However, mines accounting for around 80 percent of the company’s output are in line with their targets. A new range for this year has not been given, but Newmont said in Q1 it expects to produce 1.4 million attributable gold ounces and about 325,000 co-product gold equivalent ounces.

OceanaGold (TSX:OGC,ASX:OGC,OTC Pink:OCANF) — Underground development at the company’s Martha underground mine, located at its Waihi gold operation in New Zealand, will be put on hold for four weeks starting on March 25. The pause is due to a government-mandated suspension of non-essential businesses. OceanaGold said it will be working with the country to see if its Macraes goldfield, New Zealand’s largest gold producer, can be exempt from the suspension.

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Premier Gold Mines (TSX:PG,OTC Pink:PIRGF) — North America-focused Premier Gold Mines suspended exploration at its Hasaga gold project in Ontario for at least two weeks on March 25. Its two operating mines in Mexico and Nevada have not been affected by the coronavirus.

Polyus (MCX:PLZL) — Russia’s Polyus and the Far East Development Fund plan to co-found a fund geared at preventing the spread of the coronavirus in the Russian Far East. The fund is expected to reach a value of 1 billion rubles. The company did not note any impact on its operations.

Roxgold (TSX:ROXG,OTCQX:ROGFF) — The company’s operations have not been impacted by COVID-19, but two contractors at its Yaramoko mine in Burkina Faso did test positive for COVID-19 on March 21.

Sibanye-Stillwater (NYSE:SBSW) — South Africa announced a 21 day nationwide lockdown on March 23, and as a result Sibanye-Stillwater is now placing its gold and platinum-group metals assets in the country into care and maintenance. Aside from South Africa, the company also operates in the US, but it noted that the shutdowns will adversely affect its guidance for the year.

SSR Mining (TSX:SSRM,NASDAQ:SSRM) — SSR Mining suspended work at its Puna operations in Argentina on March 20; then, on March 25, it suspended its Seabee operation in Saskatchewan. The former was in response to government orders, while the latter was a decision on the part of the company. SSR’s Marigold mine in Nevada continues to produce.

Yamana Gold (TSX:YRI,NYSE:AUY) — Yamana Gold’s first coronavirus update came on March 20, after the Argentina government declared a state of emergency. At the time, the company said it would partially demobilize its workforce at the Cerro Moro gold-silver mine on a temporary basis and continue with limited staff. It also said it would make similar efforts at its Agua Rica gold-copper project.

The Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec is jointly owned by Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle, and on March 24 the company said it would be ramping down work there in accordance with government orders.

Aside from the companies listed above, a large number of miners have also taken precautions and preventive measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. Here’s a quick rundown of firms that have taken action in their offices and/or on site:

Dundee Precious Metals (TSX:DPM,OTC Pink:DPMLF), Minera Alamos (TSXV:MAI), NOVAGOLD Resources (TSX:NG,NYSEAMERICAN:NG), Pretium Resources (TSX:PVG,NYSE:PVG), Pure Gold Mining (TSXV:PGM,LSE:PUR), St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Victoria Gold (TSX:VGCX).

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Gold and COVID-19: Royalty and streaming companies

Companies are listed in alphabetical order.

Abitibi Royalties (TSXV:RZZ— Abitibi Royalties owns various royalties on the Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec, which as mentioned is jointly owned by Agnico Eagle and Yamana Gold. The company said on March 25 that it is aware that the asset will be shut down until April 13 and is monitoring the situation.

Maverix Metals (TSX:MMX,NYSEAMERICAN:MMX) — No specific updates have been released by the company’s operating partners, but Maverix Metals said on March 24 that it is withdrawing its attributable gold equivalent ounce guidance for the year.

Osisko Gold Royalties (TSX:OR,NYSE:OR) — The company has suspended its guidance for the year due to the potential impact of COVID-19 on the companies it does business with. It has also postponed its annual meeting of shareholders.

Sandstorm Gold Royalties (TSX:SSL,NYSE:SAND) — Like Maverix and Osisko, Sandstorm Gold Royalties has withdrawn its guidance for 2020. The firms it works with have so far not been affected by COVID-19.

Gold and COVID-19: Junior companies

Companies are listed in alphabetical order.

Aurania Resources (TSXV:ARU,OTCQB:AUIAF) — In response to Ecuador’s state of emergency, Aurania is working to withdraw its personnel in the country from the field; at the time of its March 18 release, all had returned home except for two field teams. While site work is now halted, the company said it has plenty of geological information to interpret.

First Mining Gold (TSX:FF,OTCQX:FFMGF) — First Mining Gold announced on March 25 that it had begun demobilizing employees and contractors at its Springpole and Goldlund gold projects. Both are located in Ontario. It will be able to receive assays and interpret results from Goldlund.

HighGold Mining (TSXV:HIGH,OTCQB:HGGOF) — Exploration company HighGold Mining is focused on properties in Ontario and Alaska. On March 17, it suspended winter drilling at its assets in Ontario’s Timmins area. About half of the 5,000 meter program had been completed; activities will resume later this year when appropriate.

Nighthawk Gold (TSX:NHK,OTCQX:MIMZF— On March 27, Nighthawk Gold said it was in the process of suspending exploration at its Indin Lake gold project in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Other work, including the preparation of an updated mineral resource estimate, has not been affected.

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Orezone Gold (TSXV:ORE,OTC Pink:ORZCF) — Orezone Gold said on March 26 that it has suspended all non-essential activities at its Bomboré gold project in Burkina Faso. The decision mainly affects Phase 1 of the company’s Resettlement Action Plan, which involves the construction of several resettlement villages; because this operation will now not be complete on schedule, the company has withdrawn its call for first gold at Bomboré in 2021.

Probe Metals (TSXV:PRB,OTCQB:PROBF) — Probe Metals said on March 25 that it has suspended exploration at its Quebec-based Val-d’Or East gold project as per directions from the provincial government. Employees will continue working on modeling and interpretation.

Revival Gold (TSXV:RVG,OTCQB:RVLGF) — Idaho-focused Revival Gold has canceled a marketed public offering of units announced on March 5; it would have raised up to C$5 million. Instead it has announced a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to C$1 million.

Sabina Gold & Silver (TSX:SBB,OTCQX:SGSVG) — Sabina Gold & Silver is decelerating project development activities for now due to the virus, and has deferred a spring drill program at its Goose property. Goose is located at the company’s flagship Back River gold project in Nunavut.

Sipa Resources (ASX:SRI— Australia-focused explorer Sipa Resources has made various cost-reduction efforts due to COVID-19. For example, personnel have agreed to salary reductions and non-executive directors have volunteered a 50 percent reduction in fees. Sipa has been somewhat hindered by travel restrictions in Western Australia.

Again, aside from the companies mentioned above, many exploration companies have taken precautions and preventive measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. Here’s a quick rundown of firms that have taken action in their offices and/or on site:

1911 Gold (TSXV:AUMB), Benchmark Metals (TSXV:BNCH,OTCQB:CYRTF) Gran Colombia Gold (TSX:GCM,OTCQX:TPRFF), Inca Minerals (ASX:ICG), Klondike Gold (TSXV:KG) (via email), Mako Mining (TSXV:MKO,OTCQB:MAKOF), Prime Mining (TSXV:PRYM,OTCQB:PRMNF), Red River Resources (ASX:RVR,OTC Pink:RRRDF), RNC Minerals (TSX:RNX), Superior Gold (TSXV:SGI) and Troilus Gold (TSX:TLG,OTCQB:CHXMF).

More COVID-19 coverage from INN

Click the links below 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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