Antofagasta gives back to the community

Chile-focused Antofagasta has confirmed it is working at half of its potential, having furloughed about 50% of its workforce to prevent COVID-19 spread, and has set up a US$6 million fund to aid the surrounding communities amid the virus fight
Antofagasta gives back to the community Antofagasta gives back to the community Antofagasta gives back to the community Antofagasta gives back to the community Antofagasta gives back to the community

Antofagasta’s Los Pelambres is currently on care and maintenance

Mining Magazine is making some of its most important coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic freely available to readers. For more coverage, please see our COVID-19 hub. To subscribe to Mining Magazine, click here.

The miner, which has not seen any significant impacts thus far despite the reduced workforce, noted it has so far not had any confirmed cases but has been notified of four employees and contractors that were diagnosed while away from work. Those impacted remain at home in self-isolation.

CEO Iván Arriagada said that Antofagasta is focusing on the health and safety of its workers and surrounding community members, and as a result has established a US$6 million community fund to help fight this virus.

"We have set up a task force, which meets daily to constantly review our actions," he said. "[They] and are working with our communities and in line with government guidelines to deliver a coordinated approach."

The funding is intended to help those living near its mining operations in the province of Choapa and in the Antofagasta region to purchase medical supplies and other equipment needed by healthcare workers to fight COVID-19.

It also can be used for developing quarantine facilities development, to sterilise public spaces and to create safe community areas.

"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," Arriagada said.

In related news, Antofagasta also confirmed that its Los Pelambres expansion project remains on care and maintenance and will remain so until a restart is deemed safe. In the meantime, the executive said, its workforce has been cut by about 90%.

Most read Viewpoint