LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - B2Gold has temporarily suspended mining at its Masbate mine in the Philippines because government measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak had disrupted fuel supplies.
“The temporary fuel shortage is due to new regulations imposed by the Philippine Government related to the COVID-19 virus to ensure that all materials, including fuel, arriving on Masbate island via transport are not contaminated with COVID-19,” the company said on Monday.
Miners globally have been stocking up on supplies of essential materials because of the coronavirus epidemic. Some have announced suspensions in production following government-imposed restrictions on movement.
The Masbate mine will continue milling while mining is suspended, B2Gold said in a statement. It also said it would suspend drilling at its Colombian project.
At its mines in Mali and Namibia, B2Gold said it had stockpiled significant reserves of supplies to make it through the second quarter without a change to their production guidance.
The company, which is listed in Toronto, said it still expected to meet or exceed its production target for the first quarter of this year.
In 2020, B2Gold expects to produce at least 1 million ounces of gold. (Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Alexander Smith)