AfriTin Mining has announced that it will suspend open pit mining at Uis to comply with the Namibian government’s COVID-19 lockdown.

However, the processing plant will continue to operate during the 21-day lockdown announced by the Republic of last Friday, 27 March. The government has classified mining operations as critical economic services and allowed companies to continue with minimum activity.

AfriTin has a stockpile containing more than two month’s worth of mine production. The processing plant will upgrade this ore to concentrate, which will be exported in mid-April. The offtaker, Thaisarco, and the associated ports are currently operating as normal.

The company does not believe that the suspension of mining will impact development at Uis. The debottlenecking of the processing plant, announced in February, will continue ahead as planned. However, the company has warned that supply chain disruptions may impact the length of the plant shutdown.

Our view: As the world goes into lockdown, we expect more mines to announce short-term closures to follow government rulings. AfriTin marks the fourth company that has closed due to COVID-19, joining major producers Minsur, MSC, and EM Vinto.