For Glencore, every effort is being made to support and protect their employees, their families and the communities in which they operate. We heard from Ian Cribb, Chief Operating Officer of Glencore Coal Assets Australia to find out how they’ve been handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last month the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said that the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that Australia is confronting not only a health crisis but also an economic crisis as well. As a member of the mining industry we play an active part in addressing both of these issues,” said Ian.
The mining industry continues to be a key pillar of both the national and the state economies in Australia. The resources sector accounts for 60% of total national export income and will be critical for any “post-COVID-19 recovery” effort in Australia.
The coal industry in Queensland and New South Wales contributes around $58 billion in export income and continues to be the single largest source of electricity generation in both Queensland and New South Wales.
Last year the Glencore Coal business made a direct socio-economic contribution of around $9.5 billion in Australia and so Ian believes the best thing they can do is to keep their business operating, employing people and spending money across their supply chains.
“In response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia, our coal business has enacted incident management plans, developed localised risk based plans at site, sought guidance from independent expert medical advice and followed the directions from Federal and State health authorities,” said Ian.
“I have to thank every one of our employees, contractors and suppliers that have been involved and adhered to the changes at our sites as we have focused on increased Education, Hygiene, Physical Separation, Self-Assessment Declarations, and Temperature Testing.”
The Government has identified mining as an “essential activity” which recognises the important role the mining sector plays in Australia. However, it also places a big responsibility on the whole industry to ensure its COVID-19 response plans and protocols are implemented effectively.
“Every employee and contractor has a responsibility to themselves, their families, their workmates and the communities in which we live and travel through to minimise the risk of transmitting COVID-19,” said Ian.
“I implore everyone to continue to complete your self-assessment declaration and temperature screening before you start work and then by following the protocols on social distancing and health and hygiene, both onsite and offsite.
This is not only for your own health and wellbeing, but also minimises the risk to the community and avoids increasing the burden on health care workers and the health system.”
“I want to thank everyone for continuing to focus on safety and doing their jobs at a time of increased uncertainty and disruption for them and their loved ones.”