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Miners, drillers returning to work as COVID restrictions ease: IMDEX


Leading global mining-tech company IMDEX expects some COVID-19 restrictions affecting its international operations to be eased during May and June, prompting mining operations to resume and drilling contractors to return to work.

With 20 offices internationally, sales in 102 countries, and a presence in 70 per cent of mineral drilling projects globally, IMDEX and its clients have been dealing with restrictions and government declarations in multiple jurisdictions.

The restrictions have not affected IMDEX’s supply chain and it has been able to service clients.

Gold minor Newmont is resuming operations at its Penasquito mine in Mexico after Government ordered shutdowns ended. Mining has been designated as an essential service in the country.

Mexico has also emerged from a 30-day, COVID-related shutdown, joining South Africa, Argentina, Peru and parts of Quebec and Brazil as countries where mining operations have recently resumed.

In Australia, IMDEX and its clients have been able to continue operations while working within State restrictions.

In a presentation hosted by Goldman Sachs released to the ASX, IMDEX said business disruption appeared to have stabilised and there had been an increase in demand in late April for remote working technologies.

The company had followed a strong first half-year result with its strongest March revenue on record, up 11 per cent on the third quarter in 2019, and its strongest third quarter on record, before the effects of the COVID-19 crisis hit during April.

Chief Operating Officer Paul House said the company was fielding inquiries from clients looking to resume operations.

At the same time, IMDEX is alert to the risk of renewed government and company responses to secondary COVID-19 infections.

“As we see restrictions being lifted, we are receiving inquiries from our clients asking for confirmation of supply to remobilize on drilling projects around the world and we expect this to continue through May and June,” Mr House said.

“We are establishing new ways of working internally and with our clients, which will continue and be beneficial when the pandemic eases.

“IMDEX invests heavily in research and development. We have always worked with industry to solve problems and this period is no different. It just means that we have to think creatively — and we have some of the best in the business at doing that.

“We have a positive growth outlook with solid underlying mining industry fundamentals. Major and intermediate resource companies have strong balance sheets and are focused on replacing reserves.”

IMDEX would also benefit from the strong gold mining sector, with Mr House noting that Bank of America recently forecast that “gold would hit $US3000/oz in 18 months”.

About 80 per cent of IMDEX’s commodity exposure is gold, copper and iron ore.