Dear friends,

London Mining Network agrees that we have to phase out fossil fuels fast. That means a swift transition away from coal, among other things. We are working with member groups Coal Action Network, Colombia Solidarity Campaign and War on Want to support coal-affected communities in Colombia in their struggle to get Cerrejon Coal to restore the River Bruno to its natural course. It has been diverted so that the mine – owned by London-listed multinationals Anglo American, BHP and Glencore – can dig up even more coal. Please take part in the urgent action.

The UK Government likes to tell us that we have slashed our carbon emissions and are leading the world. In fact, Colombia Solidarity Campaign’s Andy Higginbottom points out, when we take into account imported goods and the emissions connected with London-listed oil and mining companies, the UK is still a massive carbon emitter.

Now BHP and Anglo American are positioning themselves as heroes for cutting their carbon emissions. BHP accepts that climate change is an ‘existential threat’ to the planet and is considering getting out of thermal coal. Let’s hope it pulls out responsibly and does not leave behind the kind of intolerable environmental and social messes it has left behind at its Indomet coal project in Kalimantan, its Ok Tedi copper mine in Papua New Guinea or its nickel operations at Cerro Matoso in Colombia. Anglo American will only use ‘green’ energy at its operations in Chile and will work with others to develop platinum and palladium-based batteries for electric vehicles.

But mining the metals for the ‘green’ economy is also a source of environmental and social destruction. LMN has just co-sponsored a report by the Deep Sea Mining Campaign about the damage that could be done by mining the seabed for minerals for the ‘green’ economy. The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has published a guide for investors to help them avoid supporting human rights abuses in the renewable energy industry. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto is walking away from its Namibian uranium mining operations and helping subsidiary ERA begin clean up of its Ranger uranium mine in Australia – but ‘clean up’ is a relative term: nobody can guarantee the safety of mine wastes which will remain dangerously radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. The solution must be to move beyond extractivism of any kind.

But in that transition, mine workers and their families must not be thrown aside as they were in Britain in the 1980s and as they have been elsewhere when they have ceased to be profitable for their employers. An appalling example of this has been the treatment of gold mine workers in South Africa dismissed from work when they became ill with mining-related illnesses and abandoned. A limited legal victory has just been won by many of these miners in the Johannesburg High Court. And in another case where mine workers have been cast aside, the struggle is on to stop the takeover of Lonmin by Sibanye Stillwater in the South African courts.

There is news below about legislative or judicial actions giving grief to Acacia Gold, Glencore, Rio Tinto, Vale and Vedanta (in both India and Zambia). But Barrick and Antofagasta have benefited from a World Bank arbitration decision in Pakistan and Antofagasta from connections with the Trump administration in the USA. And there is a petition to make ecocide a crime in UK law.

Meanwhile, Vedanta’s Anil Agarwal has profited from pulling out of Anglo American – doubtless to the relief of that company’s own board, given how controversial the man is.

And there’s plenty more news below.

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

In this mailout

Take Action!
5 August Phulbari action
Stand with indigenous communities in Colombia to halt the expansion of dirty coal
Make ECOCIDE a UK criminal offence

News
1) Why the rush to mine the seabed?
2) The struggle to save the River Bruno from Cerrejon Coal
3) UK investors set sights on Indonesia fossil fuel infrastructure despite deadly mining legacy
4) Going ‘Beyond Extractivism’ on the Global Day Against Mega Mining 2019
5) Global Britain’s real climate changers: Big Oil (and Big Mining) must be taken down
6) Johannesburg court approves $353 million silicosis settlement
7) News about BHP
8) Mining Executives Split on Who Bears Burden of Climate Change
9) Rio Tinto in the news
10) Update on Vale’s Brumadinho disaster
11) Glencore in the news
12) News about Antofagasta
13) Danakali to start developing vast potash project in Eritrea
14) Barrick strikes deal with Acacia after sweetening offer, takeover imminent
15) Cobalt, nickel, other battery metals face supply crunch by 2020s — report
16) Europe’s largest lithium project could be up and running mid-2022
17) Anglo American and ‘green’ energy
18) Vedanta’s Anil Agarwal and Anglo American
19) Vedanta in Zambia
20) Vedanta in India: A Mountain That Will Not Bow Down To Corporate Loot
21) Community wants South African Constitutional Court to declare R5bn Lonmin deal illegal
22) Xolobeni: The mine, the murder, the DG – and many unanswered questions

New Reports
UK support for human rights defenders
Responsible Mining Index Framework 2020 Published
Fast & fair renewable energy: A practical guide for investors

Take Action!

