Dear friends,

We welcome the fact that popular pressure over climate impacts has forced the UK Government to call a public inquiry into the proposed new metallurgical coal mine in West Cumbria in north western England. Congratulations to LMN member group Coal Action Network for the key role it has played in this struggle.

At the same time, we welcome the publication of the new report from LMN member group War on Want, A Material Transition, about the social and ecological impacts of mining minerals for the energy transition. We must avoid replacing one form of destructive extractivism with another. As the report’s author, LMN Co-chair Andy Whitmore, points out in an opinion piece for the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, we need a complete transformation of the way we use minerals.

Indigenous Peoples are among the first to suffer from new mining projects, as so much of the expansion of the mining frontier is in indigenous territories. In this mailout you will find news of violations of indigenous land rights in Amazonia, Australia and around the world by mining companies including London-listed Anglo American, BHP, Glencore and Rio Tinto. Some Aboriginal people in Australia plan to rate mining companies according to how well they respect Indigenous rights. Please sign the petition against Brazilian President Bolsonaro’s opening up of indigenous territories in Amazonia to the mining industry.

You will find a lot of of news below about Rio Tinto, in preparation for its 9 April online AGM, and we will be sending more the next couple of weeks, with suggestions for action in solidarity with the communities in conflict with the company.

We also report on the way in which London-listed GCM Resources used COVID-19 to avoid any meaningful scrutiny at its 25 February AGM.

And there is plenty more news below.

All the best,

Richard Solly, London Mining Network Co-ordinator.

In this mailout

Take Action!

Stop Bolsonaro destroying the Amazon rainforest!

Recent LMN activities

Recording: Resisting Mining Book Club, Resource Radicals

New anti-protest bill raises profound concern and alarm

New reports

From LMN member group War on Want: A Material Transition

On the Mines and Communities website: Mining and COVID-19 – All the world’s at C

From Union of Concerned Scientists: New Nuclear Power Plants May Pose Greater Risk Than Conventional Reactors

From World Tailings Dam Failures, review of tailings dam risks in selected locations


1) Expanding mining in the Brazilian Amazon – Bolsonaro, BlackRock and Anglo American

2) Rio Tinto in the news in the run-up to its 9 April AGM

3) BHP, Rio Tinto given carte blanche to export uranium to global hotspots

4) Aboriginal group to rate Australian miners on performance

5) Aggreko plc – Are You Benefiting from Modern Slavery in Eritrea?

6) Indian federal police charge 71 anti-Vedanta protesters over 2018 violence

7) Cerrejon coal and the threat of more mining in northeastern Colombia

8) Glencore in the news

9) BHP, Vale and the Samarco tailings dam disaster

10) Vale under attack over Simandou and Brumadinho

11) More news about BHP

12) Anglo American in Zambia and Chile

13) Human rights abuse claims involving Petra Diamonds in Tanzania

14) GCM evading scrutiny over Bangladesh coal project

15) UK: New coal project in West Cumbria held up

16) Drawing the Pacific Blue Line: Call for a global ban on deep sea mining

Take Action!

Stop Bolsonaro destroying the Amazon rainforest!

Brazilian President Bolsonaro says it’s his ‘dream’ to open up the Amazon rainforest for mining, but for the Indigenous People who call it their home, it’s a nightmare.

Recent LMN activities

Recording: Resisting Mining Book Club, Resource Radicals

LMN was delighted to be joined by guest speaker Thea Riofrancos for the launch of the first Resisting Mining Book Club. Thea spoke about her recently published book Resource Radicals: From Petro-Nationalism to Post-Extractivism in Ecuador (Duke University Press, 2020) and took questions from the crowd.

New anti-protest bill raises profound concern and alarm, human rights groups say

LMN recently signed a joint letter objecting to the UK government’s attempts to rush through very restrictive legislation to limit the right to protest – which would have a severely limiting effect on our own activities.

New reports

New report from LMN member group War on Want

War on Want’s new report was written by LMN Co-chair Andy Whitmore, who also wrote the accompanying opinion piece for the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre.

A Material Transition

A Material Transition: Exploring supply and demand solutions for renewable energy minerals‘ examines the potential widespread environmental destruction and human rights abuses unleashed by the extraction of transition minerals – the raw materials needed for the production of renewable energy technologies.

A super-cycle cyclone? Energy transition minerals and a just recovery

The switch to a fossil fuel free future shares many similarities with pandemic recovery. Both are born out of tragic crises, and yet both provide welcome opportunities for business and society. Both have been triggered or accelerated by aspects of modern living, which challenge us to reconsider our lifestyles.

