Dear friends,

Last month we hosted visitors from Brazil, Colombia and the USA for the BHP Billiton plc AGM on 19 October.

In this mailout, you’ll find a full report of the company AGM together with media coverage, including a beautiful short video made by our friends at Threepenny Festival arts group from Manchester.

You can also read about our new report, The River is Dead, about the Samarco tailings (fine wastes) dam disaster in Brazil. You’ll find a link to the report itself. BHP owns 50% of the Samarco iron ore mine where the disaster occurred in November 2015.

We published our report the same week as the BHP AGM. Around the same time, our friends at CIDSE (the network of Catholic development agencies in Europe) produced a multimedia dossier on the disaster and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) published its own report about the safety of tailings dams around the world. LMN and other groups welcomed the report.

There are two related actions you are invited to take part in: LMN member group Colombia Solidarity Campaign are holding a picket of Chatham House in London on Thursday 9 November, as Colombian President Santos will be there to receive a prize for his work for peace – while simultaneously pursuing mining policies which encourage multinational companies to invest in the country in a way which fuels conflict and violence. LMN member group War on Want is running an email campaign demanding that BHP clean up its act in Colombia, Brazil and elsewhere.

We’ll be sending out more news in the near future, but for now please also note two other events coming up:

  • Film showing of Strike a Rock, about the Marikana Miners Massacre – SOAS, Wednesday 22 November in the evening.
  • Activist Day in preparation for the Mines and Money Conference, Saturday 25 November – London venue to be confirmed.

There is much more news on the misdeeds of London-linked mining companies, but that will do for now! You can catch up on most of the other news by looking at our Twitter feed (which you can do even if you do not have a Twitter account).

All the best,

Richard Solly,
Co-ordinator, London Mining Network.

Take action!

No to Santos’ Dirty War in Colombia! No to Mining Multinationals Destroying the Environment and Communities! Yes to Real Human Rights for All! Yes to Peace with Social Justice!

The Colombia Solidarity Campaign has called a picket from 5.00pm on Thursday, 9th November outside  Chatham House HQ at 10 St James Square, Piccadilly, London SW1Y 4LE


The official event is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 pm

E-mail BHP: Stop the mining injustice

From October 14-19, War on Want’s partner MAB (Movement of People Affected by Dams) from Brazil, and Indigenous Wayuu representatives from Colombia were in London. They came to challenge BHP – the world’s biggest mining company – about its continued violation of their rights as Indigenous and Afro-descendant mining-affected communities.

Corporations like BHP lie at the heart of the fossil fuel industry and enjoy the benefits of tax breaks and subsidies in the UK, yet remain wholly unaccountable for the impacts of their operations outside of the UK.

Take action to support these communities as they demand respect for their rights and seek justice for the harm caused by BHP.

News about the BHP AGM, LMN’s report on the Samarco disaster, and related matters

“A terrible tragedy… we are desperately sorry…” The BHP Billiton plc AGM 19 October 2017

This year, London Mining Network and our friends at Colombia Solidarity Campaign, Society of St Columban and War on Want hosted visitors from Brazil, Colombia and the USA (with help also from our friends at ABColombia, CAFOD, Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility, Gaia Foundation, Movimiento Jaguar Despierto, the Passionists, and People and Planet). Rodrigo Peret from the Churches and Mining Network, Thiago Alves da Silva from the Movement of People Affected by Dams, Angelica Ortiz from Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu, Luisa Rodriguez from Colombian human rights organisation CINEP, Roger Featherstone from Arizona Mining Reform Coalition and Roy Chavez from Retired Miners and Concerned Citizens, were all able to attend the BHP Billiton plc AGM and to raise issues of concern. A protest was held outside the AGM in solidarity with communities affected by BHP’s operations. Read our full AGM report.

Brazil, Colombia and the US make demands of BHP ahead of 2017 AGM

Visitors from three of the thirteen countries that BHP operates in came to London in search of accountability for the company’s operations in their respective homes. These range from the fall-outs of the widely-known Samarco dam disaster in Brazil, to the forced displacement of communities surrounding the Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia and the proposed Rio Tinto/BHP mining project, the Resolution Copper Mine in Arizona, USA.

Media coverage of the BHP AGM

Includes newspaper, television and radio coverage and a short video by Threepenny Festival.

The River is Dead: LMN launches report into Brazil’s Samarco disaster

London Mining Network released The River is Dead report two days before BHP’s annual general meeting on 19 October, about the Samarco dam disaster on 5th November 2015, which devastated communities all along the Rio Doce river system in Brazil. Around 1.4 million people are seeking urgent action to remediate ecosystems and restore livelihoods. Read the report summary here.

Samarco’s mining dam burst at Mariana: why we need a UN treaty 

On November 5th, 2015, the Fundão dam burst in the municipality of Mariana in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Millions of cubic metres of iron mining tailings from the mine operated by Samarco, a Vale-BHP Billiton joint venture, created a torrent of mud that destroyed entire villages, including schools and churches, and contaminated the Gualaxo do Norte, Carmo and Doce rivers. 19 people died and many more were affected by the events.

Mining waste threatens people and planet, says UN

An international coalition of non-governmental organizations – London Mining Network, Earthworks, MiningWatch Canada and Amnesty International Canada – welcomes the new Assessment Report Summary released last week in Geneva by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which urges States and the industry to end deadly and damaging mining waste spills by enforcing a “zero-failure objective.”