More than 200 community groups located around Fosterville Gold Mine have shared in about $330,000 in grants in the past 15 years, as mine operator Kirkland Lake Gold seeks to help local volunteers provide services to their neighbours.
Fosterville Gold Mine employs about 1000 people, either directly or as contractors, near Bendigo in Victoria.
Environment and community manager Felicia Binks says mining companies are an important part of the communities in which they operate and they take that responsibility seriously.
"We hold regular meetings with the local community to share exploration plans, what we are doing in the community, and employment opportunities," she says.
"We provide land holders with a guide created by the Minerals Council of Australia and the Victorian Farmers Federation to fully explain their rights.
"The mining industry works in partnership with landowners, be they farmers or indigenous people or even a local town or water catchment authority, to get the best outcome."
In 2005, it started its Community Grants program, taking applications twice a year from community groups and activities to receive up to $5000 each for goods or projects that benefit the communities surrounding the mine.
It funds organisations operating in the arts/education, environment, recreation and community development sectors, for such things as purchasing life saving medical equipment or a fridge for a meeting space.
Recipients in the latest round included a CFA branch, toy library, historical society and arthritis club.
Binks says it can be a way for smaller groups that may not qualify for government or larger grants programs to access much needed funds.
"So many volunteer community groups put so much into the community," Binks says.
"We want to assist in any way that we can."
The next round opens in March.
Brought to you by Minerals Council of Australia