New report on Mines and Communities website: All the world’s at C

Veteran mining researcher Roger Moody, of LMN member group Partizans, has just published the second part of a reflection on the mining industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. This part concentrates especially on Rio Tinto, whose AGM (annual meeting for shareholders) takes place on 9 April.

New Nuclear Power Plants May Pose Greater Risk Than Conventional Reactors

According to a report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) on March 18, a new generation of advance nuclear power reactors that are currently in development may be no safer than conventional nuclear power units.

New report on tailings dam risks in selected locations

Summary of findings by World Tailings Dam Failures


1) Expanding mining in the Brazilian Amazon – Bolsonaro, BlackRock and Anglo American

Brazil: Lands with isolated indigenous peoples are the target of half of mining requests, according to report

Indigenous rights activists warn the scenario may only get worse, citing a bill proposed by the Bolsonaro administration that aims to allow mining activity on Indigenous lands. This bill, known as 191/2020, was shelved last year by Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of the lower house of Congress at the time. But there are fears that it will be revived under the newly inaugurated speaker, Arthur Lira, whose campaign was supported by Bolsonaro.

Anglo American won’t rule out mining on Indigenous lands in the Amazon

Anglo American has up to 86 applications pending to mine on Indigenous lands in the Brazilian Amazon — a practice that is currently prohibited but could soon be allowed under a controversial bill.

BlackRock must commit to Indigenous rights — not just climate change

BlackRock is an investment management firm reportedly with $8 trillion in assets. It is also well documented for its financing of large-scale mining, fossil fuel production and agribusiness projects across Latin America doing harm to Indigenous communities in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Brazil and elsewhere.

81 Indigenous leaders, environmental defenders slam BlackRock in open letter

A letter signed by Indigenous leaders and environmental defenders from the Amazon, West Africa, Southeast Asia and elsewhere blasts BlackRock for failing to hold companies in its investment portfolio accountable for deforestation and land grabs.

BlackRock to press companies about their policies related to human rights, biodiversity, deforestation and water

Environmental group Amazon Watch welcomed BlackRock’s moves but said they didn’t go far enough. “BlackRock should adopt a definitive no-deforestation and human rights policy with clear accountability mechanisms that result in concrete improvements for communities, ecosystems, and the planet,” [said] Moira Birss, Amazon Watch’s climate and finance director.

Illegal mining destroyed 500 football fields worth of Brazilian indigenous land in 2020

A new report has revealed that forest lost in Yanomami Indigenous Territory (TIY) to illegal mining in 2020 is equivalent to 500 football fields.

2) Rio Tinto in the news in the run-up to its 9 April AGM

Investing in Rio Tinto? Here’s what you should know

Ahead of this April’s AGM, we’ve put together briefing papers for anyone thinking of investing in Rio Tinto. Written with community members and activists, these papers show the reality of living with Rio Tinto’s operations. Across the world, the environmental and social damage done by Rio Tinto is immense. (For information about Rio Tinto’s legacy in the Pacific Rim, see our Fenruary 2020 report, Cut and Run)

Class action against Rio Tinto over Oyu Tolgoi escalates

A new claim filed in a US court on Thursday over Rio Tinto’s handling of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine expansion in Mongolia alleges the mining giant concealed the real cause of the delays that have held back its most important growth project.

Rio Tinto backs activist resolution to set emissions targets consistent with Paris agreement

Miner’s board also says it supports suspending membership of industry associations that lobby against climate action.

Soaring prices spur miners’ hunt for growth, fueling indigenous and investor ire

Miners from Australia to Canada are expanding operations despite concerns from indigenous groups about damage to wildlife, water supplies and religious sites, rankling investors who are pressuring the industry to improve its environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.

Rio Tinto steps up efforts to repair damaged Indigenous ties

Rio Tinto continues to make public its efforts to repair its damaged relations with Australian traditional landowners after the destruction a 46,000-year-old sacred site last year, by outlining detailed plans to improve its cultural heritage management.

Are Rio Tinto shareholders going to give more than lip service towards righting their wrongs?

While the outrage that erupted from Rio Tinto’s wilful and deliberate destruction of Juukan Gorge has not yet diminished, the company has made a commercial decision to ‘modernise’ its agreements with Traditional Owners, but it is not prepared to engage in negotiations about paying increased compensation or royalties for the hundreds of millions of tonnes of high-grade iron ore it pulls from the ground annually.

