Full scale mining to resume in Mexico and Ecuador

Mining activity is set to recommence in Latin American mining hubs Mexico and Ecuador following a relaxation of extensive operational shutdown orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In Mexico, the government had previously ruled mining a non-essential business on March 31 and suspended activities until May 30. However, mining operations can restart as of today after the government re-classified mining as essential last week.

Several precious metals miners have reported their intention to get their operations back into production including Newmont Goldcorp at Penasquito and Alamos Gold at Mulatos.

“We are preparing Penasquito and our workforce for a safe, orderly and timely resumption of production,” said Newmont president and CEO Tom Palmer.

“As we’ve been doing at all of our operations and sites around the globe, we will maintain rigorous health and safety controls to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 to our workforce and neighboring communities.”

Meanwhile, Ecuador’s Committee for Emergency Operations yesterday approved the resumption of activities for the mining sector, 60% of which has been inoperative since March 25 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“In the next few days, we will see a reactivation of mining operations,” said a media statement issued by the Ministry of Mines. “We hope to restore 33,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect job positions, as well as resume mineral exports which are projected to reach between $642 million and $1.1 billion this year.”

It is expected that the largest operations in the country – Lundin Gold’s Fruta del Norte mine and CRCC-Tongguan’s Mirador mine – will gradually resume operations in the coming weeks.