5 August Phulbari action

London-listed GCM Resources is still trying to get permission to construct an opencast coal mine at Phbulbari in Bangladesh despite years of struggle against it. It has now teamed up with two Chinese companies in the hope that the Bangladesh Government will say yes. Please attend a court hearing date scheduled for 10 am on Monday 5 August at Westminster Magistrate Court who protested against last December’s GCM AGM by gluing themselves to the entry of the building. We will gather on the day to express our solidarity with our comrades. Address: 181 Marylebone Rd, Marylebone, London NW1 5BR.

Stand with indigenous communities in Colombia to halt the expansion of dirty coal

Colombian indigenous and Afro-descendant communities are defending the Bruno River, and they need your solidarity.

Make ECOCIDE a UK criminal offence

Climate agreements and civil laws have failed to prevent escalating harm to the Earth. A criminal law of ECOCIDE would criminalise practices known to destroy ecosystems and/or exacerbate climate breakdown. It’s the only way to force industry to change direction.

News

1) Why the rush to mine the seabed?

LMN has co-sponsored a new report examining what is driving the unseemly haste to mine the seabed. Entitled Why the Rush?, it exposes the corporate capture of the ISA and the manipulation of Pacific regional decision-making processes by deep sea mining companies and their backers. The report joins the call for a moratorium on the development of the regulations for deep sea mining. Further reporting here.

2) The struggle to save the River Bruno from Cerrejon Coal

Saving the river: the struggle for Colombia’s Arroyo Bruno

On Monday 9 July, representatives of LMN member group Colombia Solidarity Campaign, Swiss NGO Aktionsgruppe Schweiz Kolumbien, US-based North Shore Colombia Solidarity and other international observers attended an event at the Centro Cultural, Riohacha, La Guajira, close to Colombia’s massive Cerrejon opencast coal mine. Cerrejon Coal is owned by London-listed mining multinationals Anglo American, BHP and Glencore. The subject under discussion was the diversion of the Arroyo Bruno (Bruno Stream), an important tributary of this arid region’s only major river, the Rio Rancheria, which flows across Cerrejon’s mining concession.

Open letter to mining companies at Cerrejon, Colombia

LMN joined member groups Coal Action Network, Colombia Solidarity Campaign and War on Want, and other solidarity organisations, in writing to express our deep concern about the continuing attempts by the Cerrejón Coal Company and regulatory bodies of the Colombian government to undermine the rights – and ignore the wishes – of communities affected by the Cerrejón mine in La Guajira.

British multinational disobeys Colombia court by diverting water source

For two years, mining company Cerrejón, alongside government bodies, have been disobeying a 2017 Colombian Constitutional court ruling against diverting a vital water source, the Bruno Stream.

3) UK investors set sights on Indonesia fossil fuel infrastructure despite deadly mining legacy

UK investors attended Indonesia’s Infrastructure Investment Forum in London on Tuesday 2nd July with little concern about their potentially risky investments in fossil fuel infrastructure in the country.

4) Going ‘Beyond Extractivism’ on the Global Day Against Mega Mining 2019

Every year on the 22nd of July, communities, organisations and networks mark the Global Day Against Mega Mining (GDAMM) – raising their voices and joining in solidarity to denounce the escalating impacts of large-scale mining around the planet.

5) Global Britain’s real climate changers: Big Oil (and Big Mining) must be taken down

London is a safe haven for carbon generating corporations, it provides developed capital markets, friendly governments, and hardly any opposition to their social licence to operate, until recently. Closely related to the UK’s platform for Big Oil are its close ties with Big Mining. Four of the world’s top six mining giants—BHP, Rio Tinto, Glencore and Anglo American—are listed in the FTSE top 20 companies on the London stock exchange. Another aspect is that (Royal Dutch) Shell, BHP, Glencore and Anglo are in different ways bi-national rather than exclusively UK companies, testimony to the enduring significance of colonial empire in contemporary connections.

6) Johannesburg court approves $353 million silicosis settlement

A Johannesburg High Court on Friday approved a 5 billion rand ($353 million) class action settlement between gold mining companies and law firms representing thousands of miners who contracted the fatal lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis.

7) News about BHP

BHP may be the next big miner to wave goodbye to coal

The world’s number one mining company BHP is said to be mulling options to divest its thermal coal business, which includes assets in Australia and Colombia.

BHP boss warns climate change is an ‘existential’ risk

The head of the world’s biggest mining company has conceded that climate change is an “existential risk” to the planet. BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie warns that the world’s dependence on fossil fuels is undeniable and presents the biggest threat since World War 2.

