Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO) is investing $10 million in a variety of grassroots projects across Canada and the US to support local community efforts to fight covid-19, drawing on the $25 million fund the company had announced previously.
The investment will target practical solutions — ranging from delivering critical supplies to providing counselling and support services — to help frontline response workers and the communities around its operations, said CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques in a media release.
Rio is also seeking to support projects that maintain and create regional economic development, which it says are vital for the long-term prosperity of the communities in which it operates.
The group currently employs more than 19,000 people across the continent, with operations in Quebec, Labrador Newfoundland, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories in Canada, and Utah, California, Arizona and Illinois in the US.
Some of the early initiatives Rio Tinto is contributing to include masks and other equipment worth around C$100,000 to the local health authority in Quebec, where it owns aluminium operations in Saguenay–Lac-St-Jean. The aluminium business also provided C$75,000 to startup Entreprise Prémont to help add a new production line to address the shortage of surgical masks in Canada.
Rio Tinto is also producing hand sanitizer in order to free up supplies for its communities in Quebec. Through the company’s employee donation matching initiative, C$100,000 has been provided to four local food banks in Havre-St-Pierre and Sorel-Tracy.
In British Columbia, the BC Works aluminium smelter made a C$50,000 contribution to the Kitimat General Hospital Foundation and provided reusable masks and safety glasses to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
In the Northwest Territories, the Diavik diamond mine is contributing C$60,000 to five indigenous communities for community identified relief initiatives such as food hampers and on-land activities.
In Labrador, IOC has provided alternative housing support to a local shelter for use if women and children affected by covid-19 need a secure refuge.
In the US, Rio Tinto’s Resolution copper project in Arizona partnered with the United Food Bank to deliver 75,000 meals to the White Mountain Apache Tribe on the Fort Apache Reservation. It is also donating 50,000 cans of water to support tribes in collaboration with Ball Corp and Can’d Aid.
In California, its borax business donated $10,000 to offer learning support and food assistance to families living near our Wilmington facility at the Port of Los Angeles.
In Utah, the Kennecott copper operation is partnering with the Natural History Museum to run a digital education hub pilot to improve access to technology for students. is also producing hand sanitizer in order to free up supplies for its communities.
Both the Boron and Kennecott operations are also producing hand sanitizer in order to free up supplies for the company’s communities.