Mexico’s federal government has temporarily suspended mining operations in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The suspension will last 21 days, Hugo Lopez-Gatell Ramirez, Mexico’s undersecretary of health prevention and promotion, told reporters on March 31.
Following the announcement, Sierra Metals suspended its Mexican operations until April 30, after which normal production levels at its mines in the country will resume.
This week, authorities announced that Mexican mining companies in the northern state of Sonora may have to suspend operations to safeguard employees from COVID-19. Sonora state is the largest copper and gold producer in the country.
The Mexican Mining Chamber (Camimex) had no comment when reached by Davis Index.
Mexico’s mining production rose by 0.1pc in January compared to the same month in 2019, driven by higher production of zinc, sulphur, silver, lead, cast, non-coking coal, and gold. In contrast, coke, iron, copper, and fluorite granules production fell, according to the latest figures from the National Statistics Agency (Inegi).
Mining production decreased by 5.1pc last year compared to 2018, because there was lower demand for metallic and non-metallic minerals, Inegi said.
The steel, mining, and construction industries anticipate demand will decline in 2020 because of the pandemic. COVID-19 has already affected Mexican steel production for the year, with crude steel output declining to 1.37mn mt in January from 1.63mn mt during the same month of 2019.