Dear friends,

We’ve got a bumper mailout for you this time, with masses of news of our recent involvement in a solidarity visit to communities affected by the Cerrejon coal mine in Colombia and London activities in commemoration of the Marikana Massacre in South Africa as well as reports on Vedanta’s planned delisting from the London Stock Exchange, pollution around Glencore’s operations in Peru, radioactivity around Rio Tinto’s QMM mine in Madagascar, Anglo American’s sponsorship of a London exhibition about Nelson Mandela and BHP’s new involvement in Ecuador.

There is also information about the friends we’ve invited from Brazil, Chile, Colombia and the USA, who will be with us in mid-October for the BHP AGM and a number of public events, and about the protests planned by our friends at Foil Vedanta at Vedanta’s last ever London AGM before it delists from the London Stock Exchange and goes private.

LMN member group Coal Action Network and friends in County Durham have been vindicated for their resistance to open-cast coal in Pont Valley. Our friends at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre have published a report on the human rights impacts of mining metals connected with the ‘green economy’. They have also published reports on the need for reform of corporate liability laws in the UK and on the ‘zero draft’ of the proposed new UN binding treaty on business and human rights.

And there’s much more below!

I hope to see you at our events next month.

All the best,
Richard Solly,
Co-ordinator, London Mining Network.

In this mailout

Beyond BHP: breaking free from the world’s biggest mining giant – 11-21 October
Protest at Vedanta AGM, Monday 1 October
Eritrea In The News – Important new exhibition open to see in London during September

1) Vedanta in the news
2) Eye-witness reports on the impacts of Cerrejon Coal (owned by Anglo American, BHP and Glencore)
3) London, Lonmin and the Marikana Massacre
4) UK coal news: Dipton, Consett open cast mine protesters cleared by court
5) Transitioning away from coal
6) Problems with mining for minerals connected with renewable energy
7) Annual zinc production at top five miners (involves Vedanta, BHP and Glencore)
8) Other news involving BHP
9) Anglo American in the news
10) News involving Glencore
11) Rio Tinto in the news
12) Other corporate news
13) Corporate liability in the UK
14) UN binding treaty on corporate liability
15) Reports and declarations on human rights impacts of mining


Beyond BHP: breaking free from the world’s biggest mining giant

Join us 11-21 October for ten days of art, discussion and protest with leading environmental human rights defenders visiting London from Latin America to share their experiences resisting the world’s largest mining company, which has been devastating communities with impunity for decades.

Events – more details coming soon!

  • Saturday 13 October, SOAS, London: Celebrating 516 years Indigenous Resistance, organised by Plataforma 12 de Octubre
  • Sunday 14 and Monday 15 October, events in Manchester and Newcastle
  • Wednesday 17 October, 10am to 11am outside the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, London SW1: demonstration against BHP as it prepares for its AGM inside the building
  • Wednesday 17 October, 6pm to 9pm, UCL Institute of Education, London: Public event with speakers from Brazil, Chile, Colombia and the USA and creative contributions from Threepenny Festival Arts Association
  • Friday 19 October, 4pm to 8pm, UCL, London: academic symposium on extractivism
  • Saturday 20 October, all day: Gaia Foundation event on extractivism, resistance and alternatives.

Please help us cover the cost of these events by supporting our crowdfunder.

Protest at Vedanta AGM, Monday 1 October

London Mining Network and others will be inside the AGM to hold the company to account for its multiple violations of human rights and destruction of the environment. We will be supporting a demonstration organised by our friends at Foil Vedanta – details immediately below.

Vedanta’s final London AGM has now been scheduled for 1st October at the Lincoln Centre, Lincoln Inn Fields, London. This is our final opportunity to hold Vedanta directly to account in the UK before they de-list from the London Stock Exchange.

As usual we hope to have a strong presence both inside and outside the AGM. Please save the date and send this message far and wide!

Kick Vedanta out once and for all! Expose the role of City of London!

