Other forms of support
We are looking at ways to support our communities and regions. Some examples:
In Western Australia, we are working with state and local governments, as well as the not-for-profit sector and community organisations, to play our part in the response and recovery effort – including in the Pilbara and regional FIFO communities.
For example, we contributed A$1 million to the Shire of Ashburton and A$1 million to the City of Karratha towards initiatives to drive economic stimulus and support community organisations and small businesses.
We are also investing A$1.25 million over five years in the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Queensland, adding to our longstanding support of the RFDS in Western Australia. This investment will help the RFDS deliver essential health services across the state, and will help build a new patient transfer facility in Weipa, while supporting an existing one at Gladstone.
We have also pledged A$500,000 to CareFlight Northern Operations to support emergency aeromedical care in the Northern Territory as part of a A$1.1 million commitment to support East Arnhem communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And we have extended our employee mental health and support services to also help communities in Western Australia as part of our COVID-19 relief package. Through the programme, which runs for six months, members of our host communities, local suppliers, and category 2 and 3 contractors and their families will be offered private and confidential counselling support by our provider, BSS Employee Assistance.
Canada and the United States
We are investing $10 million in a variety of grassroots projects across Canada and the US to support local community efforts to fight COVID-19 and its social and economic impacts, along with supporting projects that maintain and create regional economic development.
Some of the initiatives include:
In the Northwest Territories, our Diavik diamond mine is partnering with the Yellowknife Women’s Society to support its COVID-19 isolation shelter with a C$150,000 contribution. Our support lets the shelter provide housing and food for vulnerable men and women who would be at special risk if they contract COVID-19. We are also contributing C$60,000 to five Indigenous communities for food and other needs.
In Saguenay – Lac-St-Jean, Quebec, we donated 25,000 masks and other equipment worth around C$100,000 to the local health and social services authority. And in Montreal, we donated C$50,000 to the Table de quartier de Montréal-Nord, whose work brings together nearly 100 local community organisations, to help provide families experiencing hardship with food security and the equipment their children need to stay connected to school.
BC Works, our aluminium operation in British Columbia, has donated C$50,000 to the Kitimat General Hospital Foundation to help support during the COVID-19 crisis. BC Works has also donated gowns to local healthcare facilities and half masks with filters to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC), donated a total of C$40,000, in cash and in kind, to the Labrador West Health Centre and the Sept-Iles Hospital Foundation to support patients and staff through this difficult time, including by providing tablet computers to help patients keep in touch with their loved ones. IOC also provided alternative housing to Hope Haven, a Transition House for women experiencing violence or abuse – so they could offer accommodation to women and children affected by COVID-19 who are fleeing domestic violence and need to self-isolate.
And through our employee donation matching initiative, we gave more than C$100,000 to four food banks in Havre-St-Pierre and Sorel-Tracy in Quebec, near our Rio Tinto Fer et Titane operations.
In Arizona, the Resolution copper project partnered with the United Food Bank to deliver 75,000 meals to the White Mountain Apache Tribe. It also donated 50,000 cans of water to support tribes, in partnership with Ball Corp and Can’d Aid.
In California, home to US Borax, our borates business, we donated $10,000 to offer learning support and food assistance to families living near our facility at the Port of Los Angeles.
In Utah, our Kennecott copper operation is partnering with the Natural History Museum to run a digital education hub pilot to improve access to technology for students.
In February, we donated $1 million to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation to contribute to China’s nationwide medical effort, including to support hospital upgrades and the purchase of medical supplies in the areas most affected by the outbreak.
At the Oyu Tolgoi mine, employees and contractors organised a fundraising drive and raised MNT 145,543,000 ($52,500) to donate to the Mongolian Ministry of Health in support of its efforts to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
At Richards Bay Minerals, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, we have donated more than R5.5 million to provide critical support for local communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including food and water supplies, as well as PPE and essential equipment for frontline health workers and clinics.