Rio Tinto, Fortescue support Chinese coronavirus recovery

Image: Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group have donated to the Chinese coronavirus cause to help those impacted by the deadly outbreak.

Rio Tinto’s $1 million donation to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation will go towards supporting hospital upgrades and buying medical supplies in the areas most affected by the outbreak.

Fortescue’s donation, also valued at $1 million will go to the Wuhan Qingshan Charity Federation, supporting medical efforts including converting a sports stadium to a medical facility.

WISCO Sports Stadium, which is owned by Fortescue customer Wuhan Iron and Steel, will be transformed into a 388 bed shelter hospital to treat patients.

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said the company offers its support to the Chinese Government and people at this time.

“The health and safety of the local population in Wuhan is a priority and we are pleased to provide this donation which will help save lives and contain the spread of the virus,” Gaines said.

“Fortescue has faith in the resilience of the Chinese people and economy as they continue on their path of urbanisation and development.”

Rio Tinto is also looking to identify other ways it may be able to offer support by working with its Chinese partners.

The mining company  stated the Red Cross Foundation had been actively raising funds to strengthen medical resources in the affected areas.

“It is deeply concerning to see events unfolding in relation to the coronavirus outbreak, and our thoughts are with the people and families impacted,” Rio Tinto chief executive J. S. Jacques said.

“Many of our Chinese partners are playing a vital role on the frontline of containing the outbreak and, as a company with a long-standing partnership with China, we are committed to helping those who need help right now.”

Chinese steel mills are a key market for Rio Tinto’s flagship Pilbara Blend.

Last year, Rio Tinto partnered with China Baowu Steel Group in Shanghai and Tsinghua University in Beijing to implement new methods of reducing carbon emissions across the steel value chain.

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