This Morning in Metals: Norsk Hydro updates on COVID-19 impacts

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This morning in metals news, Oslo-based Norsk Hydro offered an update on the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on its operations, the U.S. Forest Service denied Minnesota’s request for an unreleased report on the impacts of copper mining and Minsur’s Brazilian subsidiary has closed amid the pandemic.

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COVID-19 weighing on Hydro’s main markets

Aluminum maker Norsk Hydro released a report outlining the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on its business, stating that it is “weighing on Hydro’s main markets.”

So far, the company has laid off 2,700 employees on a temporary basis.

From an operational view, the company said most of its segments are operating as normal, with the exception of its Extruded Solutions segment.

“Around 30 percent of the sites are running at approximately normal levels, around 50 percent are running at reduced levels and around 20 percent are either closed or running at very low levels,” the company said. “During last and this week, several plants have or will re-open to serve customers in various segments.”

U.S. Forest Service denies Minnesota’s request for copper report

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported the U.S. Forest Service has denied Minnesota’s request for release of a report on the impacts of copper mining on Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Sarah Strommen, commissioner for the state’s Department of Natural Resources, said the department needs the report as part of its assessment of the Twin Metals copper-nickel mine proposal, according to the Star Tribune.

Minsur subsidiary closes in Brazil

Copper and tin miner Minsur has closed Taboca, its subsidiary in Brazil, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Tin Association (ITA) reported.

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According to the ITA, Taboca suspended operations at its Pitinga mine and São Paolo smelter on March 25.

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