Dear friends,

The cataclysmically destructive nature of the mining industry becomes ever more evident. A recent UN report has shown that extractive industries are together responsible for half the world’s carbon emissions and 80% of biodiversity loss. We are not talking just about coal, oil and gas extraction here, but mining in general. Iron ore mining is connected to major climate impacts because so much of its product is destined for the steel industry, which is itself a major contributor to climate change. Mining is a major source of water pollution. The industry offers supposed environmental solutions such as biodiversity offsetting or mining the seabed – but both of these are cons.

Mining – including mining for metals used for the ‘green’ economy – also involves land seizures associated with human rights violations and criminalisation of opponents; women land defenders face particular persecution, and the UN Human Rights Council has recently agreed that environmental defenders deserve protection. Banks funding the destruction hide behind client confidentiality to avoid being held to account for their complicity.

In the face of so much destruction, what can we do to address the roots of the problem? Hal Rhoades of LMN member group the Gaia Foundation offers some reflections.

Mining-related murder

Last Monday, we attended the AGM of Lonmin, associated with the massacre of striking mine workers at Marikana, South Africa, in August 2012. Widows and their families, and injured and arrested mine workers and their families, continue to suffer, without anyone being held to account for the slayings. Friends from Ethical Shareholders Germany and Marikana Solidarity Collective put workers’ and communities’ demands to the company inside the AGM. Because the meeting was only announced three weeks in advance, the horrendous UK visa application system meant that our friends Bishop Jo Seoka and lawyer Andries Nkome were unable to join us from South Africa.

There have been further killings at Vedanta’s smelter in Odisha as part of the continuing campaign to break resistance to its expansion. The killings have been condemned by a huge number of Indian organisations. Vedanta is also implicated in attempts to undermine Adivasi identity through the residential school system – another means of trying to break Indigenous resistance.

Brazil and tailings dams

You will find several articles below about investigations into the appalling tailings dam collapse at Brumadinho in Brazil in January, which killed at least 300 people. Brazilian mining giant Vale receives funding from UK banks Barclays and HSBC. LMN is planning to raise this issue at these banks’ coming AGMs. Friends in Brazil speak of the event as a human rights disaster and a crime. Thousands of people in Brazil are still living under the threat of other mining dams bursting. And yet the Brazilian government, in an act of callous irresponsibility, has just announced its plan for opening indigenous reserves to mining.

Meanwhile, mining companies and major investors are at last discussing ways of making tailings dams safer. This process needs to be followed carefully if the industry is truly to be held to account and compelled to achieve acceptable standards. It will not produce acceptable results if only mining companies and mining financiers are involved: the voices of workers and affected communities need to be central to improving standards. We cannot allow the process of improving standards to be subject to ‘corporate capture’.

Public event on Tuesday 9 April

We’ll be concentrating on mine wastes at our public event on 9 April, the evening before Rio Tinto’s AGM. We’ll be hearing about Rio Tinto’s mine wastes in Madagascar and West Papua and the damage they could do in Arizona, USA. Do please attend if you can.

And as always, there’s plenty more below…

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

In this mailout


Tuesday 9 April: Disaster waiting to happen: Rio Tinto’s mining waste
Friday, 12 April: HSBC – Stop funding destruction!

Take action!

Take action – tell HSBC to close its loopholes and get out of coal
Sign petition: Save Dewley Hill from Coal Mining


1) Mining’s massive impacts on the climate, communities and ecosystems
2) Lonmin and the Marikana Massacre
3) Rio Tinto in the news
4) Vale’s Brumadinho tailings dam collapse and the fallout in Brazil
5) Industry responses to tailings dam collapses
6) Latest killings around Vedanta’s operations in India, and other Vedanta news
7) Coal and climate change in UK, Ireland, Colombia, South Africa and around the world
8) ENRC sues U.K. fraud cops as corruption charges loom
9) Lydian and the conflict over gold mining in Armenia
10) BHP in Australia and Ecuador
11) Dalradian eviction action 15 March 2019
12) Anglo American hands land to South Africans amid expropriation push
13) Two killed in accident at Glencore’s Zambian mine
14) Tanzania threatens Acacia with closing North Mara over water pollution
15) News from Xolobeni
16) Declaration: 14 Iberian People’s Platforms Unite Against ‘Voracious, Predatory’ Mining
17) UN Resolution on Environmental Human Rights Defenders


Tuesday 9 April: Disaster waiting to happen: Rio Tinto’s mining waste

The evening before Rio Tinto’s annual shareholder meeting, join us for an event where we’ll be hearing about Rio Tinto’s damaging proposed and current mining projects in Madagascar, West Papua and the US, on 9 April, at Amnesty International’s office, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA, 7 – 9pm. We’ll be discussing the London-listed mining company’s human rights violations and environmental destruction, in particular its tailings dams, where toxic mining waste is stored.

