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How green is your mining company

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I discussed this idea earlier with Dr Bubb but never got around to it.

I have bought some mining companies' shares and one of the things I looked into beforehand was to see if there had been any history of complaints against the company both on an environmental and social level.


This is the green energy investors' website and as such, I think there should be a thread where if we hear about any companies' abuses we can put that information out there. Some of us - not myself - are big investors and could make a huge difference in the priority mining companies give to making sure they don't cut corners or ignore local concerns.


Aside from the moral aspect, there is often a self-serving economic argument to be made for investors being aware of such facts as companies which are set to develop gold or silver resources in areas where local people are worried about the reputation of such and such a company have often vetoed development.

No connection with reputation, but Brancote which I had shares in before it was bought up by Meridian was severly undervalued because their huge find in Argentina in I think the Esquel region wasn't allowed to be developed because of local opposition.


Cyanide overspills can easily pollute local people's water sources leading to huge upheavals and even death in the case of remote tribes. Accidents are one thing, but not putting in place proper safety procedures are quite another. Companies who don't clear up after themselves should also be economically shamed by investors into doing so.


I believe we do have a karmic responsibility to people all over the world affected by our decisions, but that gold mining isn't necessarily over-destructive of other's local habitats as some mines are located a long way away from centres of local population.


I won't be able to take part in any immediate discussion - if there is any - as too busy at the moment.


Also as a heads-up a programme about destruction of tribal ways of life in Brasil airs tomorrow Friday.

Here's the press release from Survival about this, I am not connected with them in any way apart from supporting what they do.

The ‘Unreported World’ programme will be shown in the UK on Channel

4 at 7.35pm on Friday 11 April.




10 April 2008




The acclaimed Channel 4 current affairs series, ‘Unreported World’,

is to broadcast a documentary tomorrow exposing the devastating

effects of illegal goldmining on the land of the Yanomami Indians in the

Brazilian Amazon.


Survival campaigner Fiona Watson has just returned from Brazil, where

she visited the Yanomami and other tribes. She says, ‘Yanomami are

dying because the Brazilian government is failing to keep illegal

goldminers off their land, and its Yanomami health programme is in chaos. More

than a fifth of the tribe died in the eighties and nineties from

diseases brought by miners. It’s heartbreaking to see it starting to happen



The Channel 4 programme will also discuss the Brazilian government’s

plan to open indigenous land all over Brazil for large-scale mining

projects – a plan vehemently opposed by the Yanomami and other tribes.


Shaman and president of the Yanomami association Hutukara, Davi

Kopenawa Yanomami, told Survival, ‘We the Yanomami people don’t think the

government’s mining project will benefit anyone. It’s not going to

do anything good for the Indians. It will just destroy the streams and

the rivers, kill the fish and kill the environment. And kill us. We do

not want to die again.’


The Yanomami are one of the largest tribes in Amazonia, and live in the

rainforests of Brazil and Venezuela.


The ‘Unreported World’ programme will be shown in the UK on Channel

4 at 7.35pm on Friday 11 April.

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One for Vedanta owners:


your opinion and buying/selling of shares does make a difference:




27 January 2009




Hundreds of members of the Dongria Kondh tribe have formed a human chain around their sacred mountain today to prevent British mining giant Vedanta from bulldozing it.


The tribespeople and their allies began to form the chain in the early hours of this morning. The chain remains in place and stretches for at least 15 kilometres, blocking all roads leading to the mountain.


Vedanta plans to dig an open pit mine on the Dongria Kondh’s sacred mountain, to extract the aluminium ore bauxite. India’s Supreme Court gave the mine the go-ahead in August last year, but road blocks by the Dongria and other Kondh tribes have so far kept construction vehicles off the mountain.


Vedanta’s chairman Anil Agarwal recently told journalists that mining will begin in ‘a month or two’.


Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘Resorting to standing in front of bulldozers to protect their survival, the Dongria Kondh are showing just how far the authorities have failed them. The fact that the machines are run by a major British company should be a cause for shame in the City of London. This is a scandal which won't go away until Vedanta leaves the tribe in peace.’


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