ARM says JV gets green light to load iron ore amid lockdown

“Exemptions to the lockdown restrictions have been granted for certain additional goods which are considered critical to the nation’s economy and its revitalisation post the COVID-19 pandemic,” ARM said
Image: Moneyweb

African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) said on Thursday it had received the green light from South African authorities to load iron ore from stockpiles at its joint venture mines despite a 21-day nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

The diversified miner said Assmang, a 50-50 venture with Assore, had received authorisation from the mines ministry to operate its load-out stations at the Khumani and Beeshoek mines to distribute iron ore from the mines’ respective stockpiles.

South Africa called the shutdown last week to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak and ordered all underground mines and furnaces be put on care and maintenance – or minimum operations – from midnight on March 26.

All ARM’s mining operations, including Khumani and Beeshoek, had been temporarily shut, but the company said the list of essential goods and services had been refined through continuous engagement with officials.

“Exemptions to the lockdown restrictions have been granted for certain additional goods which are considered critical to the nation’s economy and its revitalisation post the COVID-19 pandemic,” ARM said in a statement.

The miner said that state-owned logistics firm Transnet had also reactivated the rail and port export system from the Northern Cape to the Port of Saldanha and planned to ramp up volumes for the remainder of the lockdown period, depending on availability of rail and port services.

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During the few days the exports were stopped we could breath clean fresh air for the first time in many years. Birds flocked back to the bay in their thousands. I fail to understand how this can be essential?? The air polution caused by the iron ore export is killing the Westcoast

They should maintain some air pollution control!

We need foreign exchange! Otherwise our people will die of starvation when the money runs out. As long as there are no infections at the mines, we need them to produce and stay sanitized and healthy so the rest of the nation can have money. Consumption will reduce. We must invest! But first we need cash.

End of comments.

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