Skip to main content

Supporting our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic

14 AUGUST 2020

We know we can make the biggest difference by working together with our communities

We know we can make the biggest difference by working together with our communities and during COVID-19 we have provided support where and when it was needed most. 
Our response to COVID-19 is built around three areas – keeping our people safe and well, maintaining safe and reliable operations, and supporting our communities. 

As COVID-19 began to spread rapidly around the world, we immediately established a COVID-19 Community Investment Fund, with the intent to contribute US$7 million to the areas that need it most. We developed a regional response approach with our operations in Africa, Australia and the Americas, using a four-stage framework: 

  • Prevention: Creating awareness and supporting the prevention of an outbreak of COVID-19 in local communities and workforce to prevent transmission between people;
  • Preparedness: Identifying what needs to be done to respond effectively, and to support local authorities in preparing for an outbreak in communities including capacity and capability building; 
  • Response: Supporting efforts to respond effectively to an outbreak in local communities; and 
  • Recovery: Strengthening health systems and socio-economic resilience of communities to rebuild and respond to similar outbreaks in the future.

As part of our investment commitment we:

  • Donated R10.5 million to the South Africa Solidarity Fund and pledged R50 million to help the local communities surrounding our South African operations;  
  • Donated A$1 million to support the local communities surrounding our Australian operations, distributed between three organisations – The Royal Flying Doctor Service, Foodbank and Lifeline – to assist people living in regional and remote areas and provide mental health services and essential supplies; 
  • Matched US$40,000 of employee contributions dollar-for-dollar to causes responding to COVID-19 in South Africa, Mozambique, Colombia, Australia, the United States and Singapore;
  • $50,000 at our Hermosa Project through Local First Arizona to provide urgently needed financial relief to qualifying small businesses in Southern Arizona;
  • Delivered hygiene products, personal protective equipment and water to our communities to enable safe hygiene behaviours;
  • More than 100 villages in Africa have improved access to water and sanitation services;
  • Collaborated with other industry players by leveraging resources and coordinating actions, including establishing testing and quarantine facilities; and
  • Upgraded local health facilities, including: 
    • Establishing a new medical clinic on Groote Eylandt in less than 5 weeks to manage impacts on local health services; and
    • Renovating Matola health clinic in Mozambique to accommodate COVID-19 patients.

We will continue to work closely with local authorities on the response and recover phases to support the resilience of our local communities into the future.