8) Mining Executives Split on Who Bears Burden of Climate Change

The mining industry is starting to split on who bears responsibility for all the carbon emissions caused by smelting iron ore into steel.

9) Rio Tinto in the news

Mongolia seeks to rewrite Oyu Tolgoi deal with Rio

Mongolian legislators will vote next month whether to rewrite a 2015 investment agreement with mining giant Rio Tinto for the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, located in the Gobi Desert.

Rössing sale gets final approval

The Namibian Competition Commission has conditionally approved China National Uranium Corporation’s (CNUC) acquisition of Rössing Uranium Limited (RUL). It is the only approval needed for the transaction to be completed. Rössing, the world’s longest-running open pit uranium mine, has been in operation since 1976 and has a nameplate capacity of 4500 tonnes U3O8 per year. (This mine was at the heart of rows about sanctions-busting during the days of apartheid.)

Energy Resources Of Australia says Rio Tinto to help with Ranger uranium rehabilitation

Energy Resources Of Australia Ltd (ERA) said its majority owner Rio Tinto had offered to help underwrite part of the cost of rehabilitating the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory. (This mine has been a source of continuous conflict with Aboriginal communities.)

The world’s biggest diamond mine is closing

The world’s biggest diamond mine?—famed more for the fistful of coveted pink and red gems it yields each year than being a major producer of lower-quality stones—is being shuttered by Rio Tinto Group after almost four decades. Rivals from Russia to Canada hope that can help turn around the beleaguered industry. (This mine’s history also involves massive conflict with Aboriginal communities.)

More diamond-quality greenwashing from Rio Tinto

Does the double dealing of self-proclaimed moral miner Rio Tinto know no bounds? And just how stupid does its publicity director Simone Niven think the market is?

10) Update on Vale’s Brumadinho disaster

Vale is a Brazilian mining company with significant UK investment

Brazilian mining company to pay out £86m for disaster that killed almost 300 people

Vale also agreed to pay £150,000 to close relatives of those killed when a dam collapsed at its iron ore mine in Brumadinho

Vale faces investors lawsuit linked to Brumadinho dam burst

A group of investors in Brazil’s Vale , the world’s top iron ore producer, is seeking compensation for losses linked to the deadly dam burst in Brumadinho in January this year, which killed more than 300 people and caused extensive property and environmental damage in the region.

Brazil regulator probes Vale CFO over dam burst disclosures

Brazilian securities regulator CVM has opened two probes into Vale Chief Financial Officer Luciano Siani’s conduct in the aftermath of a dam burst in late January that killed nearly 250 people, according to the CVM’s website.

11) Glencore in the news

DR Congo sends troops to intimidate and remove small miners

The DR Congo’s army appears to be increasingly resorting to brutality and human rights abuses in removing thousands of small-scale workers from mining concessions – including those owned by London-listed Glencore.

Meet Glencore, the global behemoth behind the PolyMet mine project in USA

Giant Glencore is known to regulators, human rights advocates worldwide.

Glencore to cut down on tax-haven subsidiaries as scrutiny grows

Glencore has come under criticism in recent years for its use of companies located in low-tax jurisdictions, with public officials and pressure groups accusing the company of transferring profits out of countries it operates in without paying appropriate levies to national governments.

12) News about Antofagasta

Antofagasta, Barrick get almost $6 billion after legal win against Pakistan

A World Bank tribunal has awarded almost $6 billion to Tethyan Copper Co. (TCC), a joint venture between Antofagasta PLC and Barrick Gold Pakistan, settling this way a seven-year battle over a multi-billion-dollar copper and gold reserve in the country.

A Plan to Mine the Minnesota Wilderness Hit a Dead End. Then Trump Became President.

The project’s reversal of fortunes has angered environmentalists and focused attention on an unusual connection between a Chilean billionaire and President Trump’s family.

13) Danakali to start developing vast potash project in Eritrea

Australia’s Danakali, listed on the London Stock Exchange, is closer than ever to beginning the development of its world-class Colluli potash project in Eritrea, which is expected to become one of the world’s most significant and lowest cost sources of sulphate of potash (SOP), a premium grade fertilizer. There have been very serious concerns about the use of forced labour in the mining industry in Eritrea.

14) Barrick strikes deal with Acacia after sweetening offer, takeover imminent

Canada’s Barrick Gold has bowed to pressure from London-listed Acacia Mining’s minority shareholders, offering a sweetened deal for the African miner that would give Barrick full control. The offer would end a two-month standoff between the world’s second biggest gold miner and its Tanzanian unit, which spun off from Barrick in 2010.

