MAC: Mines and Communities

Down the tubes

Published by MAC on 2007-09-11

Down the tubes

11th September 2007

Rio Tinto seems about to seal the knot with Alcan - making it the world's biggest aluminnum producer.

Just a month before, it had signed a contract with the Malaysian government to access hydro-power from rainforested Sarawak's highly controversial Bakun dam for a huge aluminium smelter.


So, why aren't people rushing to share the venture it launched in April to "you-tube" the world?

Sweeping in a new visual era at Rio Tinto

The Age

13th September 2007

EVERYONE'S getting the YouTube bug.

There are videos of Jackass wannabes and private school students beating each other up.

Even Prime Minister John Howard makes an appearance, pleading for peace from protesters during APEC.

Back in April - we assure you it wasn't the 1st - Rio Tinto decided to get in on the act, launching its own dedicated YouTube station called RioTintoVideos to share the company's vision with the world.

"Visitors can comment on our videos, share them with others, and insert them in blogs and other websites," declared the mining giant on the station's launch.

Unfortunately for Rio, the world has been somewhat less enthusiastic.

So far just one person has bothered to post a comment, a user by the name of BobMonkfish. He says Rio has "one of the most appalling international reputations", and makes the erroneous * claim that Rio was connected with human rights atrocities in Bougainville.

Hardly the kind of feedback Rio was after.

But what's more amusing is the choice of videos on Rio's YouTube channel.

In among the promotional clips about mining iron ore in the Pilbara and titanium in Quebec, is one titled Yellowknife Mixed Broomball Final - Double Overtime.

And another called Yellowknife Broomball 2006-2007.

Yellowknife is a town in the Northwest Territories of Canada, about 45 kilometres from the Arctic Circle, where Rio has its headquarters for the Diavik Diamond Mine.

Broomball is an offbeat Canadian sport that's a cross between ice hockey and curling - you use a broom instead of a stick.

It's the kind of thing that helps pass time when you live 45 kilometres from the Arctic Circle.

Thanks to RioTintoVideos, we can inform shareholders that Fire Prevention beat Diavik Team Four in this year's mixed broomball final in Yellowknife.

The crowd of three people seemed to really enjoy double overtime, too.

Go to to check it out.

[Editorial note: While The Age is entitled to its opinion, this claim has not yet been tested before a court, although a legal case has been submitted in the US. To call it "erroneous" may therefore be jumping the gun.]


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