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17 November 2016
BHP Billiton’s AGM | Thursday 17th November at 11 am | Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
At the BHP Billiton Limited AGM in Brisbane this Thursday, dissident shareholders will challenge the company’s board over its response to the Samarco tailings dam disaster. The AGM is being held twelve months on from the disastrous collapse of the Fundão mining waste (‘tailings’) dam at the Samarco iron ore mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil, which is 50-50 owned by BHP Billiton and Brazilian mining giant Vale.
“The dam break led to the destruction of all forms of life in the region. Mud covered everything, resulting in 20 deaths and unmeasurable environmental destruction. We have seen whole communities destroyed by BHP Billiton and Vale’s operations. They have lost everything, without receiving any real compensation. Instead of reparations for the victims, what is becoming evident is the blatant corporate capture of our government by transnational companies”, said Rodrigo de Castro Amédée Péret, of the Churches and Mining Network in Latin America who attended the BHP Billiton London AGM.
The collapsed waste dam killed twenty people , left 700 people homeless and polluted hundreds of kilometres of the Rio Doce river valley. Following the 5 November, 2015 disaster, MAB (People Affected by Dams), a coalition of local communities impacted by Brazil’s thousands of dam projects, made four key demands of Samarco and parent companies BHP Billiton and Vale .
Natalie Lowrey, of Australia’s Mineral Policy Institute, said, “BHP Billiton and its associates at Samarco are ignoring those most affected – the people whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by last year’s tailings dam collapse. The demands being made by MAB, the social movement of people affected by dams, should be accepted. People want meaningful participation in decision-making about the clean-up and compensation, and for everyone who has been affected to be recognised – the companies shouldn’t be picking and choosing who gets help.” Read the rest of this entry »
16th November 2016
Company Directors of BHP Billiton will face some difficult questions tomorrow at the mining giants Annual General Meeting in Brisbane. The operator of the Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia’s north has been receiving much attention over the past year after the tailings dam collapse at its jointly owned Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil in November 2015, causing what’s been described as the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history.
Anti-nuclear and social justice campaigner Adam Sharah is one of several delegates attending the meeting to challenge company directors on matters including the Samarco disaster and issues surrounding the Olympic Dam mine. Mr Sharah will question company directors about BHP Billiton’s position regarding nuclear regulation in Australia, new expansion plans for Olympic Dam, and plans to increase the height of the tailings dams at the mine. Read the rest of this entry »
An open letter to the International Community & Australian Parliament on the ongoing crisis in Brazil
The violence not seen: social and environmental damage, institutional fragilities and reparation duty
We, the undersigned members of Brazilian civil society, appeal to the Australian parliament to recognise the social, environmental and technological disaster caused by the collapse of BHP/Vale Samarco dam that released polluted mining tailings and destroyed townships and livelihoods in Brazil.
The disaster that occurred in Brazil on 5 November 2015 in the town of Mariana, Minas Gerais, is ongoing.
The Samarco mining company, 50% owned by Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton and 50% by Brazilian Vale S.A., has been exploring iron ore in Brazil since 1977. The tailings from this exploration were stored in 3 dams, namely: Fundao, Germano and Santarem. The collapse of Fundao, which contained contaminated tailings, triggered the biggest social and environmental catastrophe ever faced by Brazilian society.
The fear of imminent dam collapse was already widespread amongst the inhabitants of the surrounding community, as shown in the 2012 doctorate thesis of the Brazilian sociologist Viana. As the fears of this community became reality, it is estimated that 62 thousand million cubic metres of polluting mining debris – the equivalent of 25 thousand Olympic sized pools – was spilled, destroying and contaminating everything in its path. 
This disaster transformed affected people into victims in many ways, compromising health, causing loss of life, the destruction of property and contamination of land that forms the basis of social, cultural and economic life. The damage sprawled for over 850 km, directly affecting hundreds of thousands of people. Read the rest of this entry »
19 November 2013
BHP Billiton has a massive coal mine planned for Central Kalimantan. But local environmental activists are worried about its impact on people and forests.
FROM MY HOME IN Central Kalimantan, a province on the southern side of Indonesian Borneo, I have observed the Australian coal boom. Recently I was in Australia to talk about environmental destruction in Kalimantan and I was surprised how few people know that Kalimantan is experiencing a similar rush to extract fossil fuels. I think its important for Australians to know more because of the connections between our countries in the global coal market and the environmental crisis it is producing. Read the rest of this entry »
Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Environment and Conservation, John Pundari, broke his silence on the Ok Tedi mining pollution issue, describing it as a “curse” on the Fly River people of Western province. He says he plans a visit to all impacted areas along the Ok Tedi and Fly River areas and intends to take along a contingent of international and national media to see for themselves the scale of damage. “The mine has been operating in the country for some 27 years, and while it has made a significant contribution to the development of our country, it has also brought a curse upon the people of Western in terms of the enormous environmental damage caused to the Fly River system,” Pundari said. Ok Tedi was constructed and originally run by BHP Billiton.
The BHP AGM is on again this Thursday. If you’re in Sydney, come down to Darling Harbour and let the shareholders know how destructive their company really is. We’ve prepared an alternative annual report detailing BHP’s dirty deeds, and we’ll be making more noise than an open cast mine.
Download the 2012 Alternative Annual Report
The folk at Carnival of Dirt have put together this awesome poster of BHP Billitons atrocities in Congo, Chile, Colombia, Australia and Papua New Guinea! Check it out.
From 14th-18th July people from around Australia will be converging at the gates of BHP Billiton’s Roxby Downs uranium mine in South Australia. Watch this video for the official invite from Traditional Owner, Uncle Kevin Buzzacott. http://lizardsrevenge.net/