• Mines are ceasing production and sending workers home as COVID-19 restrictions begin to halt construction and production
  • New Zealand has stated all non-essential businesses must close for a period of 4 weeks starting on Wednesday 25 March
  • Argentina has issued a nationwide quarantine for all persons for 14 days
  • OceanaGold Corp (TSX:OGC) is up 1.6 per cent, trading for C$1.27 per share, and a market cap of $790 million
  • Fortuna Silver Mines (TSX:FVI) is up 3 per cent, trading for $3.36 per share and a $538 million market cap

Mines everywhere are closing, with staff removed from sites as countries begin locking down to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Australia-based gold miner OceanaGold (TSX:OGC) will be closing its Martha underground mine in New Zealand for four weeks.

New Zealand’s government recently announced that all non-essential services and life-line utilities must shut for up to 4 weeks, from March 25.

Accordingly, development at the Martha Underground mine will cease, and the operation will move into care and maintenance.

OceanaGold’s Acting CEO and President, Michael Holmes, said the company was supportive of the government’s aim to protect New Zealanders.

“We recognise strong decisions will be made to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

“We will work with the Government to support the health and safety of the communities where we work and live,” he said.

Incredibly, OceanaGold’s former CEO, Mick Wilkes, stepped down from the top job just 6 days ago.

Citing “personal reasons”, the former CEO of three years has left his replacement with some significant work to do.

Another mid-tier miner has also announced stoppages.

Due to the Argentinian government’s activation of mandatory social isolation, Fortuna Silver (TSX:FVI) will suspend construction activity at its Lindero project in Salta Province.

The provincial government has ordered the company to immediately demobilise its workforce at the Lindero project for at least 10 days.

A task force will remain at the site to maintain critical activities, and to undertake safety and environmental monitoring of Lindero over the isolation period.

The Vancouver-based precious metals producer is facing a potential timeline blowout, but has not estimated the shutdown’s effect on work.

OceanaGold Corp (TSX:OGC) is up 1.6 per cent with a per share price of C$1.27.

Fortuna Silver Mines (TSX:FVI) is trading up 3 per cent with a per share price of $3.36 at 1:34pm EST.

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