Vedanta AGM protest: Monday 1st October, 2 – 4pm, Lincoln Centre, Lincoln In Fields, London, WC2A 3ED

At this final AGM we will be celebrating the notable victory of Vedanta’s de-listing (which seriously curtails their corporate ambitions), and the success of grassroots activism which has shut down Vedanta’s operations in Goa, Tuticorin and Niyamgiri, with a carnival theme. Please bring drums, whistles and colourful flags and clothes!

At the same time we will point to the complicity of the City of London in the Thoothukudi corporate massacre of 13 environmental protesters in May, the latest in a long history of corporate murders and massacres of activists by London mining companies. Vedanta’s exit from London is in fact a ‘divorce of convenience’ for the City, who have totally failed to regulate Vedanta, or any other criminal mining company, including Bumi, ENRC and Lonmin, to this day.

Eritrea In The News – Important new exhibition open to see in London during September

This exhibition, organised by LMN member group Eritrea Focus, is showing at Resource for London from 5-30 September, and features more than 40 images


1) Vedanta in the news

India’s Anil Agarwal succeeds with Vedanta Resources buyout

Vedanta Resources’ Chairman Anil Agarwal will take the London-listed miner private on Oct. 1, his family trust said on Monday, a step seen by some in the industry as a prelude to a potentially broader deal with bigger miner Anglo American.

Vedanta on its last legs – will it walk free?

Volcan Ltd, a private family trust, recently announced  its success in buying out Vedanta Resources, the most powerul British mining company that exploits India’s vast – and growing – range of natural resources, including coal, oil, bauxite, iron ore and copper. It’s not surprising news, but highly troubling, and indeed has quite shocking implications. The move is one that a number of UK, Indian and Zambian mine watchers have been avidly following over the past three months, and attempting to prevent by lobbying various UK institutions, such as the FCA, the Takeover Panel, the FRC – and the High Court – before it’s too late. Briefly put, Vedanta’s chairman Anil Agarwal, his family and cronies who run the Volcan Trust, has now bought out almost all independent minority shareholders in Vedanta Resources (which he also controls). This incestous manoeuvre opens the way for the mining megalith to delist from the London Stock Exchange and then go private.

The Diverging Paths of Two Young Women Foretell the Fate of a Tribe in India

This is an evocative, telling, and graphic account of the differing fates of two young tribal women of Orissa (now Odisha), as they’ve been forced to “assimilate” to supposedly “civilising notions” imposed by various representatives of the Indian state. Notable is the key role of London-listed mining company, Vedanta, which helped engineer a cruel and decidedly  humiliating process.

Vedanta’s ultimate resources grab

Vedanta Resources will soon host a general meeting in London asking shareholders to agree a plan by its Indian subsidiary, Vedanta Ltd, to grab and exploit no fewer than 41 hydrocarbon-rich Indian blocks. The UK company will doubtless sail through the meeting relatively unscathed. Then, with just 22 days to spare, it convenes its 2018 annual general meeting, during which it will announce its delisting from the London Stock Exchange. And then the real battle will be waged.

2) Eye-witness reports on the impacts of Cerrejon Coal (owned by Anglo American, BHP and Glencore)

Fear and loathing in La Guajira

Report by Richard Solly of Colombia Solidarity Campaign and London Mining Network on findings of recent human rights delegation investigating impacts of Cerrejon Coal, Colombia. Cerrejon is owned by London-listed Anglo American, BHP and Glencore.

Ten years on from the independent evaluation of Cerrejon Coal

Ten years ago, the report of an Independent Panel of Inquiry into the impacts of Cerrejon Coal was published. Cerrejon is Latin America’s largest open cast coal mine, and is owned by Anglo American, BHP and Glencore, all now listed on the London Stock Exchange. Certain key recommendations of the Independent Panel of Inquiry remain unfulfilled. Our friend Dr Aviva Chomsky, of Salem State University, Massachusetts, USA, who has long been involved in solidarity work with communities affected by Cerrejon, has written an evaluation of the pitiful level of progress made by Cerrejon Coal since the Panel published its report.

