Rio sets aside A$25m for Covid-19 battle
Mining News Pro - Major Rio Tinto has pledged $25-million in funding to support global grassroots community COVID-19 preparedness and recovery efforts.

The additional investment would predominantly focus on value-in-kind opportunities, including the supply of masks and protective equipment to support emergency and health professionals, donations to national and local communities, hospitals and international agencies, the provision of ventilation units and temporary medical units in communities, further investment in education and financial literacy programmes as remote learning becomes the global norm for children, and the manufacturing of hand sanitizer at certain Rio sites.

“Rio Tinto continues to look for opportunities to share knowledge of response activities and to partner with others in the industry to find joint solutions to address and aid in the recovery from this global pandemic. The company is actively contributing to Covid-19 related best practice forums in health, safety and communities, as established by the International Council of Mining and Metals,” the company said in a statement.

CEO Jean-Sebastian Jacques said over the weekend that the company’s focus would be on maintaining a ‘business as usual’ approach with safeguards in place, to maintain the health and safety of staff and to keep delivering for its customers.

“Covid-19 is a human tragedy and we all have to play our part as the pandemic spreads. Rio Tinto’s first priority remains the health and safety of all of our employees and communities. During these uncertain times, we continue to deliver products to our customers supported by our global sales and marketing teams.

“We have taken extensive measures across the business to help protect our people and communities, and have increased these as the pandemic spreads, in line with guidance or directives from governments and advice from international health organisations on best practice,” Jacques said.

“At this point in time, most of our assets continue to operate, with health and safety as a first priority, and I am proud of the way our employees have risen to the challenge to keep themselves, their colleagues and communities safe. There are many examples of our operational teams continuing to run their businesses as they provide support to local communities, from manufacturing hand sanitiser, to giving protective equipment to hospitals and funding local community response initiatives.”

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