As COVID-19 halts global mining operations across the world, several companies are doing their bit to support communities that will be hit by the economic impact.
This week a slew of announcements made clear the magnitude of cash companies are willing to put on the table to fight the virus and its effects.
First up – Australian mining company BHP committed to donating $50 million AUD ($31 million USD) to what it calls as the ‘Vital Resources Fund’.
BHP CEO Mike Henry said: “BHP stands with the regional communities we operate in. With those communities facing significant challenges, we are stepping up in establishing the Vital Resources Fund, which will provide support in a range of areas such as health services and resilience building during this difficult time.”
Further announcement came over the past few days pledging money to Chile’s testing infrastructure worth $8 million AUD and to Flying Doctors in Australia. “We are incredibly grateful for the critical support from BHP which will assist us towards bolstering our service for the surge capacity we will need to respond across the regions,” Rebecca Tomkinson, CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service said.
Glencore has also set up a fund worth $25 million. The company said in a press release, “We are announcing the launch of the Glencore Community Support Fund.”
The company said that the $25m fund is designed to be flexible and responsive and complement existing efforts by our local teams to provide the support their communities most need at this time.
Ivan Glasenberg, CEO, Glencore said, “We hope that these efforts will help ease the burden on our host communities as we work together towards a common goal of combatting the impact of the coronavirus,”
Anglo American Chief Executive, Mark Cutifani, said: “Society is facing the greatest threat to global health in a century. Safety is at the heart of all that we do at Anglo American, and we are doing all that we can to safeguard our people and their families from the spread of COVID-19, while also providing support to our host communities and countries where it’s most needed. The company announced a host of measures – across the countries it operates to fight the Corona Virus epidemic.
Australian miner Newcrest Mining Limited (Newcrest) announced that it has established a A$20 million ($ 12 million USD) Community Support Fund to provide financial support to its host communities to assist them with the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The health and safety of our people and host communities is our prime concern. The Community Support Fund will initially focus on increasing the availability of medical care and equipment to cope with the pandemic, as well as assisting in the provision of other essential goods and services, in the communities that host Newcrest’s operations worldwide,” said Sandeep Biswas, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
Newmont Corporation also announced the establishment of a US$20 million fund to help host communities, governments and employees combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Newmont says it will partner with local governments, medical institutions, charities and non-governmental organizations to target funds towards addressing the greatest needs with a view to serving as a catalyst for long-term resiliency and future community development.
(Of course it is not possible to cover all the contributions, this is only a snapshot of a few companies.)