Philippines-based nickel ore producer and exporter Nickel Asia has suspended operations at its Hinatuan mine after 19 mine employees tested positive for COVID-19, according to media reports.
The mine is located in the Caraga region of Surigao del Norte province.
Authorities in the region have enforced a lockdown until further orders. However, essential non-mining and support work could resume after Nov 10, after mass testing at the site.
The Hinatuan mine contributed 11pc to the company’s total ore sales volume in 2019.
The Philippines is an alternative supply source of nickel ore for China after Indonesia. Indonesia has temporarily banned exports of unprocessed minerals.
Usually, due to the rainy season, nickel ore mining and shipping in the southern Philippines remains halted in Q4. Hence, the company is not expecting a significant impact of the closure on its financial results.