Newmont scales down Peruvian gold mine due to coronavirus

Yanacocha is South America’s largest gold mine. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Newmont Corp said on Tuesday it would scale down operations at its Yanacocha gold mine in Peru, the latest miner to suspend activity after the government imposed a 15-day national quarantine to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The Latin American country has suspended constitutional rights including free movement and assembly as it tries to deal with the highly contagious virus, which had infected 71 people i Peru as of Sunday.

Newmont, the world’s No. 1 gold producer, said it was currently unable to determine the complete impact on Yanacocha’s production and costs for 2020, as the duration of the coronavirus-related restrictions is uncertain.

Operations at Yanacocha, a joint venture between Newmont, Minas Buenaventura and the International Finance Corporation, represents about 3% of Newmont’s 2020 attributable gold production outlook, the company said.

Yanacocha is located in the province and department of Cajamarca.

Newmont said there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, among its wider workforce nor any disruptions to production at its other sites.

Global miner Anglo American said on Tuesday it was slowing down construction work at its Quellaveco copper project in Peru.

(By Arundhati Sarkar and Jeff Lewis; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Paul Simao)

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