3) BHP, Rio Tinto given carte blanche to export uranium to global hotspots

The Fukushima nuclear disaster, fuelled by Australian uranium mined by multinationals BHP and Rio Tinto, was entirely avoidable, as numerous reports have found. Yet neither company has taken any responsibility for the catastrophic impacts on Japanese society that resulted from the use of their uranium in a poorly regulated industry.

4) Aboriginal group to rate Australian miners on performance

An Aboriginal group said it plans a scorecard to rate miners including Fortescue and Rio Tinto in Western Australia’s iron ore heartland, on how well they comply with various environmental, social and governance metrics.

5) Aggreko plc – Are You Benefiting from Modern Slavery in Eritrea?

Freedom United and LMN member group Eritrea Focus have published an open letter to London-listed company Aggreko plc. Aggreko has just signed an agreement to work with Australian miner Danakali on its Colluli Potash Project in Eritrea, which operates a system of state-backed forced labour. Seeing that Aggreko claims to have a “zero tolerance approach” to modern slavery, how can it justify working in Eritrea?

6) Indian federal police charge 71 anti-Vedanta protesters over 2018 violence

India’s federal police have charged 71 people for rioting during deadly protests over environmental concerns at Vedanta Ltd’s copper smelter in Tamil Nadu state three years ago, where 13 people were killed, causing national outrage and the subsequent closure of the Sterlite Copper plant in May 2018 for alleged pollution. Vedanta was listed on the London Stock Exchange until 2018 and retains an office in the city.

7) Cerrejon coal and the threat of more mining in northeastern Colombia

Cerrejon Coal is owned by London-listed Anglo American, BHP and Glencore

Cerrejón, Colombian Indigenous community launch agreement over environmental concerns

This article reflects the perspective of the company. The community of Provincial is sadly divided and there are very different views of this agreement. We expect further statements to be made in the near future.

The Challenges of Chancleta, a community with its own identity

Chancleta is an Afro-descendant community in La Guajira, Colombia. Cerrejón Coal forcibly resettled Chancleta and its neighbouring community, Patilla, in 2013.

Colombia opens five mining areas to potential bids

The five blocks, which cover an area of 6,559 hectares (16,208 acres), are located in Colombia’s Cesar and La Guajira provinces. In the view of activists within LMN and its member groups working with communities affected by Cerrejon Coal, expanding mining in the region would be disastrous.

8) Glencore in the news

Mining companies flout human rights conventions when negotiating with Indigenous Australians, study finds

Companies, including Origin Energy and Glencore, have failed to adequately obtain consent from traditional owners for some projects, RMIT University researchers say.

Australia: Indigenous community raises concerns over Glencore’s McArthur River Mine

A media report alleges potential adverse impacts of Glencore’s McArthur River Mine to members of local indigenous community nearby.

Mitsubishi strikes deal with Glencore to buy stake in bauxite project

Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp said on Thursday it has agreed to buy a 30% stake in the Aurukun bauxite project in Australia from mining giant Glencore Plc for an undisclosed sum.

London trader Stratton to sell First Cobalt’s refinery output in 5-yr deal

First Cobalt in January said it would buy cobalt hydroxide from Glencore’s Kamoto Copper Company operation in Democratic Republic of the Congo for five years starting in 2022.

Glencore’s Antapaccay mine suspends operations over community blockade

Antapaccay copper mine in Peru, controlled by Glencore, announced the suspension of operations due to a road blockade by local communities.

Glencore chairman Tony Hayward to step down by 2022

The decision, disclosed in Glencore’s annual report, is part of a change of the guard at company. It comes after long-serving chief executive Ivan Glasenberg announced he was leaving the company in June. He is being replaced by hand-picked successor Gary Nagle.

9) BHP, Vale and the Samarco tailings dam disaster

Mining restarts at Samarco after deadly disaster

BHP has resumed its operations at the Samarco mine, five years after the 2015 Fundão dam disaster which killed 20 people, destroyed 3 villages and polluted over 600km of rivers with toxic mine waste.

Vast Brazil lawsuit in UK against BHP over 2015 dam failure hits buffers

A 200,000-strong Brazilian claimant group said on Wednesday it had failed to resurrect a 5.0 billion pound ($6.9 billion) English lawsuit against Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP over a devastating 2015 dam failure.

Mariana disaster case judge’s impartiality under suspicion

Records of meetings held between the judge responsible for the Mariana disaster case and lawyers from Espírito Santo state in 2020 and 2021 indicate a possible suspicion of judge Mário de Paula Franco Júnior. In the videos, obtained exclusively by the Mining Observatory, the judge of the 12th Federal Court of Minas Gerais admits that many people who should not receive compensations will receive and those who should receive will be left out.

