Anglo American said yesterday that it had temporarily slowed the construction of its $5.3 billion (R87.6bn) Quellaveco copper project in Peru due to the coronavirus.   Supplied
Anglo American said yesterday that it had temporarily slowed the construction of its $5.3 billion (R87.6bn) Quellaveco copper project in Peru due to the coronavirus. Supplied

Anglo slows construction of copper project in Peru due to Covid-19

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Mar 18, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American said yesterday that it had temporarily slowed the construction of its $5.3 billion (R87.6bn) Quellaveco copper project in Peru due to the coronavirus.

Chief executive Mark Cutifani said that the group had temporarily withdrawn the majority of its employees and contractors from the project after the Peruvian government implemented a 15-day national quarantine to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Cutifani said only critical areas of the project continue as normal until workers could return safely.

“We are in the process of safely demobilising most of the 10000 strong construction workforce at our Quellaveco copper project, in support of the Government of Peru’s measures to control the spread of Covid-19,” said Cutifani, adding that the development of the project had progressed ahead of schedule and within budget. “We would expect to be able to accommodate this slowdown within our market guidance on both timing and costs at this stage,” said Cutifani.

The Quellaveco copper project is expected to begin production in 2022.

During the first 10 years of full production, it is expected to produce approximately 300000tons per year at a cash cost of $1.05 per pound of copper.

Anglo said previously that a committed shareholder loan facility of $1.8bn from Mitsubishi Corporation became available to Anglo American Quellaveco SA to meet Mitsubishi’s commitment to fund 40percent of the remaining capital expenditure on the Quellaveco copper project in Peru.

Anglo American shares rose 2.12percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R260.61.

Meanwhile, AngloGold Ashanti said that an employee at its Obuasi gold mine in Ghana tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday.

AngloGold Ashanti said in a statement that the infected employee - a Ghanaian recently returned from travel abroad - was in self-isolation at his home and the company was working with Ghana’s ministry of health to trace all contacts.

“All necessary protocols were immediately activated as soon as the employee presented himself to medical staff with flu-like symptoms,” the company said.

BUSINESS REPORT 

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