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About the Minerals Council of Australia

The MCA is the leading advocate for Australia's world class minerals industry, promoting and enhancing sustainability, profitability and competitiveness. The MCA represents a world-leading minerals sector that is dynamic, diverse, sustainable and valued by all Australians. Read more.

Acknowledgement of Country

The MCA acknowledges and pays its respects to past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website and linked publications may contain images or names of people who have since died.

Supporting community-led approaches

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander COVID-19 Advisory Group developed a comprehensive national plan to support public health actions and responses relating to Indigenous people, populations and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. It reinforces the importance of locally-led, comprehensive and culturally-safe arrangements.

The plan identifies specific considerations in a COVID-19 context, including highly mobile populations, higher visitor flow (including due to FIFO and DIDO), and existing higher chronic disease burden and social, health and economic inequalities.

For more than two decades, the minerals industry has worked to build strong, enduring relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, employees, businesses and organisations. This brings a special responsibility to support community-led responses to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources Sector National COVID-19 Response Protocols and supporting tools

Starting in March 2020, the MCA – with state chambers and Indigenous organisations – developed various resources to assist companies to minimise transmission risks while maintaining essential services and safe operations.

The Resources Sector National COVID-19 Response Protocols are central to these resources. The protocols include specific obligations to support community-led responses. Other resources include:


COVID-19 stakeholder bulletins

In April, the MCA began publishing a regular update outlining industry actions to support and protect remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


Supporting host communities and regional Australia

Every day the mineral industry is proud to stand with host communities from Weipa to Moranbah and Ballarat to Port Hedland. During the COVID-19 pandemic, standing together and helping each other where we can is more important than ever before.

Companies are working closely with local pandemic response committees, councils, government agencies, community organisations and others to meet local health and social needs and keep people in highly paid, highly skilled jobs.

Major initiatives are detailed below:


Actions include:

  • Delivered 10,000 face masks to Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations
  • Reducing payment terms for small to medium businesses to 14 days
  • Donating hand sanitiser to local emergency services, education facilities and local businesses
  • Fast tracking community grants programs to financially assist local businesses
  • Partnering with Hearts of Australia to ensure regional communities have access to medical specialists

AnglGold Ashanti

  • Contributed $90,000 towards the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Foodbank and Lifeline to assist people in remote and regional WA
  • Sourced hand sanitiser stations, soap and community hand-washing machines for Laverton and Kalgoorlie
  • Introduced an expanded e-mentoring program for one-on-one support for primary school students


  • BHP has delivered more than $50 million of support to communities affected by COVID-19 through its Vital Resources Fund. This includes:
    • $18 million across Western Australia, including $8 million in the Pilbara region


Western Australia

  • $18 million for support across Western Australia, including $8 million in the Pilbara region
  • Major contributions include:
    • $1 million for the Western Australian Council of Social Services for family and domestic violence prevention and support programs
    • $2 million for the Royal Flying Doctor Service
    • $555,000 for East Pilbara Independence Support to host a ‘quarantine house’ as a safe space for the Indigenous community to self-isolate
    • $330,000 to support Lifeline WA to expand mental health support
    • $220,000 to support the Western Deserts Lands Aboriginal Corporation to support people to return to country and provide safe spaces for Indigenous communities to self-isolate

Queensland and New South Wales

  • $7.59 million for two Central Queensland clinics providing walk-in, drive-in and outreach facilities
  • $790,000 to address food shortages for people experiencing vulnerability
  • $500,000 towards CQUniversity’s proposed First Nations Disaster Management Hub
  • $500,000 for Isaac Regional Council to provide assistance to local businesses not covered by government programs

South Australia

  • $910,000 for Foodbank SA to support food delivery during COVID-19 and deliver a breakfast program for children in remote and regional areas
  • $190,000 to assist Upper Spencer Gulf Aboriginal communities to self-isolate and support local needs
  • $68,000 for Country and Outback Health to employ a mental health clinician for six months

First Nations-led health responses

  • Of these funds, more than $16.7 million has been provided directly to Aboriginal organisations and communities to support needs associated with mental and physical health, safe quarantine and relocation, PPE provision, food security and economic recovery
  • BHP has provided support to state and territory peak Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisations in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory to support First Nations-led health activities
  • The BHP Foundation also made a US$3 million donation to the Indian Red Cross Society to assist with the 2021 COVID-19 crisis in India.

Catalyst Metals



  • Relaxing bill structures
  • Implementing protocols and assistance for those in financial hardship.


  • ERA is working with the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation and Northern Land Council on its arrangements in the Northern Territory.