We will be hearing from:

  • Roger Featherstone from Arizona Mining Reform Coalition in the USA,
  • Yvonne Orengo from The Andrew Lees Trust, UK
  • Tiana Rakotomalala from the Malagasy community
  • and a speaker on the Grasberg mine in West Papua (TBC).

Friday, 12 April: HSBC – Stop funding destruction!

Picket of the HSBC AGM, 10am – 2pm, The ICC, Broad Street, Birmingham

Take action!

Take action – tell HSBC to close its loopholes and get out of coal

HSBC’s cynical coal policy leaves Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia open for business.

Sign petition: Save Dewley Hill from Coal Mining

Not content with attempts to destroy Druridge Bay to mine millions of tonnes of coal in Northumberland, Banks Mining Group now want to desecrate Newcastle’s green belt for a huge open-cast mine.


1) Mining’s massive impacts on the climate, communities and ecosystems 

Resource extraction responsible for half world’s carbon emissions

Extraction also causes 80% of biodiversity loss, according to a comprehensive UN study.

Mining’s dirty secret faces a climate reckoning

Judging mining companies on the basis of their operational emissions is a bit like judging tobacco companies on the basis of their record on labour rights and board diversity. It’s interesting and worthy, but ultimately misses the big picture. Take a look instead at Scope 3 emissions – those that result when the products are consumed – and a very different picture emerges. On that measure, of resources companies for which Bloomberg has data only Royal Dutch Shell Plc is a bigger emitter than Rio and BHP, both of which feature on S&P Global Inc.’s Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes.

Undermining the watercycle 

A critical appraisal of the mining industry’s contributions to the global water crisis, on World Water Day 2019 and in the wake of recent disasters.

Amnesty challenges industry leaders to clean up their batteries

Without radical changes, the batteries which power green vehicles will continue to be tainted by human rights abuses.

Nature’s in trouble. Now, for my next trick

Governments and businesses are presenting biodiversity offsetting as a nature conservation solution. But it’s failing people and the planet. In a new report Friends of the Earth and the Andrew Lees Trust UK  show that it’s just a green makeover for more damage by mining and development schemes, especially in some of the world’s most fragile nature hotspots.

Making a Killing: Holding corporations to account for land and human rights violations – report from Trocaire

The global rush for natural resources and large scale land acquisition that has marked the past two decades, has impacted the world’s poorest people, who are at the front lines of the decisions made by political elites and large businesses. Impunity for human rights violations by a toxic nexus of political leaders and private corporations is not new. However, violence against land, environment and indigenous defenders who resist large corporations is on the rise.

Women land defenders face ‘extreme criminalisation’, added risks

In El Estor, Guatemala, women lead fight for land rights despite added risk of sexual violence and stigma.

World’s biggest banks routinely hide links to human rights and environmental abuses behind client confidentiality – study

Some of the world’s biggest banks are routinely hiding behind client confidentiality to conceal investments in companies and projects that infringe human and environmental rights, the first study of its kind reveals.

Deep-sea mining: regulating the unknown

Deep-sea ecosystems are under threat from an emerging ocean industry.

Time, Space and Mining

In his book ‘Mining Capitalism’, anthropologist Stuart Kirsch describes the difficulties indigenous communities, international NGOs and environmentalists in general have in confronting ‘slow moving environmental disasters’- a fact corporations use to their advantage.

2) Lonmin and the Marikana Massacre

Lonmin’s profits rise as Marikana community continues to suffer

Lonmin announces solid financial performance ahead of drawn out takeover while refusing to secure 12,600 mine workers’ jobs.

Lonmin: still one of the unacceptable faces of British capitalism

Full report of the Lonmin AGM 25 March 2019

Shareholders slam Lonmin over executive salaries

Voting patterns at AGM suggest the PIC used its 29% interest to protest against directors’ remuneration.

3) Rio Tinto in the news

Rio Tinto finally accused of misleading investors, by US judge

Despite abruptly dismissing allegations of dishonourable conduct, made at its 2018 annual shareholders meeting in London, Rio Tinto now faces serious financial and reputational damage.

Rio Tinto rejects push by activist shareholders to reveal emission targets

Rio Tinto, the world’s second largest miner, is recommending shareholders to vote against a resolution requiring the company to release its direct emissions details and strategies on how its greenhouse gas emissions and those of its customers can be cut.

Rio Tinto retreats from sensitive zone in Madagascar 

Mining group Rio Tinto has pulled back from sensitive environmental zone in Madagascar and admits there was no tailings dam.

