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DAILY NEWS Oct 31, 2012 6:50 PM - 0 comments

Miners give back in Toronto and Mali

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Several mining companies are digging into their pockets ahead of the holiday season donating to charitable causes.

Global copper and zinc producer Inmet Mining (IMN-T), which recently had its revised offer for Petaquilla Minerals (PTQ-T) rejected, is one such firm looking to make a difference.

On Oct. 31, Inmet announced it will contribute $1 million over four years to support the molecular profiling program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto.

The program, led by Dr. Lillian Siu, will analyze cancer genes to pinpoint unique characteristics of a patient’s tumour. A better understanding of such traits will allow for more personalized and effective treatments, the company said in a joint statement with the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

This is not the first time Inmet has donated to the foundation as the company’s president and CEO Jochen Tilk has been a long-time supporter of the Princess Margaret and its quest to conquer cancer. 

Tilk along with his colleagues at Inmet have been participating in what is now the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer since the annual fundraising race kicked off in 2008. Enbridge became the national title sponsor in 2011.

This June, the Inmet team captained by Tilk pedaled over 200 km in two days to raise more than $43,000, with proceeds benefiting the Campbell Family Institute at the Princess Margaret.

Recently, Tilk accepted the Honourary Chair role for the 2013 ride and aims to attract more companies and donations to help the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre establish a highly individualized approach to cancer care. The event next year will again take place in June across Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and B.C.  

The hospital and its namesake foundation are currently striving to raise $1 billion over the next five years “to set a new gold standard for Personalized Care Medicine,” said Paul Alofs, the foundation’s president and CEO in the statement. “We are so thankful to committed and passionate organizations like Inmet Mining who will contribute to making this dream a reality.”

The Toronto-based facility is among the world’s top five cancer hospitals, with a staff of 3,000 seeing over 400,000 patients a year. It hosts 12 site groups, 26 specialty clinics, 17 radiation treatment machines and 130 inpatient beds.

In Mali, several gold miners have teamed up for another good cause, raising US$735,000 in emergency funds to keep the mass drug administration (MDA) program that tackles neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) on track. Funding for the initiative was pulled by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) following the military coup earlier this year.

The miners made the donation to The End Fund, a private philanthropy committed to reducing the prevalence of the seven most common NTDs in Africa that account for 95% of NTDs in sub-Saharan Africa. If left untreated NTDs can cause blindness, malnutrition, chronic pain, disabilities and disfigurement.   

To ensure Malians inflicted with NTDs get the help they need, the organization pushed to raise US$1.2 million to resume the MDA program. On Oct. 31, The End Fund announced it had exceeded that goal and re-launched the program, thanking the consortium of miners that pitched in.  

These firms include: Randgold Resources (GOLD-Q, RRS-L), Avion Gold, which Endeavour Mining (EDV-T) recently acquired, Forbes & ManhattanAngloGold Ashanti (AU-N), IAMGOLD (IMG-T, IAG-N), Resolute Mining (RSG-A) Gold Fields (GFI-N) and African Mining & Exploration (AME-L).

The country’s government also donated through its stake in various gold mining operations, and is working with the Helen Keller development organization to distribute the drugs.

Formed in 2007, the MDA program was fuelled by the USAID and over the years has made significant headway in reducing the occurrence of NTDs.


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