During pandemic, mining companies boost donations to Inuit communities
Money goes to improve food security, COVID-19 prevention
Mine workers in Nunavut and Nunavik are not yet back at the regions’ mines, after being sent home in March to curb the spread of COVID-19.
But Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., which operates mines in Nunavut, and Glencore, which owns Nunavik’s Raglan mine, have been contributing to the local communities to improve food security, among other efforts.
The Raglan nickel mine reopened in mid-April, following its closure on March 24 due to Quebec’s COVID-19 business shutdowns, and there are no plans yet to bring back workers from Nunavik, a Raglan mine spokesperson said this week.
But Raglan recently drew on the special fund that Glencore set up to help its mines around the world make it through COVID-19, to help three organizations in Nunavik.
Glencore’s Global Community Support fund gave money to hunter support programs in the communities of Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq, both of which are signatories to Raglan’s impact and benefit agreement.
The programs each received cash donations of $15,000.
As well, Raglan provided 4,000 KN95 facial masks and 1,000 face shields to the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, a donation worth nearly $33,000.
Agnico Eagle, which operates the Meliadine and Meadowbank gold mines in Nunavut, has also contributed to food security efforts, including donations to the Abluqta Society in Baker Lake and to the Hamlet of Rankin Inlet.