The COVID-19 podcast interviews are part of Mining Journal's Stakeholder Engagement programme, a 12-month campaign focused on helping the mining industry better understand and engage with key stakeholder groups. Find out more here.
"We're very conscious of understanding those needs," Anglo American group head of international and government relations, Froydis Cameron-Johansson, told Mining Journal in a podcast recording as part of its Stakeholder Engagement programme.
"It's very easy to provide X and Y but that could be completely wrong. It's no good saying we're going to supply ventilators if they haven't got the infrastructure to support them, which would be ICU beds."
She said Anglo American had been talking to governments at a local, regional and national level in a completely open way, which had built trust and allowed learnings from different regions to be applied globally. It had also helped governments understand the contribution being made by the mining industry.
Anglo American is executing a four-pillar response to the COVID-19 crisis centred on the physical and mental health of its employees and contractors; an asset-level community response that has seen operational infrastructure maintained, food and other supply programmes implemented, and some US$27 million in aid issued across the miner's global centres; and a continuation of an existing campaign against gender-based violence in recognition of the heightened threat presented during lockdown conditions.
"The thing that will come out of the new normal is the contribution business can make to the recovery," Cameron-Johansson said.
"People are going to be looking to responsible business to help the recovery and actually shape what the new normal looks like."
That sentiment was echoed by Todd Romaine, principal sustainability consultant to Eritrea-focused potash development group Danakali, who told Mining Journal miners would be expected to continue collaborating closely with communities and government when things return to whatever normal looks like.
"Some of the key issues that have come out of the crisis have been crisis management, business continuation plans, and supply chains," he said. "Out of that comes the view that there has to be a more long-term, sustainable system in place for businesses to operate with host communities.
"People now raise questions about what they're seeing on social media or in supply chains in terms of environmental and social issues, and companies have to be very sensitive in addressing these issues on a regular basis through ongoing disclosure, social media and so forth."