Traveling on Coal’s Death Route: From Puerto Rico’s Jobos Bay to La Guajira, Colombia

Often said to be the “world’s largest open-pit coal mine,” Cerrejón is owned by Anglo American, BHP, and Glencore, all listed in the London Stock Exchange. But Cerrejón’s motto, “responsible mining,” seems far removed from the realities we witnessed in La Guajira.

Death and Displacement: A USAID Export

USAID has funded the Cerrejón Foundation, the charitable arm of the Cerrejón mine in Caribbean Colombia, to the tune of millions. A months-long investigation reveals its community development projects are a front tied to a long history of displacement, violence, and death.

3) London, Lonmin and the Marikana Massacre

When You Strike the Women, You Strike A Rock

Learning from women’s organising in apartheid South Africa to present-day ahead of the sixth anniversary of 2012’s Marikana Massacre

Solidarity with Marikana

On 16 August, around 60 people participated in Marikana Solidarity Collective’s (Marikana Miners Solidarity Campaign, Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum, Decolonising Environmentalism and London Mining Network) vigil of the sixth anniversary of the Marikana Massacre in South Africa.

FILM: Marikana’s Precious Metal

16 August marked the sixth anniversary of the Marikana Massacre in South Africa, when security forces opened fire on striking mine-workers in the most lethal use of force by the South African state since apartheid. Determined that the events should be known by the world and never be forgotten, women of the community group Sikhala Sonke returned to the site on the first anniversary to perform a play re-enacting what had happened, in front of the nation’s media and the people of the town. This documentary about the making of the play, Precious Metal, was first screened by Pan-African television station VoxAfrica earlier this year, and was released online on 21 August to mark the sixth anniversary of the killings.

Lonmin’s largest shareholder backs takeover by Sibanye-Stillwater

South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) said it will support a takeover of platinum producer Lonmin by precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater.

South Africa imposes tough conditions on Sibanye-Lonmin deal

South Africa’s competition watchdog has approved a proposed takeover of struggling platinum producer Lonmin by Sibanye-Stillwater, but imposed several conditions to limit some of the planned 3,000 job losses expected to come after the merger.

4) UK coal news: Dipton, Consett open cast mine protesters cleared by court

PROTESTERS who dug tunnels under an open cast mine to disrupt work have been cleared of aggravated trespass after a judge found they were trying to prevent a ‘wildlife crime’.

5) Transitioning away from coal

What does “peak coal” mean for international coal exporters? 

A global modelling analysis on the future of the international steam coal market (pdf file)

Implementing coal transitions: Insights from case studies of major coal-consuming economies

A Summary Report of the Coal Transitions project (pdf file)

6) Problems with mining for minerals connected with renewable energy

In Chilean desert, global thirst for lithium is fuelling a ‘water war

Reams of water rights were granted by Chilean governments over decades with little consideration for their cumulative impact as miners scrambled to stake claims on the small pockets of water available in the salt flats of the Salar de Atacama.

Renewable Energy Risking Rights & Returns: An analysis of solar, bioenergy & geothermal sectors

This briefing analyses 59 solar, bioenergy and geothermal companies’ human rights policies and practices on five key areas: human rights commitment, community consultations, grievance mechanisms, labour rights and supply chain monitoring. It includes information on allegations against companies as well as emerging best practices.

7) Annual zinc production at top five miners

Vedanta, BHP and Glencore are among the top five.

8) Other news involving BHP

BHP speeds hunt for copper assets, buys stake in SolGold

World’s largest miner BHP  has bought a 6.1% stake in Ecuador-focused explorer SolGold for $35 million, increasing this way its exposure to copper as the Cascabel project is believed to have the potential to become one of the largest copper-gold assets ever discovered.

New research on mining disasters compares Canada to Brazil

The 62-page study, co-published by research groups in Canada and Brazil, compared the infamous Mount Polley tailings pond spill in B.C. — considered to be the largest mining disaster in Canadian history — with the 2015 Mariana mine spill — a catastrophe that left 19 people dead and hundreds of people homeless in Brazil. The latter was considered to be the largest mining disaster in Latin American history.

9) Anglo American in the news

The British Council’s Mandela exhibition: history or corporate whitewash?

