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

- March 25th, 2020

As countries around the world take measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, how are silver companies responding? Here’s an overview.

COVID-19 has spread rapidly around the world, affecting diverse industries on a global level. 

The mining space is no exception, and commodities across the board are being impacted by the virus. Precious metals in particular have experienced high levels of volatility since the pandemic began to unfold last year, and silver has been caught in the storm.

To help investors track what’s happening in the industry, we’ve gathered our silver-focused COVID-19 coverage below and listed responses from silver major, junior and royalty/streaming 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 25, 2020. This article will be updated as new information becomes available — if you know of a silver company that has issued a response to COVID-19 but is not listed, please email editorial@investingnews.com

Silver and COVID-19: INN coverage

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

Silver and COVID-19: Producing companies

Companies are listed in alphabetical order.

Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) — Hecla Mining said on March 19 that it was taking a variety of actions in the wake of COVID-19, including putting health and safety procedures in place, restricting mine site access and stockpiling mining supplies. It also informed investors that it was securing contracts that guarantee a silver price of US$16 per ounce in Q2, and gold prices of US$1,450 per ounce and US$1,650 in the second and third quarters of this year, respectively.

Additionally, on March 24, the company suspended work at its Casa Berardi gold mine in order to comply with the Quebec government’s order for miners to reduce operations to a minimum. It will remain offline until April 13, and Hecla will review production and cost impacts in its earnings release for Q1.

Pan American Silver (TSX:PAAS,NASDAQ:PAAS) — Activity at Pan American Silver’s four mines in Peru was suspended after the government declared a state of emergency on March 16. The state of emergency will remain in place for 15 days, but the company noted that does not yet know how its operations in the country will be impacted.

The next week, on March 23, Pan American also shut down its operations Argentina and Bolivia, where mandatory national quarantines have been enacted. The lockdowns will occur until March 31; the company still has not updated its guidance expectations for the year.

As of 2018, Peru and Bolivia each accounted for 14 percent of Pan American’s annual silver output, while Argentina made up 12 percent. The company has 10 mining operations in total.

Aside from the two companies mentioned above, some 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:

Excellon Resources (TSX:EXN,OTC Pink:EXLLF) and Great Panther Mining (TSX:GPR,NYSEAMERICAN:GPL).

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Silver and COVID-19: Royalty and streaming companies

Companies are listed in alphabetical order.

Metalla Royalty & Streaming (TSXV:MTA,NYSEAMERICAN:MTA) — The company has royalties on Pan American’s COSE and Joaquin mines in Argentina; as mentioned, the country is under a mandatory quarantine, and mining at those assets has been halted. Metalla Royalty & Streaming is not yet sure what the shutdowns will mean for its cash flow and dividend schedule, but is monitoring the situation.

Silver and COVID-19: Junior companies

Companies are listed in alphabetical order.

Discovery Metals (TSXV:DSV,OTCQX:DSVMF) — Discovery Metals said on March 19 that it would decelerate exploration activity at its Mexico-based Cordero project. The number of drill rigs at the property, which is the company’s flagship asset, will be reduced to one in order to limit the number of employees at work. It is taking other measures to maintain health and safety as well.

The Mexican government has so far been relatively nonchalant in its approach to COVID-19 and unlike other nations has not enacted harsh measures to curb the spread of the disease.

Again, aside from the companies mentioned above, some 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:

IMPACT Silver (TSXV:IPT), Silver One Resources (TSXV:SVE,OTCQB:SLVRF) and Viszla Resources (TSXV:VZLA).

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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