PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner Newcrest Mining has established a A$20-million community support fund to assist host communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The miner on Tuesday said that a portion of the fund would go towards vaccine research, while around half of the fund would be dedicated to assisting Papua New Guinea’s preparations for and management of the pandemic.
“The health and safety of our people and host communities is our prime concern. The community support fund will 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 world wide,” said MD and CEO Sandeep Biswas.
Newcrest has to date maintained its production expectations for the 2020 financial year, with the miner confirming on Tuesday that none of its workers had been struck down by the virus.
The company has implemented a range of precautionary measures at its sites to maintain this status quo, including self quarantine requirements for those who have travelled internationally, identifying immune-compromised workers and encouraging them not to come to work, and launching an education programme to its workforce to ensure safe and hygienic practices.
While the company’s own operations remain unaffected by Covid-19, the miner noted that some 20 000 oz of gold production for the year was at risk from the current suspension at the Fruta del Norte project, in Ecuador, which is owned by Lundin Gold, and in which Newcrest holds a 32% share.