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Mining industry's response to COVID-19 'above and beyond'

Industry expert expects companies will continue being part of communities
Mining Activity 1
(File photo)

When COVID-19 hit, the mining industry had a "very substantial" response.

The Mining Association of Canada's economic and northern affairs vice-president, Brendan Marshall, expects that to continue. 

This week, Marshall was the featured speaker at the Timmins Chamber of Commerce's virtual State of Mining event.

At the six-month mark of the pandemic in September, three Timmins-area mining companies had contributed over $750,000 in local COVID-19 relief. 

Their stories start similarly, by reaching out to the emergency management committee to see where there was a need. Together, they boosted the local supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), helped out the food banks, hospital, local businesses, and more.

“When we ... refer to COVID and the expectations of companies partnering with local organizations in the community going forward, my sense is that the response of the industry to COVID in those initial times of massive uncertainty was above and beyond compared to what other industries have done," said Marshall after his presentation. 

"It’s very important for companies to manage their relationships with local communities and their constituents in and around where they operate, and being part of the things that those individuals value is something that companies are going to continue doing."

The mining industry was also impacted by COVID-19.

“The extent of the impact was not universal. Some regions were affected more so than others; some products were affected more so than others,” he said.

The industry, he said, prioritized public health and safety or their employees and communities they operate in.

“A number of instances, companies made determinations to either go on care and maintenance because the concern of local communities and vulnerability of local communities to COVID was unknown and deemed too great a risk – and there’s more than one example of that during the peak level of uncertainty back in the early days,” said Marshall.

– TimminsToday