Glencore has launched a $25 million global community support fund to help local teams provide support and resources to host communities. Support to date includes:


Donating hundreds of protective goggles to Mount Isa Hospital


  • Together with the Minderoo Foundation, committed up to $160 million to procure and distribute lifesaving medical supplies and equipment
  • The first supplies included more than 90 tonnes of medical supplies
  • 29 pallets of food and care essentials were also distributed to remote Aboriginal communities in the Pilbara
  • FMG also donated $1 million towards the Royal Flying Doctor Service Western Operations to boost the organisation’s frontline services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kirkland Lake Gold

  • Offering use of its mine camp as a health clinic for Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory
  • Fosterville Gold Mine has delivered $20,000 worth of grocery and fuel vouchers to relief agencies in its community
  • Established a $12 million Australian Community Partnership Program to support programs that support long-term social and economic aspirations in host communities, including pandemic recovery. Central Victorian initiatives supported include:
    • Haven Home Safe
    • Bendigo Foodshare
    • Bendigo Tech School – Girls in STEAM
    • Northern Central Learning and Employment Network


  • Assisting with food supply to Foodbank Australia
  • Donating laptop computers to various charities in their local communities.

Newcrest Mining Limited

Newcrest established a $20 million Community Support Fund with support to date including:


New South Wales

  • Newcrest’s Cadia Valley has contributed more than $250,000 towards local community initiatives, including:
    • Funding for laptops for the Orange District Early Education Program
    • Funding for Smith Family’s Learning for Life Program
    • Family meals for health professionals at local service services
    • Recliner chairs for the Blayney Hospital

Western Australia

  • Assisting with food supply and establishment of accommodation facilities in remote Aboriginal communities with partners



Northern Territory

  • $162,000 funds to support local contractors affected by COVID-19 measures
  • $22,000 to support the Warnayaka Art and Cultural Aboriginal Corporation
  • $17,000 towards the Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation
  • $25,000 towards the Charles Darwin University Student Parcel Program
  • $50,000 to support Foodbank NT
  • $25,000 for Anglicare NT.

Western Australia

  • $125,000 for Lifeline WA
  • $125,000 for Foodbank WA
  • $20,000 for Secondbite to purchase a forklift for increased food relief operations
  • $25,000 to support South West Aboriginal Medical Services
  • $25,000 to WA Women’s Council for Family and Domestic Violence
  • $20,000 towards the Financial Counsellor’s Association Western Australia
  • Funds for the Williams Community Resource Centre and Boddington Hospital Auxiliary.

Queensland Resources Council

  • QRC has donated $2000 to create and deliver care packages to seafarers experiencing extended trips due to COVID-19 health restrictions
  • Donating new and repurposed laptops and internet services for QMEA schools in need.

Rio Tinto

Support through Rio Tinto’s $25 million global grassroots and community COVID-19 preparedness and recovery fund includes:


  • Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to return to remote communities as part of efforts to keep communities safe
  • Personal  protective equipment and 6,000 litres of hand cleaning products to remote communities

Western Australia

  • $1 million to the Shire of Ashburton and $1 million to the City of Karratha to support community organisations and small businesses


  • A new partnership with Royal Flying Doctor Service Queensland to expand emergency health services and provide resources during the pandemic
  • Committed approximately $420,000 in assistance to the Weipa community through the Weipa Town Authority
  • Supporting the Cape Youth Connect Program to ensure school aged care of children for essential workers
  • Rio Tinto and Old Mapoon Aboriginal Corporation will provide $1.15 million to the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service

Northern Territory

  • $1.1 million commitment to support East Arnhem communities including:
    • $500,000 to CareFlight Northern Operations to support emergency care in the Northern Territory
    • Provided in-kind support and local contractor engagement in Nhulunbuy so a facility can be used as a distribution centre for essential supplies to Indigenous communities and homelands


  • South32 has committed $1 million to support local communities around their Australian operations
  • The funds will be distributed between the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Foodbank Australia and Lifeline Australia

Verdant Minerals

  • Offering its 14-bed exploration camp to be used as an health clinic for Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory


Health promotion

To support the communication of key health messages relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Australian Department of Health has produced a number of videos that are part of their national COVID-19 campaign. Although translated versions are available for a number of foreign languages, there are none available in indigenous language. Glencore’s Aurukun Bauxite Project team, in consultation with the local Queensland Health re presentative and Apunipima Cape York Health Council, arranged for a local language version of two videos to be developed and distributed in the Aurukun community and surrounding area.

PDF iconGuide - Creating Indigenous Language COVID Video.pdf