Lundin Gold (TSX: LUG) is providing access to online education for students in rural communities close to its Fruta del Norte (FDN) mine in Ecuador. The young learners have been out of school since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic.
The Estamos Conectados project was launched in early 2021 to improve internet infrastructure and to provide students and teachers with training and equipment to facilitate online learning. The project includes a fibre optic connection for communities in the Los Encuentros parish, free Wi-Fi access points in each community, special connections where fibre optic is not viable, internet for the school in Los Encuentros, the purchase and distribution of 1,370 tablets for students, and other infrastructure improvements.
Lundin has marked a milestone with the distribution of all the tablets to students in the parish and several other rural communities close to the mine. Internet speed has been increased by 50 Mpbs for the Unidaad Educativa del Milenio 10 de Noviembre School and its 73 teachers. There are now free Wi-Fi hotspots in 21 communities, and as fibre optic infrastructure is completed, it will benefit nearly 1,000 families as well as the students.
“Education is a key pillar of Lundin Gold’s sustainability strategy, and the Estamos Conectados project strengthens the educational system in communities close to FDN,” Lundin Gold’s president and CEO Ron Hochstein said in a media release.
“In launching the Estamos Conectados project, Lundin Gold, the Lundin Foundation and our partners have a shared vision of ensuring that educational opportunities are available to local youth in spite of the challenges presented by the pandemic. Collectively, our organizations have contributed more than C$600,000 to date.“
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)