15) Cobalt, nickel, other battery metals face supply crunch by 2020s — report

Growing global demand for batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs) and high tech devices is set to cause a supply crunch of lithium, cobalt and nickel by the mid-2020s, global consultancy Wood Mackenzie predicts.

16) Europe’s largest lithium project could be up and running mid-2022

London-listed European Metals Holdings could begin operations at its Cinovec lithium project in the Czech Republic by mid-2022, and is holding preliminary discussions with potential customers.

17) Anglo American and ‘green’ energy

Anglo American to use only renewable energy in Chile by 2021

Anglo American Plc said on Wednesday it would use only renewable sources to power its mine operations in Chile beginning in 2021, thanks to a deal the global miner signed with the Chilean subsidiary of Italian energy giant Enel.

Amplats, Platinum Group Metals launch battery tech JV

South African platinum miner Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) announced Monday that it has launched a joint venture with Canada’s Platinum Group Metals to accelerate the development of next-generation battery technology using platinum and palladium.

18) Vedanta’s Anil Agarwal and Anglo American

Billionaire Anil Agarwal sells Anglo stake

Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal, the biggest shareholder in mining company Anglo American, said on Thursday he was divesting the nearly 20% stake he has held since 2017.

Billionaire Anil Agarwal’s Anglo American trade a gold mine

Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal may be calling off his charge at Anglo American Plc – but he, his adviser JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the hedge funds that financed him can at least console themselves with the profits they made. The only people who were exposed to any real risk in the adventure look to have been Anglo’s shareholders.

19) Vedanta in Zambia

Zambian government ‘divorces’ Vedanta

On the 20th of May, following weeks of protests and riots which had briefly brought tanks into Chingola, Zambia’s President – Edgar Lungu – announced his government’s intention to liquidate Konkola Copper Mines in order to ‘divorce’ Vedanta Resources as the majority shareholder and seek a new investor.

Vedanta appeals to South African court to protect Zambian business

Vedanta is locked in a dispute with the Zambian government, which accuses KCM of breaching the terms of its licence.

Zambia presses on with liquidating Vedanta unit assets despite ruling

Zambia said it was proceeding with the liquidation of Vedanta Resources’ Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) even after South Africa’s High Court granted the firm an urgent interdict halting the liquidation until a final decision is made through arbitration.

Vedanta should have gone a long time ago, says Zambian opposition leader

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has said his party has been categorical and consistent that Vedanta should have gone a long time ago due to clear breaches and violations of numerous contractual agreements and obligations with the Zambian people.

20) Vedanta in India: A Mountain That Will Not Bow Down To Corporate Loot

Several women at Rengopalli talked about the impending forced evictions there, and the health hazards confronting them from a red mud pond under construction. “We face regular health issues like burning eyes and nose, skin infections, contamination of food and water, etc. due to the dust that flies into our village from the pond built by Vedanta very close to our village. We have not got any health facilities from Vedanta for the health problems we are facing,” say residents of Rengopalli.

21) Community wants South African Constitutional Court to declare R5bn Lonmin deal illegal

Six North West mining communities have launched an application at the Constitutional Court to appeal against a Competition Appeal Court judgment that paved the way for the more than R5-billion merger between Sibanye and Lonmin to be approved. They want both companies to restart merger talks, this time involving Rustenburg mining communities.

22) Xolobeni: The mine, the murder, the DG – and many unanswered questions

A voice from the grave accuses Sandile Nogxina, a former director-general and now advisor to the mining minister, of betraying a community.

New Reports

UK support for human rights defenders

This document outlines the importance of human rights defenders to the UK and how the UK government can support them. (The UK Government must be held to this policy, as so many struggling against UK-linked mining companies are under threat.)

Responsible Mining Index Framework 2020 Published

The Responsible Mining Foundation publishes its new framework ahead of the release of the Responsible Mining Index Report, due in early 2020. The document sets out the core content of the RMI 2020 methodology. It provides a comprehensive reference of the major aspects of responsible mining, based on society’s expectations of large-scale mining companies on economic, environmental, social and governance (EESG) issues.

Fast & fair renewable energy: A practical guide for investors

This briefing sets out how investors can help tackle the climate crisis while respecting human rights in a just transition. It is divided into five snapshots, which provide statistics and case studies highlighting key human rights risks and impacts for each of the major renewable energy subsectors: wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal, and hydropower.