Mining companies continue support of bushfire relief

Evolution Mining has joined BHP, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group, Newcrest Mining and Kirkland Lake Gold in donating towards Australia’s bushfire crisis.

The company is donating $3 million; with $750,000 for each Queensland Rural Fire Service and New South Wales Rural Fire Service, and the remaining $1.5 million to Rural Aid.

Rural Aid is known best for its Buy a Bale campaign and provides financial assistance, fodder, water and counselling to farmers in times of drought, flood or fire.

Evolution has experienced the impact of drought firsthand as it reduces its reliance on surface fresh water at the Cowal gold mine in New South Wales’ East Lachlan region, due to stage three water restrictions across the state.

The company is also installing a second pipeline across Lake Cowal to increase pumping capacity by around 30 per cent, so the site can pump water from current and future saline bore fields.

Evolution executive chairman Jake Klein said the company was pleased to be in a position to make donations to such worthy organisations.

“Many Evolution employees and our local communities have been impacted by recent natural disasters in Queensland and New South Wales,” Klein said.

“Some of these communities have endured one of the longest droughts in recent history, destructive floods in Queensland last year wiped out homes and livestock and the current bushfires are having a devastating impact on people, properties, wildlife and the landscape.

“We hope out support will help to bring hope and assistance to affected families and communities.”

Rural Aid spokesperson Wayne Thomson thanked Evolution for its donation.

“This donation will help us deliver much needed support to farmers, their families and communities suffering through not only widespread drought, but now extensive bushfires,” Thomson said.

Last week, Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest pledged $70 million for the Minderoo Foundation fire fund and he and his wife Nicola also committed to match every dollar donated with two dollars.

Fortescue Metals Group has donated $1 million to the fund.

The BHP Foundation has also handed $2 million to bushfire relief, with Rio Tinto giving $250,000 to emergency relief last November before adding a further $750,000 last week.

Newcrest Mining is contributing $200,000 to both the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and the Victorian Country Fire Authority, as well as committing to match up to $200,000 of its employees’ donations.

Canadian company Kirkland Lake Gold watched as one of its key production countries suffered and donated $1 million to support bushfire relief and recovery efforts.

Bushfires have burnt at least 5.8 million hectares of Australian land, destroying more than 1700 homes and displacing regional communities.