MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Latin American Update

Published by MAC on 2006-09-09


Latin American Update

9th September 2006

Just over a week back, the world's largest mining company threatened never to re-negotiate a pay agreement with its workers at the huge Escondida copper mine in Chile. Now BHPBiliton has signed a new contract - causing mineworkers elsewhere in Latin America to be riled at the lack of rewards they receive from the sub-continent's mineral "bonanza".

Another leading mining multinational, Anglo American, has been indicted by a Peoples' Tribunal for human rights abuses in Colombia. The UK company is also being targeted - along with partners Xstrata and BHPBilltion - for other abuses in the benighted Latin American country. Candidates for the forthcoming provincial elections in New Brunswick, Canada, are being asked to pledge that, if elected, the would ban imports from the notorious El Cerrjon coal mine.

The president of Alumbrera - managed by Xsrata - may be indicted for criminal acts after a district attorney presented evidence, concealed by the company, of pollution at Argentina's biggest copper mine. (The allegations first surfaced in English on the MAC website.)

Thanks to Friends of the Earth Brazil, we also present alarming allegations of iron, alumininum, mercury and arsenic pollution, from various mining operations in the sub-continent's most populous state.

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