Updated 5 May 2020 – this page will be regularly updated to reflect changing circumstances.
The novel coronavirus crisis is causing significant damage to communities across Australia and the world. Our teams are working hard to minimise the risks that COVID-19 present to us.
Our response is built around three areas – keeping our people safe and well, maintaining safe and reliable operations and supporting our communities.
We must stay safe and stop the virus spread
The safety and well-being of the MRL family – our workforce, their families, the communities in which we operate – are first and foremost in our minds. Since the outbreak began in January 2020, we have continuously monitored developments around the world along with guidelines introduced by the Federal and State Governments and the health authorities.
Our immediate actions included:
- We have implemented social distancing in all workplace activities, limited movements around our office and sites, made changes to pre-start meetings, reduced contact between our shift workers
- Eliminated social events and gatherings in all of our workplaces
- We have employed additional cleaners and increased our cleaning schedules around our sites and offices
- We are continuing to raise awareness of hygiene with our people, providing up-to-date information for them and their families as the situation evolve
The changes we are making
We are taking all precautions to keep our people healthy and safe, our operations running and provide continuous service to our customers. These are challenging times and no one has all the answers. We have put strict protocols in place in line with government guidance and directives, advice from health officials to keep our employees and contractors safe. We will continue to work together with all of our stakeholders and adapt to changes as they happen. The majority of our employees work at our operations and cannot work from home and we have implemented a number of protocols to support them, which include:
- Travel restrictions: changes to rosters for our fly in fly out (FIFO) workforce to assist with minimising the movement of people within and out of state; temperature and screening tests of our workforce at airports in line with regulation and guidance; a reduction in the number of people on flights/buses to comply with social distancing rule
- Increased personal hygiene: an increase in the frequency of cleaning at high touch areas; provision of extra hand washing and sanitizer around our offices and sites; implementation of controls in dining areas to reduce the number of people at any one time with modified buffet operations
- Increased support for our employees: provide an on-call 24/7 service for our employees and
their families through our employee assistance programme and increased our medical staff
- As a major partner of the West Coast Eagles, we have engaged six of the club’s high performance team, who were temporarily stood down, to work with our employees on site to help combat the psychological issues attributed to the longer rosters, isolation and distancing protocols currently in place. The West Coast Eagles staff are providing our people on site with additional support and guidance during these difficult times by holding 1:1 sessions focussed on motivation and mental and physical health including mindfulness, nutrition and wellbeing.
- We have launched a live online comedy web series, exclusive to our employees, featuring Australian comedian, Peter Rowsthorn. Each week, Peter hosts his fellow comedian and celebrity mates broadcasting into the homes and dongas of our people wherever they are. This interactive series provides some light-hearted entertainment to help counteract the current restrictions in place that have impacted the lives of our people, particularly on our mine sites.
Screening for COVID-19
We have commenced swab screening for our fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforce for the coronavirus (COVID-19) as part of our total approach to minimising the spread of the virus. Our aim is to ensure that anyone travelling to site is free of the virus.
- Screening will be conducted at drive-through locations in the Perth metropolitan area, so that workers will not have to leave their vehicle during the process. Qualified nursing staff with full medical PPE clothing and equipment will undertake all screening. The samples collected will be processed in a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory for analysis
- The COVID-19 screening process will be part of Mineral Resources’ standard ‘fit for work’ regime, and will remain in place until the Commonwealth and State Governments declare that the coronavirus is no longer a risk to our community
- The machines are capable of performing a high volume of tests and we have offered the screening process to other resource companies to ensure this pandemic does not force the closure of Western Australia’s mining industry
The health and well-being of our workforce are our priority focus and we are doing everything possible to minimise the risk of our people being infected by and spreading COVID-19.
Read the full media release here
Working with our customers and business continuity
We are working with our customers to understand the impacts to their business and adapting our practices where possible. We will continue to work closely with them and provide the service to them that we are renowned for. We will do all that we can to help them keep their operations running.
We have established a COVID-19 Steering Committee tasked with keeping our operations running, working with our suppliers to ensure supply chain continuity and to look at various scenarios that may occur in the future. We continue to review and refine appropriate risk mitigation strategies, including risks to critical infrastructure at each of our operations.
Working with industry and government
We are in regular contact with others in our industry and government departments, sharing knowledge and working together to find solutions. We are actively contributing to the Western Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy COVID-19 working group to ensure a coordinated response from the resources industry.
The resources industry is an important contributor to the Western Australian and Australian economies, and we will continue to work with government to do what we can to ensure our operations contribute positively to society at this challenging time.
We have worked with government to find a screening solution to minimise the risk of COVID-19 to mining operations in Western Australia that does not impact, or put pressure on, the public health system. Our decision to open up the screening process up to other companies is to ensure this pandemic does not force the closure of Western Australia’s mining industry, which employs tens of thousands of men and women and is the economic lifeblood of the State.
For further information
For the latest information on the global outbreak, a range of resources are available at: