Resolute resolved in face of pandemic

AFRICA-focused gold miner Resolute Mining has seen no impact from the global coronavirus at its Syama mine in Mali or Mako operation in Senegal, and it has no plans to join many other miners in withdrawing its production or cost guidance.
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Resolute is maintaining guidance.

Haydn Black

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The company is still on track to produce 500,000 ounces at all-in sustaining costs of US$980 per ounce, at least until the Ravenswood operations in Queensland are sold and it needs to revise guidance, managing director John Welborn said today.
Welborn's soothing words appear to have comforted investors as Resolute shares outshone many of its rivals in the ASX gold patch, rising almost 6% on a day many lost ground.
He noted Resolute had poured gold continuously for more than a decade, during which it faced various supply chain and security challenges, including the 2012 coup d'État in Mali and the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic.
Admitting "exceptional circumstances require an exceptional response", Welborn said the company had implemented a comprehensive response including suspending non-essential travel, instituting strict hygiene measures and social distancing protocols, ensuring Perth and London staff can work remotely, and limiting site staff at Syama and Mako to maintain production levels.
"We are well supported by our logistics partners and remain confident in our key supply chains including fuel, food and product shipment," he said.
Welborn said that keeping Syama and Mako running was "critically important for employment, local communities, and the national economies" of Mali and Senegal.
So far it has not been impacted by government-issued COVID-19 restrictions in Africa. 
Mali confirmed its first two coronavirus infections on March 25, Malian nationals who returned from France. The Malian government suspended all flights from countries affected by the coronavirus on March 19, and has banned gatherings of more than 50 people.
Senegal recorded its first case on March 2, and at March 24 had 79 infected.
The nation has declared a state of emergency, suspended air travel, initiated a daily curfew and increased regulation of the movement of people, vehicles, and goods.
Welborn said the situation was changing daily, and Resolute was working to safeguard its people and mitigate any production losses, with all mines having large stockpiles if further restrictions come in.
Existing stocks of critical consumables at Syama and Mako were sufficient to maintain operations for several months and supply lines for replacement consumables remain secure, he said.
Staff at its operations tend to be locally-based, so travel restrictions should not have an immediate impact.
Ravenswood is continuing to process stockpiled material while preparing for completion of the sale to EMR Capital, expected on March 31.
Resolute has also completed its debt refinancing, with a US$300 million flexible low-cost syndicated loan facility, allowing it to repay a bridge loan offered by Taurus Funds Management, and removing Taurus' security. 
Resolute shares were trading at A93c, valuing it at $1 billion this afternoon. 
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