3 Mining Companies that Contribute to HIV/AIDS Awareness and Prevention
December 1 marks World AIDS Day, a day started in 1988 to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS. With over 33 million people worldwide living with the virus, which attacks the body’s immune system, mining companies around the world have made it a priority to stop the spread of the deadly disease. Here are the top 3 mining companies contributing in the fight to stop HIV/AIDS.
The UK-listed company is involved in an array of community initiatives and combating the spread of HIV/AIDS, which affects 12,000 of its employees, is no different. The company runs the world’s largest corporate scheme for HIV/AIDS, which includes testing, treatment, education and counseling for employees. In 2002, Anglo made the decision to offer free antiretroviral treatment (ART) to all employees with over 5,000 utilizing the company-supplied drugs.
"We have gone some way to remove the stigma surrounding HIV within the workforce," says Dr. Brian Brink, Anglo American’s chief medical officer. "We want to take the 'exceptionalism' out of Aids, because treatment allows people with HIV to lead a near-normal life, and they can continue to work."
In addition to the countless programs and initiatives the company has commenced, Anglo recently announced that it will be the lead private sector company supporting the 21st International Aids conference taking place in July 2016, in Durban, South Africa.
“We continue to partner with government on a number of developmental initiatives and we are proud to once more demonstrate the benefits of this partnership by supporting the 2016 International Aids conference,” said Anglo American executive director Khanyisile Kweyama.
As a leader in the mining sector, ICMM is engaged in a variety of individual initiatives and partnerships designed to combat HIV/AIDS. The organization has set up free testing for employees, implemented community peer educator programs and provided workplace and family treatment plans to funding cutting-edge research for the disease.
ICMM President Tony Hodge said: “A number of mining companies have shown leadership on the need to tackle HIV/AIDS. Mining has an important role to play in ensuring that the epidemic is brought under control, and that people can live and work with HIV and without stigma.”
ICMM recently introduced Good Practice Guidance on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculoiss and Malaria, a management tool aimed at improving mine site safety.
In addition, four members of ICMM have joined in the AIDS fight by signing a memorandum of understanding with the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS for World AIDS Day.
3. Barrick Gold
Since 2008, Barrick Gold has organized and implemented a series of public awareness activities designed to de-stigmatize HIV/AIDS and promote voluntary testing in the countries they operate.
“The stigma of HIV/AIDS is one of the biggest issues for our employees in Tanzania,” says Dr. Rob Barbour, Barrick’s chief medical officer. “Our employees need to know that they can come forward for HIV testing and care, confident that they won’t be discriminated against. Signing this pledge just underscores Barrick’s existing commitment to non-discrimination and sends the message that we’re serious about it.”
The company has mining operations and projects in a number of high risk countries, including Tanzania, Papua New Guinea and South Africa and is committed to minimizing the negative social, economic and human rights impacts of HIV/AIDS on its employees.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.