One million certified protective face masks and money dedicated to help local organizations in need of support during this time of pandemic, are just a few ways Teck Resources Limited (Teck) has committed to aiding British Columbia, communities the mining giant operates in, and the world beyond.
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Thursday morning Teck announced the creation of a $20-million fund to support COVID-19 response and future recovery efforts.
The company says the funding will go to support critical social initiatives and increased healthcare capacity, including procuring one million masks to be donated for health care in British Columbia.
“The global health crisis posed by COVID-19 is unlike anything previously faced by companies, by families, and by communities. The scope and severity of this pandemic requires all of us to step up and do our part,” Don Lindsay, Teck president and CEO said in the April 16 release.
“As a proudly Canadian-based resource company with over 100 years of history, Teck is committed to playing a role in the global mobilization to beat COVID-19. We have created a $20-million fund that will provide direct support to critical services in communities where we operate. This includes procuring essential medical supplies, donating to medical research, supporting local health care and social services affected by COVID-19, and contributing to international relief efforts.”
Donations to date through the fund include:
• One million masks for health care in British Columbia: Working in collaboration with government agencies and utilizing its supply chain network, Teck has procured 1 million KN95 masks to donate to B.C.’s healthcare system with delivery expected in the coming weeks.
• Teck Community Response Fund for local communities in Canada, Alaska and Chile: A dedicated community investment fund will support local organizations in areas where Teck operates directly involved with COVID-19 response (such as health care and social services) or those directly experiencing impacts resulting from COVID-19. A portion of this fund will be specifically dedicated to support for Indigenous communities. Teck is also expediting payments to local and Indigenous suppliers to support their ongoing economic resiliency.
• Healthcare services in Chile: Teck will support healthcare services in the Tarapaca and Coquimbo regions of Chile, including funding medical supplies, equipment, facilities and professionals at the Iquique hospital; family and primary health services in Pica, Pozo Almonte, and Chanavayita; and healthcare services in La Serena.
• Investments in use of copper towards infection prevention initiatives: Through its Copper & Health program, Teck will continue to collaborate with public agencies and is making an additional $1 million available to advance the use of copper products to support infection control and prevention.
• Contributions to Canadian relief efforts: Teck is providing $250,000 to the Canadian Red Cross towards supporting health services and public health in the battle against COVID-19, including the deployment of the Red Cross’s Emergency Response Unit field hospital and the supply of medical equipment.
• Support for international relief efforts: Teck has contributed to international aid efforts including $500,000 to UNICEF (in collaboration with the World Health Organization Solidarity Response Fund) to provide critical medical and sanitation supplies, equipment and training in over 180 countries, and $250,000 to the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation to support children in rural communities in China.
• Support for medical research programs in Canada: Teck has provided a $250,000 contribution to the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation for targeted drug discovery into therapeutic solutions to the COVID-19 virus carried out at the Vancouver Prostate Centre.
“This funding will help to protect the health and well-being of communities locally and globally during this challenging time and support their long-term economic and social recovery in the wake of COVID-19,” Lindsay said.
“It builds on our work to implement stringent preventative measures at all our operations to safeguard the health of our people, and to maintain jobs and economic activity to the extent possible without compromising safety.
“Meeting an unprecedented challenge requires unprecedented unity, empathy and consideration for one another. Around the world we have seen those qualities on display in recent weeks, from small gestures of kindness and support from our neighbours to everyday citizens cheering each night in support of frontline healthcare workers.”
Further donations through the fund will include procuring additional supplies or PPE (personal protective equipment) for health care and community use, contributions to global relief efforts, medical research, and long-term economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.
“Teck and its people are proud to play our part,” Lindsay said.
“There are many examples of our local operations embodying that same spirit, such as donating PPE to local frontline health workers, sharing their health and safety expertise with the community, and providing funding to local food banks. The collective response to this unprecedented threat has been truly extraordinary. It should give us every confidence that we will prevail and once it passes, as it surely will, we will all emerge stronger and more resilient than ever.”