Mining companies such as BHP and Rio Tinto have responded to Australia’s fire crisis by donating millions to the Red Cross.
The BHP Foundation will donate $2 million, while Rio Tinto has increased its contribution with a further $750,000 in donation.
Rio Tinto previously donated $250,000 to the Red Cross to support emergency relief efforts in November last year.
Bushfires have burnt through 5.8 million hectares across Australia, destroying more than 1700 homes and displacing regional communities with some people missing.
“The continuing impact on people, communities and their land and livelihood is devastating and widespread across Australia,” BHP stated.
“The (BHP) Foundation’s donation will help Australian Red Cross provide immediate support through evacuation centres, psychological first aid and emergency assistance including cash grants to people who have lost homes as well as support longer-term recovery programs in fire-affected communities.”
Rio Tinto is also providing employees involved in volunteer firefighting efforts with full leave entitlements.
“With the escalation in the bushfire crisis, which has caused devastation for many Australians, we have increased our donation to $1 million to support the Red Cross in its tireless work caring for affected communities,” Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said.
“Beyond these steps announced (last week), we will continue to explore ways to help impacted communities in this time of need.”
Newcrest Mining is set to donate $200,000 to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and $200,000 to the Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA). This goes on top of its commitment to match up to $200,000 of employees’ donations.
Mineralogy chairman Clive Palmer will also make his helicopter, pilot and sea vessels available for any type of rescue during the national fire crisis.