Rio Tinto donates $1.5 million to support the people and community of Grindavík in Iceland

Rio Tinto has donated US$1.5 million to the Icelandic Red Cross to support the people and community of Grindavík in Iceland, who have been impacted by months of volcanic eruptions.

Since December, a series of volcanic eruptions has left 3,800 people homeless and damaged the community’s water and electricity supplies. Residents of Grindavík and neighbouring communities continue to feel social and economic impacts from these unprecedented events.

In the coming weeks, the Icelandic Red Cross will announce details of a project built around Rio Tinto’s contribution to provide support for impacted people and enhance the resilience of the community. The project will be managed in close collaboration with the Municipality of Grindavík and other affected stakeholders.

Rio Tinto Iceland General Manager Rannveig Rist said: “For 55 years, Rio Tinto has been an important member of Iceland’s closely knit community. We deeply empathize with those affected by the catastrophic eruptions in the Reykjanes peninsula, including some of our own employees. This is the largest donation Rio Tinto has made in Iceland and we are very proud to partner with the Icelandic Red Cross and the Municipality of Grindavík to bring relief to the community in this time of need.”

Icelandic Red Cross General Manager Kristín S. Hjálmtýsdóttir said: “This donation will enable the Red Cross to make a real difference for the people of Grindavík. A contribution of this magnitude to the Red Cross from a private company is unprecedented for projects in Iceland. It is an example of corporate social responsibility and how important it can be for society. The Red Cross and the Municipality of Grindavík have stood side by side through these difficult times and will continue to do so. There are indications that volcanic activity will continue to shape the lives of people in the Reykjanes peninsula into the future. This donation will help us better support the community and strengthen its resilience through this difficult period as it adapts to a new reality.”

Grindavík Mayor Fannar Jónasson said: “We would like to thank Rio Tinto for this initiative and this generous donation. The ISAL team has shown us great care and solidarity, stepping up to the plate when we need it most. We do not control the course of natural forces, but this kind of support helps us deal with their consequences and the pressing issues facing our community at present.”

About ISAL

Rio Tinto’s ISAL aluminium smelter is located in Straumsvík, approximately 30 km from Grindavík, and has not been directly affected by the volcanic eruptions.

ISAL has been a major part of the Icelandic economy and the community in Reykjanes Peninsula since 1969.

Today, the smelter employs 380 people and produces 209,000 tonnes of high-quality aluminium billets with one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world. ISAL is entirely powered by clean, renewable hydroelectricity supplied by Iceland’s national power company Landsvirkjun.

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