The “Mandela and Me” exhibition at the British Council in London marks the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth in 1918. The exhibition is sponsored by Anglo American, the mining giant that was the biggest corporation in South Africa during apartheid and has, since 1999, been headquartered in London.

Anglo American asks Angola for permission to explore for metals

Anglo American, one of the world’s largest commodities miners, has asked Angola for permission to explore for base metals, the country’s ministry for mines said on Friday.

How Anglo quietly built a commodity trader in Glencore’s shadow

In just five years, the century-old miner assembled marketing operations that now sell more metals than the company produces. Yet the trading business gets barely a mention at presentations by Anglo executives or in analyst reports, taking a back seat to mines that produce everything from copper and platinum to diamonds.

10) News involving Glencore

How Gold Mining Companies Stifle Opposition in Peru

Multinational mining corporations in northern Peru have devised a number of strategies for suppressing environmental activism and protest, from strategic investment to media relations to outright intimidation and repression.

Is this Peruvian city the most polluted on Earth?

Residents of Cerro de Pasco, a city high in the Andes, say the soil is harming their children.

Peru’s children hit by metal poisoning around mine controlled by Glencore

In a statement, Glencore said it had been working closely with Volcan’s management team to develop their environmental management programmes to align with Glencore’s health safety and environment compliance programmes and wider best practice standards.

Glencore faces higher cobalt royalty taxes in Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo will declare cobalt a strategic metal, imposing a 10 percent royalty tax on producers including Glencore Plc.

Glencore-led Australian coal port wins court nod on $3.2B debt refinancing

The Queensland-based terminal, known as WICET, is 40 percent owned by miner and commodities trader Glencore and was built to service a consortium of eight coal companies during a period of high commodity prices.

11) Rio Tinto in the news

Riddle of the sands: is Rio Tinto moving on St Lucia?

Mining giant’s shadow falls on new bid to dig near treasured nature reserve in South Africa.

Jubilee releases report on Bougainville: Growing Bougainville’s Future

Jubilee Australia released its new report, called ‘Growing Bougainville’s Future: Choices for an island and its people.’ The report examines the choice facing the people of Bougainville and asks the question of ‘to mine or not to mine’? The Panguna mine is no longer owned by Rio Tinto but the company was involved when the mine was at the centre of armed conflict.

Fears of radionuclide-enriched water pollution as Madagascar mining breaches legal limits

Rio Tinto’s QMM ilmenite mine in Madagascar has breached a legal buffer zone, exposing local people to “unacceptably high” environmental risks, a new study by the Andrew Lees Trust has found.

12) Other corporate news

Britain’s Tamar takes coking coal complaint to Polish PM

A British private equity firm has written to the Polish prime minister complaining about the energy minister’s refusal to back a project to open a coking coal mine, a move it said would create 2,000 jobs.

Spain’s nuclear watchdog requests more info on Berkeley uranium mine

Spain’s nuclear watchdog CSN has asked UK-linked Australian mining company Berkeley Energia for more information on its plans for a uranium mine in Salamanca, on which work is due to begin later this year, the regulator said on Friday. The project, which would become the European Union’s only open-cast uranium mine if given the go-ahead, has faced local opposition since it was proposed and granted preliminary approval in early 2013.

Homage Paid to Victims on Phulbari Day: 12 Years of Halt and Outburst against Coal Mine Celebrated

26th August marked 12 years of successful halt to and the outburst against an AIM-listed British company, Global Coal Resources Management (GCM) who wants to build a massive open cast coal mine by forcibly displacing 130,000 people in northwest Bangladesh. In 2006 three people were shot dead and two hundred injured as paramilitary force opened fire in a demonstration of 80,000 people who marched against plans by GCM in Phulbari. The day has been called Phulbari Day since. And a powerful resistance by people in the aftermath of the shooting against open-cast mine in Phulbari has put a decade long halt to the project.

ENRC wins UK appeal in attorney-client privilege case 

How can a state-run agency, dedicated to exposing “serious fraud” committed by UK companies, be caught by a technicality – designed to protect client-lawyer privilege?  But this has now happened, in the case of a lengthy rigorous investigation by the British Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of alleged corruption by the mining company, ENRC.

