Newmont ‘ramps down’ Yanacocha mine while Peru restricts travel

Newmont will “ramp down” mining at its Yanacocha asset in Peru after the country moved to restrict travel amid global contagion over the Covid-19 coronavirus (2019-nCoV) spread, it said.

Gold production from leeching will continue but mining ore will cease, the company said. Yanacocha produces significant amounts of copper, zinc and lead concentrates as a byproduct of gold mining.

“As the situation is dynamic and the duration of these restrictions are uncertain, we are currently unable to determine the ultimate impact on Yanacocha’s production and costs for 2020,” the company said.

The mine has reserves of 335,658 tonnes of copper as of December 31, 2019, Newmont’s annual financial report shows.

Zinc treatment charges - paid to smelters for the costs of turning concentrate to metal - have showed signs of dropping while arbitrage-related demand from China pushed spot deals below the $300-per-tonne mark.

Fastmarkets’ zinc spot concentrate TC, cif China was assessed at $280-315 per tonne on February 28, adjusted from $285-310 per tonne on January 31.

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