Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group recently announced how they are financially supporting medical efforts in China to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Rio Tinto has donated US$1 million to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation, while Fortescue said it will donate A$1 million to the Wuhan Qingshan Charity Federation.

The Chinese Red Cross Foundation will us Rio Tinto’s donation to support hospital upgrades and the purchase of medical supplies in the areas most affected by the outbreak. The Foundation regularly contributes to China’s medical aid programmes, and has been actively raising funds to strengthen medical resources in the affected areas.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive Officer J-S Jacques said, “It is deeply concerning to see events unfolding in relation to the coronavirus outbreak, and our thoughts are with the people and families impacted. Many of our Chinese partners are playing a vital role on the frontline of containing the outbreak and, as a company with a long-standing partnership with China, we are committed to helping those who need help right now.”

In addition to the donation, Rio Tinto is working with Chinese partners to identify other practical ways it may be able to offer support.

Fortescue funds will be used to convert the WISCO Sports Stadium, owned by longstanding Fortescue customer Wuhan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd, into a 388-bed shelter hospital to treat patients who have been infected by the virus.

“Fortescue offers our strongest support to the Chinese Government and people at this time, as they work with the global community to address this significant challenge,” said Elizabeth Gaines, Fortescue CEO. “The health and safety of the local population in Wuhan is a priority, and we are pleased to provide this donation which will help save lives and contain the spread of the virus.

“Fortescue has faith in the resilience of the Chinese people and economy, as they continue on their path of urbanisation and development,” Ms Gaines concluded.

Sources: www.riotinto.com; www.fmgl.com.au