Newcrest earmarks millions for support fund

As its mines’ host communities continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, gold producer Newcrest Mining has unveiled a A$20 million (US$12 million) Community Support Fund to aid them

 Newcrest's Lihir operation

Newcrest's Lihir operation

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Newcrest officials, which made the fund's establishment official on April 6, said a portion of the fund would go towards vaccine research and development. About half will be committed to helping those of Papua New Guinea to prepare for and manage the virus.

"The Community Support Fund will initially focus on increasing the availability of medical care and equipment to cope with the pandemic, as well as assisting in the provision of other essential goods and services, in the communities that host Newcrest's operations worldwide," managing director and CEO Sandeep Biswas said.

While Newcrest has confirmed it is still closely monitoring the virus' impact on its people, operations and activities, it reported there had not been any recorded cases at any of its assets. All of its mines continue to operate, and its guidance for whole-year 2020 has not changed.

"The limitations on the movement of people interstate and internationally is being managed effectively at this point in time," said Biswas.

The company has also put protective procedures into place, including passenger screening and health checks for all FIFO employees, contractors and visitors; physical distancing requirements; a review of site cleaning protocols for each site; and self-quarantine requirements.

The miner is also working with its key suppliers to permit supply continuity, including finding alternative sources should a disruption occur.

"[We are also] actively engaging with customers and our refineries on their situation, which has confirmed that, at this point in time, there has been no reduction in demand for, or the ability to receive and process, our copper concentrate and doré," it said.

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