Coronavirus: South Africa orders 21-day closure of its mines

On Monday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a three-week population containment to limit the spread of Covid-19. This will take effect from midnight on Thursday. That same day, South Africa recorded 400 confirmed cases, the highest rate to date on the continent. As a result, all non-essential services essential to the country’s survival will be closed as of this Thursday, including all active mines in the territory, which will be serviced and maintained only by mining companies. While the Rainbow Nation provides 75% of the world’s platinum supply and 38% of the world’s palladium supply, this decision is expected to worsen the deficit, while maintaining the soaring prices of these platinoids. This measure is also expected to impact the operating and financial results of the companies, thereby reducing government revenues. The intensity of the impact will depend primarily on the duration of the pandemic, but, in the words of the President, « The action we are taking now will have lasting economic costs, but to do nothing would have much higher costs. »