Mining giant set to inject $1 million into Moura community
ANGLO American has announced a $1 million Moura community fund to respond to the impacts of the closure of Gibihi Road on the local community.
The Moura mine road was damaged from a routine mine blast on November 9, which resulted in huge cracks extending 60 to 90m deep.
The road has been closed since with miners having to reportedly travel up to four times the distance compared to before.
While a permanent road solution has been found in re-opening Three Chain Rd, the social impacts on the surrounding towns are yet to be addressed.
In efforts to recognise the impacts of the road closure, the mining giant is set to inject $1 million over two years (2018-19) into the Moura community. This funding will be available for projects to immediately provide economic stimulus or enhance the amenity of Moura.
Plans to boost money into the community also includes the company providing its employees (who travel from Moura to work) with a $750 gift card, only to be spent within the Moura region.
Anglo American also advised buses are currently running from Moura to the mine site to reduce traffic on the roads at peak times and to reduce costs for their employees. They will continue to review the effectiveness of the bus service in consultation with their employees.
The Dawson Community Reference Forum will be established as a way to improve Anglo American's ongoing engagement with the local community.
As its first priority, the Forum will be asked to make recommendations to Dawson mine on local projects to be funded from the $1 million Moura Community Fund. A commitments register will also be created and regularly reported on to the Forum to ensure that any commitments made by Dawson mine are enduring.
Responding to feedback from the community and following a recommendation made at the first meeting of the Forum this week, $150,000 from the Moura Community Fund will be provided to enable the completion of the Moura Memorial.
General Manager of Dawson Mine, Clarence Robertson, said Anglo American understood the closure of a section of Gibihi Road had impacted the Moura community and its employees in a range of ways.
"We appointed Ernst & Young to engage with community members and help us to understand these social impacts in detail so that we could consider ways to respond," he said.
Ernst & Young engaged with over 250 stakeholders, representing impacted employees, farmers and graziers, education, local government, emergency services, health, businesses and other community members and groups in the region surrounding the Dawson mine.
Mr Robertson said the primary way of addressing the social impacts was to restore safe public access through the mine site as quickly as possible.
"We are working closely with Banana Shire Council to finalise plans for a new road to be built in the vicinity of the old Three Chain Road," he said.
"The replacement road will be a significant piece of critical infrastructure for the region for decades to come.
"We have also made a commitment to the community to maximise local procurement during the road project to ensure that economic benefits flow to the Moura region."
In the meantime, to address the temporary impact on other local roads, Anglo American has been working with Banana Shire Council to upgrade and maintain the standard of the Kianga diversion road and undertake repair work on the Theodore Highway.
Clarence Robertson said the social impact plan drew on consultations with the community to address direct impacts and target economic stimulus for Moura.
"We are excited to be able to address the funding shortfall to finish the Moura Memorial and contribute to other projects of value to the community," he said.
"We recognise the need to continue to build good relationships with the community of Moura and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the region.
"I look forward to working with the members of our new community forum to assess options to fund local projects and engage about our future mine plans."
Anglo American will further develop details of the Forum's operation and membership and continue to keep the community updated.
Commitments and actions made by Anglo American to the community over the past couple of months:
- The establishment of a shopfront in Moura to ensure Dawson mine is accessible to the community to improve engagement and information flows
- A focus on encouraging local procurement opportunities and a commitment to increase our local spend from $4 million in 2017. A discussion with the local Chamber of Commerce was held with a range of follow up actions and initiatives underway. Regular meetings with the Chamber of Commerce will be held to ensure an ongoing dialogue about business opportunities
- Payment of a $150 per week rental subsidy for employees to live locally
- A review of Dawson mine's accommodation strategy, including camps and housing in Moura, is underway and further communication about this will occur over coming months.