Mining project development slows in Q1, finds GlobalData report

A new report from energy research company GlobalData has found that mining projects advancing to the next stage of development declined in the first quarter of the year as the world faced up to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

The report found that the share of projects advancing to the next stage slipped to 2.8% in Q1 from 3.8% in the last quarter of 2019, and will continue to slow in Q2 as mining companies wind down operations and comply with government-led lockdown measures.

“As of April 13, the progress of 35 mines currently under construction globally was disrupted due to such lockdowns,” said Vinneth Bajaj, mining analyst at GlobalData.“These projects account for around 9% of total mines under construction and around 10.5% of total capacity as measured by run-of-mine (ROM).”

Anglo American last month slowed the development of its $5.3 billion Quellaveco copper mine in Peru – one of the largest mines in the world currently in progress. The mining giant has withdrawn employees and contractors amid the country’s lockdown.

In Canada, Vale placed has placed its Voisey Bay Mine on care and maintenance, delaying its expansion in the process, while Teck Resources has suspended construction works at its Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 project in Chile.

Assets moving forward into construction include the El Pilar copper project in Mexico, the Zaldivar copper-molybdenum in Chile, and North star iron ore in Australia, according to Bajaj.