COVID-19

May 2020

RUSSELL MINERAL EQUIPMENT COVID-19 RESPONSE AND BUSINESS CONTINUITY MEASURES

Dear RME Customer,

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Russell Mineral Equipment’s (RME) first priority is to ensure the health and safety of our staff, suppliers and Customers.

Securing business continuity through delivering increased mill availability to our hundreds of minerals processing Customers has been our mission for 35 years. Our commitment to business continuity has never been stronger, during the current period of uncertainty.

Please be assured we are constantly engaged with our Customers during this time, adhering to each Customer’s specific health and safety requirements as you also respond to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

In line with the latest advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Australian Government, RME has established measures to preserve our mutual health and safety, while maintaining operations and reliable supply for our Customers to the best of our ability.

Our leadership response

RME’s Chief Executive Team has been monitoring the COVID-19 global pandemic and has dedicated the attention of our internal Business Resilience Team to this matter. This group, along with all global RME leaders, are meeting on a regular basis to ensure we are acting on all current information, continuing to address critical safety and business continuity issues, and responding to developments as soon as they arise.

Our workforce response

RME has rapidly implemented a wide range of plans, policies and procedures to keep our workforce, suppliers and Customers, as protected as possible during this time. This includes implementing recommendations from relevant authorities relating to:

  • travel bans,
  • non-essential visitors,
  • virtual meetings,
  • increased hygiene,
  • increased availability of PPE,
  • health testing,
  • continuous cleaning and sanitisation, and
  • strict self-isolation protocols for suspected cases of COVID-19 and their close contacts and deep cleaning of locations impacted. We also have well-developed resource plans in case any staff member has to self-isolate to maintain our operations.

A large portion of our workforce are working from home, supported by proven and robust information systems and collaboration tools. Where we have needed to retain operational personnel onsite, such as in our fabrication, assembly, warehouse and engineering departments, we have implemented strict physical distancing protocols alongside with the workforce responses described above. We are continuously monitoring adherence to all these measures across our global workforce.

Our communications response

RME’s coordination of COVID-19 measures includes consultation and communication with our global cohort on a regular basis, specifically related to operations within the pandemic environment. These comprehensive communications have been developed to that ensure timely, factual and consistent information is provided to our people, and to drive behaviours that will prevent and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on our team, our suppliers, our Customers, as well as our families and communities.

Our response to our Customers

RME’s Customer Relations teams are working remotely, maintaining normal business hours around the world. We continue to provide consistent, reliable support through your normal RME representative relationships. We understand that during this time, communications remain a high priority for our Customers and partners, and for this reason, we will maintain communications through virtual meetings where possible, aligned with the needs of our Customers. Supporting our Customers remains our motivation. The information surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is changing rapidly, and we remain agile to meet the ongoing requirements of our Customers. If you have any questions about our approach to your health and safety, please do not hesitate to contact us via email: Customer.Experience@rmeGlobal.com. Additionally, you can also find our global regional points of contact here: https://www.rmeglobal.com/en/our-locations/.

Our visits to Customer sites

We work closely and constructively with our Customers to understand and comply with all protocols for site visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are undertaking rigorous risk assessments prior to the mobilisation of personnel. When onsite, we will minimise person-to-person contact and strictly adhere to all physical distancing, sanitisation, hygiene and health check protocols at all times, as well as all additional measures required by our Customers. RME personnel have been instructed that if they exhibit any of the COVID-19 symptoms during a site visit, they are required to immediately self-isolate, inform their onsite contact, seek care from a local health provider, and notify RME management. We also expect our Customers to proactively reach out to RME should they become aware of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case who may have been in close proximity with RME personnel during an onsite visit.

Our manufacturing response

In relation to RME’s manufacturing operations, there are currently no national or local restrictions restricting the production of RME Mill Relining Systems at our manufacturing headquarters in Australia. RME’s manufacturing facility is located in Toowoomba, Queensland, providing a politically-secure and stable environment for all works.

RME’s physical security measures are robust, with fully-fenced facilities protected by private security patrols and monitoring systems. All RME personnel have secure access to these facilities, and comply with RME policies regarding access to our facilities, security and Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) protocols.

Thus far, RME’s manufacturing services have been considered to be an essential service, allowing us to operate without restriction. In the event of a manufacturing shutdown, RME has robust contingency plans in place as well as measures to ensure a rapid start-up response once the shutdown is lifted.

To date, Australia has been very successful in its efforts to slow the spread and suppress the COVID-19 disease. However, as we have seen overseas, this is a fluid situation and RME’s operations remain subject to State and Federal Government responses, should community transmission of COVID-19 re-escalate. We will advise our Customers of any changes to our manufacturing operations as soon as they occur.

Our supply chain response

RME’s procurement teams are working diligently to secure supply wherever possible. Currently, RME is not experiencing significant issues relating to the provision of spare parts for Customers, or of components for manufacturing, and we continue to work with our vendor partners to ensure we have suitable stock levels to maintain our supply lines. As part of our agile preparedness planning, we are also sourcing supply from alternative global vendors in-country to ensure we are well placed to deal with any potential supply disruption that may arise.

RME has successfully increased the shipment and quantity of spare parts held in our regional service centres around the world, knowing this is an important part of ensuring business continuity for our Customers. Our teams are closely reviewing all sales orders to feed decision-making processes around deliverables and priorities. We encourage all of our Customers to remain in close contact with your regional service centre regarding your current and anticipated needs.

Our shipping response

RME’s logistics teams are closely monitoring the impact COVID-19 is having on global shipping and freight. While the situation in each country evolves daily, in general, widespread flight passenger cancellations are constraining air freight capacity, cross-border road freight may face waiting times, and sea freight and port operations are experiencing congestion. These supply and demand issues are also impacting freight market costs.

We are working closely with our carrier partners to ensure we have transparency of each situation and can address the needs of our Customers. We will communicate any delays and additional freight costs as soon as they are known. Thank you for your patience as we work to ensure continuity of supply and we again encourage our Customers to reach out to your RME representative for any questions or requirements regarding freight timelines and costs.

Our visitors response

Non-essential visitors to RME are not permitted during the COVID-19 environment. Essential visitors are welcomed but fully accompanied throughout the duration of their visit, adhering to WHO, Australian Government and RME COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all RME personnel and our guests.

Concluding remarks

RME has grown, diversified and matured over 35 years. We are well prepared for the challenging times that lie ahead of us.

All RME representatives and our Chief Executive Team welcome contact from you directly via ChiefExecutiveTeam@rmeglobal.com.

We remain dedicated and focused on maintaining health and safety for one another and our communities during this time.

Best regards and thanks,

John Russell
With RME’s Chief Executive Team