COVID-19: Antofagasta sets up $6m fund for communities
As a Group our main concern is the protection of our people’s safety and health and we have therefore implemented various measures to reduce their risk of exposure to the spread of COVID-19.
So far, we have not detected cases of this disease directly within our operations, but four of our employees and contractors have been diagnosed with the virus while they were away from work. They were immediately put on self-isolation at home where they remain.
Antofagasta plc’s CEO, Iván Arriagada, said: “Mining is considered a critical business in Chile and although we are currently operating with a reduced workforce on-site in line with our preventative health measures, this has had a limited impact on production. We are also working together with our communities to ensure their safety and have established a $6 million community fund to help fight this virus. We have set up a task force which meets daily to constantly review our actions and are working with our communities and in line with government guidelines to deliver a coordinated approach.”
To help prevent the spread of infection, our operations are now operating with about half our workforce. To date the impact on production has been limited and we will review full year guidance in our 1st Quarter Production Report, which will be released on 22 April 2020.
In addition to protecting the health of our employees and contractors, we have established a $6 million fund to help the communities that live near our mining operations in the province of Choapa and in the Antofagasta Region. This fund, in addition to the social investment plans that we already have, will be used to buy medical supplies and equipment needed by healthcare workers to fight the COVID-19 virus, create facilities for people to stay if they need to be quarantined, and to sterilise public spaces and creating safe areas for our community. Working with our neighbours and the authorities, they will define where best to deploy the funds and when we emerge from this pandemic together, the fund will also serve to help the economic and social recovery of our communities.
Further to our announcement on 20 March 2020, the workforce at the Los Pelambres Expansion project has been reduced by approximately 90% and the project will be kept on care and maintenance until conditions are deemed appropriate for it to restart.
For further information on actions we are taking to combat COVID-19 please visit our website at www.antofagasta.co.uk.
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