4) Vale’s Brumadinho tailings dam collapse and the fallout in Brazil

Brazil prosecutors to pursue penalties against German firm in dam collapse

Brazil prosecutors say they plan to use the country’s anti-corruption law to pursue penalties against German certifications group TÜV SÜD for its role in the collapse of the Vale mine tailings dam that killed at least 300 people earlier this year.

Vale’s Sul Superior Dam in critical condition

Brazilian mining giant Vale announced that the Sul Superior Dam at the Gongo Soco mine is in a critical condition when it comes to stability. This, following the work of an independent auditor, hired to evaluate the state of the structure.

Vale ordered to halt 13 more dams, Brucutu mine restart delayed

Brazilian mining giant Vale has been hit by a local court injunction that forces it to freeze operations at 13 of its tailings dams in the country.

Miner Vale quashed efforts to validate dam safety before disaster – prosecutor

Executives at Vale SA , the world’s largest iron ore miner, quashed efforts by Brazilian authorities to audit one of the company’s mining dams months before it collapsed and killed over 300 people, a state prosecutor was quoted as saying by news website G1.

Vale reports Brazil state authorities freeze $765m of its assets

Brazilian state prosecutors and public defenders in the state of Minas Gerais have won a bid to freeze assets worth 2.95 billion reais ($765 million) belonging to Vale, which has been struggling since a lethal dam rupture at one of its mines, the company said in a filing on Monday.

Brumadinho dam collapse in Brazil: Vale mine chief resigns

The head of Brazil’s Vale mining giant has stepped down following the collapse of a dam in the town of Brumadinho.

Brazil Dam Collapse Is a Human Rights Disaster and Crime

While this current story has gained international attention, it is important that the world pay heed to the fact that this incident was not just an accident; with another 130 dams in Brazil constructed just like the one that collapsed, the likelihood of this happening again is high. In the shorter term, families are displaced and in need of immediate housing and assistance.

In Brazil, thousands of people are still living under the threat of bursting mining dams 

Barely 500 metres separates the first houses in the Rio do Peixe neighbourhood of Itabira and the fifth largest mining dam in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. “If anything happens to the dam, we won’t have time for anything. We have been told it is a matter of seconds. We are risking our lives by staying here. If I could I would leave here immediately,” says Claudinei Ferreira, a 32-year-old mechanic who has lived in this town of 120,000 inhabitants for five years.

Brazil to open indigenous reserves to mining in major sector overhaul

The government of Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro is preparing an overhaul of mining sector regulations that will include opening up indigenous reserves to mining, the country’s mines and energy minister says.

5) Industry responses to tailings dam collapses

Mining group works with U.N., ethical investors to tackle tailings

A group bringing together the world’s biggest listed miners on Wednesday said it was working with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and ethical investors to help agree a global standard for tailings dams.

Alternative technology and tailings dam disasters

What causes tailings dam – an earth-fill embankment dam used to store byproducts of mining operations – disasters and are there industry solutions?

6) Latest killings around Vedanta’s operations in India, and other Vedanta news

Orissa villager killed by forces defending Vedanta refinery

The latest bloody attempt by “security” forces, under the control of India’s Orissa state government, to open a new phase of oppression, in its attempt to smash local resistance to Vedanta’s iniquitous bauxite refinery.

Many organisations roundly condemn police repression in Orissa

A vast raft of Adivasi, Dalit and other civil society leaders has stridently condemned police actions which caused the death of two people at Vedanta’s refinery in Odisha.

Adivasis on the March – Crisis and Cultural Genocide in Tribal India

Two of India’s leading proponents of indigenous peoples’ rights are Jharkand’s Gladson Dungdung and the social anthropologist-cum-activist Felix Padel. In this illuminating, authoritative, addition to a wealth of such material, they expose the many challenges – especially violation of the country’s  own constitution and laws – now confronted by these communities.

7) Coal and climate change in UK, Ireland, Colombia, South Africa and around the world

Banking on Climate Change – Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card 2019

World’s top banks have poured $1.9 trillion into fossil fuel financing since the Paris Agreement was adopted, with financing on the rise each year.

UK environmentalists target Barclays in fossil fuels campaign

Protest’s organisers say bank invested more $30bn in 15 fossil fuel projects from 2012-17

Update on UK Secretary of State’s decisions on opencast coal mining

The Secretary of State agreed to remake a decision regarding the revocation of planning permission for extraction of coal by opencast methods at the Bradley site in the Pont Valley, Durham, by the 25th February 2019. The department agreed that its original decision making process was “flawed” and so it would remake the decision. No decision has been announced and so the lawyers acting for June Davison, the local resident bringing the Judicial Review, are filing documents to the High Court to re-open the case and push for a new decision, with reasons, by the 27th March.

