SHANGHAI, May 25 (SMM) – Mining in South Africa will be allowed to fully reopen from June 1, when the country eases its response to Covid-19 to level three.
SA President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday announced plans by the government to further ease lockdown restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the pandemic.
"Moving to alert level three marks a significant shift in our approach to the pandemic. This will result in the opening up of the economy and the removal of a number of restrictions on the movement of people, while significantly expanding and intensifying our public health interventions," the president said.
Some mines and ports were allowed to resume operations in mid-April. Deliveries of manganese ore from SA arrived at China in mid-May after being halted for more than a month.
Prices of SA semi-carbonate manganese ore in China surged to the highest since late 2018 in early April, while prices of SA high-iron manganese ore in China hit multi-year highs.
SMM assessed prices of SA semi-carbonate manganese ore at Tianjin port at 53 yuan/mtu as of Monday May 25, down 2 yuan/mtu from last Friday May 22 and some 3.5 yuan/mt lower than the 1-1/2-year peak of 56.5 yuan/mtu hit on April 10.
SMM assessed prices of SA high-iron manganese ore at Tianjin port at 45.5 yuan/mtu as of May 25, down 1 yuan/mtu from May 22.
As China’s manganese ore market has shrugged off supply concerns caused by coronavirus lockdown restrictions, traders will look ahead to bids issued by steel mills for clues about the direction of prices.