As 2020 soon ends and the world looks toward 2021, Major Drilling reflects on the accomplishments and the challenges of an unprecedented year.
The company is proud of what it has achieved including two significant drilling records in Canada and Mongolia. It is also a banner year as the company marked its 40th anniversary and its 25th anniversary of the initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:MDI).
Yet, at the end of 2020, the world continues to feel impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters and ongoing needs in many communities. Despite the hardships, Major Drilling employees maintain their commitment to find new ways to show compassion and social responsibility through #MajorDrillingCares initiatives.
“I am grateful for the way our global Major Drilling teams stepped up and reached out in the face of this year’s struggles,” Denis Larocque, Major Drilling President and CEO, said. “Their resilience and big hearts have made a difference and helped many endure through the challenges of 2020.”
Getting Through COVID-19—Together
In many locations, Major Drilling teams worked with local organizations to support their country’s efforts to fight and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In other places, they took their own initiative to support those in need.
Mongolia employees twice donated to the National Emergency Management Agency in its continued fight against coronavirus infection. These crews work mainly at the Oyu Tolgoi copper project. They added to the community of caring in the area by supporting efforts of the State Special Commission.
On March 6, Oyu Tolgoi CEO Armando Torres stated on Twitter that it was a “…proud day for all of us. Our miners donated MNT 145 million to the Ministry of Health to assist the battle against the potential spread of COVID-19 in Mongolia.” As part of the Oyu Tolgoi team, Major Drilling added its donations to this cause.
By winter, the resurgence of the disease brought strict COVID-19 lockdowns preventing the wife and daughter of a former Major Drilling Mongolia workshop employee, long passed away, from getting the basics they need. So, the team provided Narangerel and her daughter Azzya with a care package of essential food and heating supplies. Major Drilling Mongolia’s Enkhtuvshin Damiyag and Sukhbat Davaa were grateful to reach out during this particularly vulnerable time.
Pictured is Major Drilling Mongolia’s Enkhtuvshin Damiyag (left) and Sukhbat Davaa (far right), reach out to a mother and daughter in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It may not always be possible to help everyone every time,” Enkhtuvshin explains. “But once in a while when people in a tight spot come into our field of view there’s only one course of action to take.”
At the Major Drilling America office, maintenance shop and warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, employees pledged to follow seven safe habits to “Stay Open Utah,” joining hundreds of businesses aligned with the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Utah Department of Health’s efforts to curb the coronavirus. The seven safe habits are to:
- Check symptoms before work and stay home when sick.
- Wash our hands frequently and avoid touching our face and eyes.
- Practice social distancing including wearing face coverings in close common areas.
- Learn about high-risk groups and help protect them.
- Cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze.
- Clean high touch surfaces frequently.
- Follow public health guidance as updated.
In a heroic effort during the COVID-19 era, it was an honor for the Indonesia branch to answer the call for personal protective equipment required for health workers battling the virus. Face shields, gloves, masks and more were delivered to hospitals in Papua, Sumbawa, Banyuwangi and North Sumatra provinces.
In October, the Major Drilling Argentina team delivered COVID-19 relief supplies to a pensioner’s home in Las Flores in the province of San Juan. Grateful to receive the food, personal hygiene and clothing now improving the lives of 220 elderly citizens, the head of the Centro de Jubilados Pensionados Las Flores said, “Thank you so much for the donations. They mean a lot to us. It is the first time a company cares and collaborates with us.”
In the Philippines, the team chose to forego a December holiday party and instead donated time and money to bring relief to victims of typhoons Rolly and Ulysses in Cagayan Province. Major Drilling teams assembled 1,666 hygiene kits containing toothpaste, toothbrushes, bath soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, face masks, wipes and mineral water. The effort involved 167.5 volunteer hours. The MDGI team warmly welcomed the Philippine Navy and Happy Face Project to take the items to those who need them most.
Just before impacts of the coronavirus were being felt in February, the devastating fires in Australia were top of mind for the Mongolia teams who have strong Australian ties through mining projects at Oyu Tolgoi. Their hearts went out to those affected with a donation to the Australian Red Cross, joining with the power of humanity as the country healed.
Everyday caring is how Major Drilling teams across the globe show responsibility including these locations:
- Major Drilling America’s Richard Sichling received the prestigious Rio Tinto Copper & Diamond Club coin recognizing his selfless act to help a distraught man in the community near the Resolution Copper project in Arizona, USA.
- The Major Drilling team in South America joined with Fundación Mónica Uribe Por Amor to provide donations so those suffering from spina bifida can rest easier. The team undertook a project to give beds with new mattress, sheets and a pillow, as well as rice and lenteja (lentil stew) to young people in need, through the foundation.
- Major Drilling Philippines participated in tree planting activities in the Masbate province as part of its social and environmental responsibilities. The crews know it is an honor to care for the environment in the communities where they work.
- The Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada headquarters team raised more than $22,000 (CAD) for Crossroads for Women supporting its mission to help women and children transition from crisis.
Additional caring initiatives aimed toward excellence in environmental, social and governance specify how Major Drilling’s sustainability is tied to a number of initiatives including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, operating with integrity, increasing workforce diversity and supporting communities.
“Thank you to our global teams for showing how much Major Drilling cares in 2020,” Larocque said.
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