Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on the extractive industries

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting global economic downturn that followed had a profound and unprecedented impact on the extractive industries worldwide. However, the pandemic recovery has created a unique opportunity to invest in more sustainable and resilient business models and infrastructure in the sector.

Extractive industries have a role in the economic recovery of Partnership countries. Governments expect the rising demand for critical raw materials and the development and expansion of mining projects will attract investment and stimulate job creation.

The EU and Latin America have stated their shared interest in intensifying the cooperation along the extractive industries value chain, based on their complementarities, common objectives and shared values on issues like sustainable and responsible mining and sourcing.

This Platform brings together relevant stakeholders from the EU and Latin America to share their knowledge and efforts to adopt sustainable mining and sourcing models that pave the way for a sustainable recovery.

The project partners in the EU and Latin America have taken several measures to mitigate the adverse effects of the crisis (details below). However, as the global recovery builds momentum, it has become increasingly unbalanced. Lower-income economies that depend on the extractive industries have not been able to afford the unprecedented stimulus packages deployed in advanced economies like the EU and are at risk of being left behind.

Supply chain disruptions have become a major challenge for the global economy since the start of the pandemic. Shutdowns of businesses, lockdowns in several countries worldwide, labour shortages, robust demand for tradable goods, disruptions to logistics networks, and capacity constraints have resulted in increased freight costs and delivery times.

There are still considerable risks and uncertainties related to new governmental measures that could disrupt supply chains and limit production in mines. Latin American governments have restricted non-essential activities (Argentina and Mexico), enforced social isolation, business closures and quarantines (Brazil and Peru), and ordered lockdowns at the national or subnational level (Chile and Colombia) in response to the crisis. In that sense, the raw materials supply chains remain vulnerable to future supply-side shortages and logistics-capacity constraints induced by another wave of new COVID-19 cases.

Join us to access our Library, which includes reports, studies and other relevant documents related to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the extractive industries of the Partnership countries.

European Union

Situation update

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, an agency of the EU, monitors and provides COVID-19 situation updates for the EU.

Response measures

The EU is mobilising all resources available to help EU member states coordinate their national responses, and this includes providing objective information about the spread of the virus, the effective efforts to contain it and measures taken to repair the economic and social damage brought by the pandemic.

From this page, you can access the dedicated webpages and resources published by the EU institutions and bodies as well as EU member states.

Amid the crisis, EU leaders agreed on a comprehensive recovery package – the largest stimulus package ever – to boost the recovery and rebuild a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe.

The European Commission is committed to the principle of universal, equitable and affordable access to vaccines, especially for the most vulnerable countries, and has launched the Coronavirus Global Response – a global action for universal access to affordable coronavirus vaccination, treatment and testing – as a response to the global call for action launched by the World Health Organization with governments and partners on 24 April 2020, in the face of the pandemic.

The Coronavirus Global Response also aims to strengthen health systems everywhere and support economic recovery in the world’s most fragile regions and communities.

Latin America

Situation update

The World Health Organization has built a Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Situation dashboard that provides the latest global numbers and numbers by country of COVID-19 cases. The dashboard includes a public health and social measures severity index covering measures related to, inter alia, adaptation or closure of businesses, limits and restrictions on public and private gatherings, restrictions on domestic movement public transport and stay at home orders, and international travel restrictions (entry restrictions, quarantining and testing).

Response measures

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean has built a COVID-19 Observatory in Latin America and the Caribbean that tracks the public policies that the 33 countries of the Latin America and Caribbean region are implementing to limit the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and offers analyses of the economic and social impacts that these policies will have at the national and sectoral levels.