Mining companies line up to support wildfire relief efforts in Australia

January 9, 2020

As deadly wildfires continue to burn in Australia, many of the top mining companies in the nation have responded with donations to help in the relief efforts.

The BHP Foundation will donate A$2 million, while Rio Tinto has increased its contribution with a further $750,000 in donation to bring its donation to the Red Cross to support emergency relief efforts to $1 million.

Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) announced it will donate $1 million to the Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund to assist communities impacted by the devastating bushfires in regions across Australia.

The Fund has been established by Fortescue Founder and Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest and Nicola Forrest to assist in three key areas – immediate response through the mobilization of volunteers, supporting the rebuilding and revitalization of local communities and economies and investing in Australia’s long-term resilience.

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said, “It is heartbreaking to see the devastating impact the bushfire crisis is having on people, communities and wildlife across Australia and our thoughts are with those affected and the emergency personnel on the ground fighting these fires.”

CNN reported that, Forrest, the Australian billionaire mining magnate has also pledged A$70 million ($48.1 million) in aid for the country's bushfire crisis.

A total of $10 million will go toward specialist volunteers from Forrest's home state, Western Australia. Another $10 million will be allocated to immediate relief funding, while the remaining $50 million will be set aside to develop a "long-term blueprint for fire resilience," according to a statement from the foundation.

Rio Tinto is also providing employees involved in volunteer firefighting efforts with full leave entitlements.

“With the escalation in the bushfire crisis, which has caused devastation for many Australians, we have increased our donation to $1 million to support the Red Cross in its tireless work caring for affected communities,” Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said.

Newcrest Mining is set to donate $200,000 to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and $200,000 to the Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA). This goes on top of its commitment to match up to $200,000 of employees’ donations.



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