Rio Tinto is halting operations at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa and the Canadian province of Quebec, following directives from both governments to stymie the spread of COVID-19.
A 21-day moratorium on activity at RBM begins March 26, which has impelled the company to put furnaces on care and maintenance mode, to avoid compromising operations. In a statement, Rio Tinto said it is too early to speculate when operations are likely to resume, and whether or not its 2020 guidance will be affected. Construction on the company’s Zulti South project in South Africa has also been temporarily suspended.
Quebec has mandated the closure of all non-essential businesses beginning Tuesday, save for certain industrial complexes, including the aluminium sector, which will operate at reduced capacity. Whether or not the company’s output will be affected remains to be seen, said the company’s statement.