South Africa’s Harmony Gold (JSE: HAR) (NYSE: HMY) has temporarily shuttered the nine underground mines it has in the home country to comply with the 21-day lockdown imposed by the government in the wake of the fast-spreading coronavirus.
The company, however, is keeping the Kalgold mine open in the North West Province as well as surface treatment plants and retreatment facilities in operations.
Harmony’s Hidden Valley gold mine in Papua New Guinea also remains open, but subject to any directive issued in line with the south-western Pacific country’s pandemic response.
As a result of the measures, the Randfontein-based miner expects to only produce between 650kg to 700kg of gold in South Africa during the lockdown.
With governments from Africa to Latin America issuing lockdown orders, disruptions to operations and supply chains are affecting the outlook for industrial and precious metals.
Work is grinding to a halt and operations at mines are being temporarily suspended as companies move to enact measures to protect against the spread of covid-19.
South Africa accounts for 75% of the world’s platinum and 38% of palladium supply, and also produces minerals from gold and manganese to chrome and iron ore.