10) Vale under attack over Simandou and Brumadinho

Brazilian iron ore mining company Vale has UK investment, including from HSBC.

Vale executives investigated in Brazil over Simandou deal

Police in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will investigate Vale CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo and other executives and former directors over the deal to explore the giant Simandou iron-ore mine in Guinea.

Harmed by billionaire agreement, people affected by Vale’s crime in Brumadinho sue STF

Communities affected by Vale’s socio-environmental crime in Brumadinho filed a lawsuit in the Federal Supreme Court (STF), asking for the suspension of the homologation of the reparation agreement concluded last week between the company and the government of Minas Gerais.

11) More news about BHP

Mining giant BHP is investigating how an Aboriginal heritage site located at one of its West Australian iron ore mines was damaged.

Traditional Owners in Western Australia’s Pilbara region are investigating damage to an Aboriginal heritage site at a BHP iron ore mine.

BHP’s denial of responsibility for impacts in Chile does not satisfy its critics

Questions were raised at last year’s BHP AGM about the company’s impacts in Chile. But the company’s responses have failed to satisfy its critics.

BHP and its Antamina mine in Peru – Doubts from its online shareholder engagement session from 2020

LMN together with member groups TerraJusta and Global Justice Now have written to BHP with a critique of its replies to questions raised about its operations in Peru at its online shareholder engagement session last September.

BHP moves exploration team to Toronto to grow copper, nickel pipeline

BHP is moving its exploration headquarters to Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, as it looks to grow its pipeline of “green metals” projects, particularly in copper and nickel.

12) Anglo American in Zambia and Chile

Investors should press Anglo American to tackle toxic lead legacy in Zambia

LMN and other rights groups wrote to 10 leading ESG investment firms urging them to intervene.

Continued impunity for Anglo American despite its impacts on the community of El Melón

Chile faces one of the worst water scarcity crises in recent years. One of the main causes is mining activity in its territory. There is massive extraction of water by transnational and national mining companies. Inequality in access to water in Chile is extremely high because of inequality in the distribution of water rights. There is a close relationship between water scarcity and the presence of mining activity in the territories. This situation directly affects the community of El Melón.

13) Human rights abuse claims involving Petra Diamonds in Tanzania

Petra Diamonds’ mine guards face fresh human rights abuse claims

UK-based corporate watchdog RAID said on Thursday it had further evidence that guards employed by London-listed Petra Diamonds at its Williamson diamond mine in Tanzania deliberately caused “serious harm” to local residents shot on the company’s concession.

Mine that produced Queen’s diamond investigates claims of abuses by guards

Petra Diamonds already faces court action on similar grounds, as its contractors are accused of continued assaults on illegal miners.

14) GCM evading scrutiny over Bangladesh coal project

GCM: Hello! Is there anybody there?

On Thursday 25 February, GCM Resources plc held on online AGM from which it excluded all but a handful of its shareholders, hiding behind COVID-19 restrictions – as if people might catch the virus by participating in an online meeting!

GCM Resources: avoiding scrutiny

A Joint Statement by Phulbari Solidarity Group, London Mining Network, Foil Vedanta, Urgewald and XR Asian Affinity Network

GCM runs scared of its own shareholders

London Mining Network wrote to GCM Resources on 1 February urging it to hold some kind of online engagement session for its shareholders. We pointed out that, as a company with a rather limited number of retail shareholders, such a meeting could easily be hosted on Zoom. We noted that, in the light of GCM’s continual financial losses, if it were unable to afford a Zoom account of its own, London Mining Network may be able to consider hosting GCM’s AGM on our own Zoom account. We received no reply. We assume, therefore, that GCM Resources is deliberately trying to evade engagement with, and accountability to, its own shareholders. It remains, as it always has been, a model of poor corporate practice.

15) UK: New coal project in West Cumbria held up

Government intervenes in plan for Cumbria coal mine after climate backlash

U-turn by secretary of state Robert Jenrick comes following ‘increasing controversy’ over the project, says a letter seen by The Independent

Public inquiry called into West Cumbria coal mine

In a surprise decision, the West Cumbria coal mine application is going to a public inquiry called by Robert Jenrick (Secretary of State), announced on 11 March.

16) Drawing the Pacific Blue Line: Call for a global ban on deep sea mining

A collection of Pacific civil society groups, including the Pacific Conferences of Churches (PCC), Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO), Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), and the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) released an open letter calling for Deep Sea Mining to be banned across the globe. Other signatories on the letter include the Pacific Youth Council, Greenpeace and WWF.