Spain lets Riotinto copper mine restart

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Atalaya reopened the legendary Riotinto mine in 2016. (Image courtesy of Atalaya Mining.)

Atalaya Mining (LON: ATYM) has restarted operations at its Riotinto copper mine in Spain after local Andalusian authorities decided that mining operations supplying other essential industries should remain open.

The company, headquartered in Cyprus, closed the mine on March 30 in response to a royal decree from the Spanish government, which ordered the suspension of non-essential business activities, including mining.

On Friday, the Andalusian mining department informed Atalaya that the definition of an essential industry had been extended to include mines.

The company said strict health and safety procedures were still mandatory for workers on site.

Local authorities in Andalusia have determined that mining operations supplying other essential industries should remain open

“Combined with these measures, Atalaya will maximize on-site inventory, postpone all non-core activities and focus on the production of concentrates to fulfill national and international commitments to supply other industries,” said Atalaya.

Spain saw its third consecutive daily decline in the number of people who died from Covid-19 on Sunday.

Atalaya, which reopened the legendary Riotinto mine in 2016, has so far kept its 2020 forecast between 55,000 and 58,000 tonnes of copper, a significant increase from the 42,114 tonnes it produced last year .

The miner also has a brownfield project in mind, Proyecto Touro, located in northwestern Spain.

News arrives the same day as Fitch reviews reduce its short-term price assumptions for certain metals, including copper, due to considerably weaker economic activity.

Unprecedented closings across much of Europe, the United States and Latin America are dramatically reducing consumption of raw materials, according to the rating agency.

Fitch Global growth is now forecast to contract by 1.9% in 2020, translating into lower global demand for copper by 6% compared to last year.

While production interruptions in Chile, Peru, Mexico and Canada will result in the removal of large volumes from the market, Fitch copper is still expected to be in overproduction. As a result, it reduced the price assumptions to $ 5,300 per tonne this year and to $ 5,800 per tonne in 2021.



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