TORONTO (Reuters) – Miners in Toronto for an annual industry dealmaking event slathered on hand sanitizer and avoided handshakes, while Chile’s mines minister doled out masks as coronavirus concerns overshadowed buyout buzz and prompted delegates to scrap some events.
The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference (PDAC) has become an outlier as worries over the fast-spreading virus forces cancellation of other major international conferences.
But the mood at this year’s event is subdued, geologist Richard Risto said between sessions. “It doesn’t seem quite as busy.”
On Monday, the CRU-Cesco World Copper Conference in Chile was canceled due to concerns over travel risks associated with the outbreak. On Sunday, IHS Markit scrapped one of the world’s most prestigious gatherings of oil ministers and top executives in Houston later this month.
Coronavirus has infected some 85,000 and killed around 3,000 people globally. As of Sunday, Canada had confirmed 24 cases of the illness caused by the new coronavirus, but health officials said the risk to the public remained low.
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