Deep coal mine gets go ahead in Cumbria despite protests

Environmental campaigners say backing for Woodhouse colliery cannot be justified

Revealed: Glencore bankrolled covert campaign to prop up coal

The mining company engaged Sir Lynton Crosby’s firm to push anti-renewables message and counter anti-coal activists.

Legal action in Colombia against ESB coal supplier

A lawsuit launched against the ESB’s coal supplier in Colombia heightens the urgency for the semi-state to divest from buying coal from the South American country, an Irish human rights group has said.

Women Building Power launches THREE ACTIVIST GUIDES to support women and communities across Africa in their struggles for climate justice and sustainable energy futures!

Big businesses, development banks and some governments are pushing for the expansion of coal projects in Africa. They say coal is the way to develop countries and widen African people’s access to energy. But communities are pushing back against this plan because coal is extremely harmful to people and the planet. Communities want existing coal mines and power stations to be phased out, and new coal projects stopped. FIND OUT how women activists are leading the fight to defend their communities’ land, water and forests.

8) ENRC sues U.K. fraud cops as corruption charges loom

A Kazakh mining company sued the U.K.’s anti-fraud authority for $93 million — the amount it has racked up in legal costs — as the agency moves closer to a decision on whether to charge one of its billionaire owners.

9) Lydian and the conflict over gold mining in Armenia

Criminal case reveals that Lydian Armenia mining company employees were spying and running fake profiles in social media

All around the world we witness mining companies targeting citizens for fighting for the protection of nature. Armenia is in no exception. For years paid media, specialists, as well as recent fake users and pages in social media carried out online discrediting campaigns, especially in Facebook. The case of journalist from Gndevaz – Tehmine Yenoqyan, is extraordinary as the criminal case showed that employees of Lydian Armenia (the company that wanted to exploit gold in Amulsar), were spying on the journalist.

Lydian International submits notices to the Government of Armenia under bilateral investment protection treaties

The company said illegal blockades have prevented access to the Amulsar gold project since late June 2018.

10) BHP in Australia and Ecuador

BHP blames heavy rains for autonomous trucks crash

The world’s largest miner, BHP, has blamed a collision between two autonomous trucks at its Jimblebar iron ore mine in the Pilbara, Western Australia, on significant rainfall affecting the area.

BHP steps up efforts to win battle for Ecuador’s copper riches

The world’s largest miner BHP took a key step this week towards increasing its presence in Ecuador, the new darling of copper prospectors, by signing an earn-in and joint venture deal with Canada’s Luminex Resources.

11) Dalradian eviction action 15 March 2019

Dalradian Gold is issued with an eviction notice by activists in Belfast, 15 March 2019

12) Anglo American hands land to South Africans amid expropriation push

Anglo American Platinum Ltd. is giving hundreds of hectares of land to communities living in a South African area that’s rich with the ore as the nation’s ruling party seeks to introduce laws that make it easier to expropriate land without paying for it.

13) Two killed in accident at Glencore’s Zambian mine

Two workers died in an accident at Glencore’s Zambian operation Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), prompting it to suspend production pending investigations.

14) Tanzania threatens Acacia with closing North Mara over water pollution

Tanzania has given Barrick Gold’s London-listed subsidiary Acacia Mining until March 30 to stop waste water pollution at its North Mara mine or face a shutdown, but the country’s No.1 gold producer said Friday a brief spill affecting the operation has already been halted.

15) News from Xolobeni

Mamphela Ramphele: Xolobeni and the irony of history

The Amadiba people of Xolobeni are going though a nightmare of seeing their heritage being threatened by the extractive clutches of an Australian mining company, MCR – which is sustained by investment from the UK.

State drops sloppy attempt at ‘SLAPP’ suit against Richard Spoor

Many of the local Amadiba community are opposing an attempt by an Australian mining company to extract titanium from the mineral-rich coastal dunes in their traditional heritage and communal land at Xolobeni.

16) Declaration: 14 Iberian People’s Platforms Unite Against ‘Voracious, Predatory’ Mining

In the latest ContraMINAcción and Yes to Life No to Mining community-to-community exchange, 14 People’s Platforms from across the Iberian Peninsula came together to form a new, common platform in opposition to the ‘mining boom’ unfolding in Spain and Portugal. Among the companies under fire are London-linked Atalaya and Berkeley Energia.

17) UN Resolution on Environmental Human Rights Defenders

A Resolution on Environmental Human Rights Defenders was adopted by consensus recently by the Human Rights Council.