Rio Tinto not ‘complacent’ in battling coronavirus spread

Rio Tinto has continued to operate most of its assets to fulfil customer orders while complying with government directives regarding coronavirus.

In Australia, the company’s business resilience teams were at each site and region to keep operations running safely and enable supply chain continuity.

The teams assessed critical infrastructure at each operation and implemented a continuity plan.

Rio Tinto has also split many of its functional leadership teams into two teams, protecting critical operations support teams such as those running the operational centres in Perth, Brisbane and New South Wales.

“COVID-19 (coronavirus disease of 2019) is a human tragedy and we all have to play our part as the pandemic spreads,” Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sébastian Jacques said.

“Rio Tinto’s first priority remains the health and safety of all of our employees and communities. During these uncertain times, we continue to deliver products to our customers supported by our global sales and marketing teams.”

The company has restricted the amount of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers on site and implemented changes to rosters, reducing the number of flights to FIFO sites.

Rio Tinto has also barred its employees and contractors from visiting vulnerable communities without company and community approval.

The company pledged a further $25 million to support global grassroots community coronavirus preparedness and recovery.

This takes the company’s total voluntary community contributions to around $60 million this year.

“For us the focus is to maintain a business as usual approach with many safeguards, at a very unusual time,” Jacques concluded.

“We are not at all complacent. Safety and health comes first as we keep delivering for our customers, our host governments and communities”.

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