December 17, 2020 by Erin Johnston

Despite the many challenges we all faced in 2020, the Lundin Foundation and our corporate partners made significant progress in implementing initiatives to support communities impacted by COVID-19.

We are extremely proud of the work conducted by our team to support public health and safety, as well as economic resilience during this challenging time. Although news of vaccine approvals begins to lift our spirits, the Lundin Foundation understands that this is still a long-term effort, and we are committed to providing on-going support to the communities where we are active. 

Congratulations to everyone on the excellent work conducted on the following initiatives.


Small Business Recovery & Support  — Sweden

The Zinkgruvan Re: Think Entrepreneurship program was launched in September 2020 in  close collaboration with the Askersund Municipality in Sweden and Lundin Mining’s Zinkgruvan mine. The program is focused on helping 66 local businesses to recover from COVID-19, access a broader range of services, and strengthen the local ecosystem of small business support.

The collaboration is one of the first efforts by local municipalities in the region to support COVID-19 small business recovery, setting an example for other municipalities. The program has been very well received by local stakeholders who commended Zinkgruvan on taking a leadership role in supporting small businesses during these difficult times.


COVID Relief Financing — United States

Lundin Mining’s Eagle Mine, the Foundation and local financial institution Northern Initiatives have a long-standing loan guarantee program for startup entrepreneurs in Marquette Michigan called the Eagle Emerging Entrepreneurs Fund. Seeing the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses, the program partners re-purposed $60,000 of guarantee funds to directly lend emergency relief loans to existing small businesses. 


E-Commerce App for Small Agricultural Providers  — Ecuador

To help local businesses in communities near Lundin Gold’s Fruta del Norte gold mine in Ecuador continue to sell goods and services during the pandemic, the Foundation, in partnership with app developer Clipp, launched the “Marshito” e-commerce app.  

The launch involved significant awareness building, training, and collaboration with local businesses and consumers to establish an ecosystem for e-commerce. To date, there have been more than 250 downloads of the application; and almost 50 local small businesses in various sectors are registered. To date, registered businesses have recorded more than $3,500 in sales through the app, which has contributed to a 10% increase in their monthly sales figures. 


Health & Safety Support for Agricultural Producers — Ecuador

The Foundation team in Ecuador successfully sourced and distributed personal protective equipment (PPE) for local agriculture producers which enabled local producers to continue operating during the pandemic, as well as to diversify their local customer base, while maintaining strict health and safety protocols.

The Foundation team also produced and disseminated videos on biosecurity protocols,  the correct use of both PPE and agrochemicals, and other good practices for local agricultural, dairy and livestock producers across all of our agricultural programs, including ECOLAC, APEOSAE and TAKATAII. This awareness-building campaign, carried out through social media, was based on approved national and international guidance and contributed to reducing and curbing local infections. 

The Foundation provided much-need equipment to local farmers involved in agricultural programs:

  • 179 farmers received biosecurity equipment and PPE – masks, biosecurity suits, gloves, goggles, boots and disinfectant – benefiting 87 communities.
  • The Foundation acquired and installed two ozone disinfection cabins at local storage and redistribution facilities.


Supporting Shuar (Indigenous) Tourism Business & Vulnerable Communities — Ecuador

In Ecuador, the Lundin Foundation sourced and distributed PPE to staff at SHUAR NUM, an Indigenous tourism business the Foundation supports, and the Shuar Federation. The Foundation also provided hampers of essential goods to vulnerable Shuar families.  

Through our efforts, the following support was provided:

  • Hampers of food and other essential goods were distributed to 1,014 families in 40 vulnerable Shuar communities in the province of Zamora Chinchipe.
  • 10 staff members of the SHUAR NUM tourism business and the Shuar Federation of Zamora Chinchipe received biosecurity equipment and PPE (biosecurity suits, masks, gloves and antibacterial gel).