Tanzania: Victims of North Mara Gold Mine Violence Find No Justice in New Compensation Scheme

Grievous violence continues to be inflicted on local men and women by private mine security and police guarding UK-listed Barrick subsidiary Acacia Gold’s North Mara gold mine in northwestern Tanzania. There have been no criminal prosecutions, and the grievance process set up by the company to provide compensation to the victims is deeply inadequate, finds a new report.

Movement for mine-free Amulsar giving its fruits

Update on the struggle against UK-linked Lydian as it tries to mine gold in Armenia.

Dalradian shareholders back Orion Mine’s $230m takeover bid

Shareholders in London-listed Canadian miner Dalradian Resources, which is developing a large untapped gold deposit in a remote part of Northern Ireland, have approved the sale of the company to New York-based private equity group Orion Mine Finance.

Chile’s Antofagasta looks to expand mining operations in January

Antofagasta Plc expects its board to approve a $1.3 billion expansion of its Los Pelambres copper mine before the end of the year with construction starting in January, the Chilean miner’s chief executive officer said.

13) Corporate liability in the UK

Recent decisions in the UK on parent company liability cases show the need for law reform 

The UK is home to some of the largest multinational corporations in the world operating through integrated networks of subsidiary companies and complex supply chains. Through their global activities, UK companies are often involved in human rights and environmental abuses. There have been important developments towards improved access to remedy in the UK for victims of overseas corporate related harm over the last 25 years, culminating in the 2012 Court of Appeal ruling in Chandler v Cape which held that, under certain circumstances, a parent company could owe a legal duty of care to employees of its subsidiaries. At present, however, there is no statutory regime in the UK for dealing with alleged violations of human rights by corporate actors.

Two Critical Issues in the UK Business and Human Rights Litigation

The UK Supreme Court granted leave to appeal the case Lungowe v Vedanta[1] and is now considering whether or not to grant the same permission in Okpabi v Royal Dutch Shell[2]. These two cases are the result of years of business and human rights litigation based on the duty of care that UK parent companies may owe towards victims of extraterritorial human rights abuses committed by their subsidiaries.

14) UN binding treaty on corporate liability

UN Intergovernment Working Group on proposed treaty releases draft legally binding instrument on business & human rights

The Zero Draft Optional protocol is an annex to the Zero Draft legally binding instrument, and it is centered on mechanisms of access to remedy for victims of abuses committed in the context of business activities.

Another Step on the Road? What does the “Zero Draft” Treaty mean for the Business and Human Rights movement?

While the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) continue to be the primary international reference point on business and human rights, over the past four years the Treaty process has consolidated action, spurred cooperation, and stimulated healthy debate among international and local human rights and corporate accountability groups. In the few weeks since its release on 16 July 2018, the first official draft of the legally binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights has rekindled this debate.

15) Reports and declarations on human rights impacts of mining

South Africa: how mining damages communities and environment

The African Human Rights Commission has released a scathing report on the damage mining in the country is posing to human rights. The conclusion paints a dark picture: “[T]he mining sector is riddled with challenges related to land, housing, water, [and] the environment.”

What will it take to stop the killing of land rights activists?

Mining companies and governments need to understand and respect the right to free, prior, and informed consent. The lives of activists are on the line. New research from an Oxfam partner provides a compelling starting point for defending community consent in Southern Africa

Indigenous people in the defenders database: Killings are more common than for the rest of defenders

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre database shows that although only 5% of the world’s population is made up of indigenous people, 25% of attacks on human rights defenders working on business-related human rights abuses are indigenous.

Current mining practices condemn people to destruction and death

An open letter has been published, following a meeting of representatives of religious and civil organisations from across Latin America, USA, Germany, from 7-10 August in Brasilia, to discuss the challenges, struggles and hopes of communities affected by mining.

Changing track: Putting people before corporations

Briefing by Health Poverty Action, People’s Health Movement, medico international and Viva Salud (pdf file)