Sunday, June 24, 2012

How many people has Rio Tinto Killed?

Well, I don`t have any exact numbers however one can extrapolate from the available data and safely assume the number is large..Here is what Rio Tinto espouses as policy

"Rio Tinto promotes itself as a responsible and ethical employer and good neighbour, as well as a protector of the environment.  According to The Way We Work, the company’s global code of business conduct, Rio Tinto’s “focus on sustainable development – on economic prosperity, social wellbeing, environmental stewardship and strong governance and integrity systems – provides the framework in which our business operates…” (2)
Rio Tinto maintains that “respect is central to a harmonious workplace, where the rights of employees are upheld and where their dignity is affirmed, free of intimidation, discrimination or coercion of any kind.”(3)

  With regard to human rights, the company professes to “…set out to build enduring relationships with our neighbours that demonstrate mutual respect, active partnership, and long term commitment.”(4)   Finally, with regard to the environment, the company proclaims that “excellence in environmental performance and product stewardship is essential to our business success…Wherever possible we prevent, or else minimise, reduce and remedy the disturbance of the environment"

(That all sounds goods until we start peeling back layers of this onion.. Let`s dig a little deeper.)

Despite the company’s claims, there are countless examples of alleged human and labour rights violations and environmental devastation perpetrated by Rio Tinto around the world and over decades.   From Papua New Guinea to Namibia, from the U.S. to Madagascar, from Cameroon to Indonesia, and from Spain to Canada, Rio Tinto has a long and shameful record.

From its earliest days Rio Tinto has been involved in exploitative labour practices in order to maintain high profits. The Spanish mines at Huelva where Rio Tinto's operations began was the site of numerous industrial actions and during the Spanish civil war Rio Tinto infamously applauded Franco's forces for assassinating strikers and a group of radical miners who occupied their mines.

In Apartheid-era South Africa, Rio Tinto’s Palabora copper mine was accused of underpaying its migrant black labour force, failing to reach even the minimum wage set by the South African Institute of Race Relations. 

Rio Tinto’s representatives have pursued global profit by breaking the law.    In 2009, four Rio Tinto employees were detained in Shanghai on corruption charges, and all were found guilty in March 2010, with sentences varying from 7 to 14 years.

Do you see that massive hole in the ground, this is what Tesako planned for their prosperity mine proposal, a massive hole in the ground only Tesako was going one step further, that big hole, the material removed needs to be placed somewhere, where might you ask, Tesako made the claim in their FIRST proposal that Fish Lake would be used as a dumping ground, a mother nature made natural lake to be sacrificed and used as a tailing`s dump site, the lake would be killed, fish sacrificed, the Fraser river watershed put at risk and contaminated..

Mr. Prentice, a one-time Conservative minister of the environment SOUNDLY rejected the project, the reason for the rejection was because the environmental cost was far too high, the Federal ruling shocked me, I was sure that Harper`s henchman would have rubber-stamped the project, considering that Christy Clark`s Government gave the project a two-thumbs up, BC Liberals were more than willing to sacrifice the environment and no amount of environmental damage would stand in their way of rubber-stamping this ecological crime.

Tesako also in their application made the claim that without the ability to use and destroy Fish Lake, a mother nature ready in hand nearby dumping ground that the project wouldn`t be viable...

But that was then this is now, Harper had but a minority Government and Mr. Prentice ran out the Federal Conservative door as fast as he could...Tesako has their proposal back on the table, the only change in theeir proposal is...They are proposing sacrificing a different lake...Little fish lake, the environmental devestation will be virtually the same..

Now with Stephen (treason) Harper shredding all environmental oversight, hundreds pf changes to the fish act, changes to species at risk act all contained in his trojan-horse omni-bus bill C-38,  with scientists, DFO, EAO, muzzled, neutered and threatened, add that with Christy Clark surrendering British Columbia`s Government to Ken Bosenkool, a Stephen Harper plant and Enbridge lobbyist the writing is on the wall..

Mining is no panacea, we aren`t talking about picks and shovels we are talking almost automated industrial mining which means using industrial poisons on scales never before seen in the province..

Perhaps we need to dig a little deeper(pun intended)


Taking inspiration from the Occupy movement, in late December a group of doctors and environmental groups in Salt Lake City, Utah, announced a lawsuit against the third-largest mining corporation in the world, Rio Tinto, for violating the Clean Air Act in Utah. This is likely the first time ever that physicians have sued industry for harming public health.

Air pollution causes between 1,000 and 2,000 premature deaths every year in Utah.
(1) Moreover, medical research in the last ten years has firmly established that air pollution causes the same broad array of diseases well known to result from first- and secondhand cigarette smoke - strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, virtually every kind of lung disease, neurologic diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, loss of intelligence, chromosomal damage, higher rates of diabetes, obesity, adverse birth outcomes, and various cancers such as lung cancer, breast cancer and leukemia. (2-12)
Most of Utah's cities are in violation of many of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) national air quality standards, and for several days during a typical winter, Utah is plagued by the worst air pollution in the country. The American Lung Association routinely gives Utah's largest cities an "F" for our air quality. Last February, Forbes Magazine, hardly a cheerleader for excessive environmental protection, rated Salt Lake City as the ninth most toxic city in the country, and the biggest contributor to that ranking was the mining and smelting operations at the Bingham Canyon mine, run by London-based mining conglomerate Rio Tinto/Kennecott (RTK). 

This is the world's largest open-pit mine and has created the largest mining-related water pollution problem in the world. The mine is located on the western doorstep of Salt Lake City, home to 1.8 million people. There is no comparable juxtaposition of an enormous mining operation this close to such a large urban center. RTK's mine and smelter operations account for 30 percent of the particulate matter emitted into the atmosphere over Salt Lake County (14), making it by far the largest source of industrial pollution in the urban areas of Utah.  

The smelting operations and fugitive dust from the 1,100-foot-high waste rock piles and tailings ponds are a constant source of highly toxic heavy metal contamination - lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium - to the air, water and soil of Utah's largest city.  The mining industry watchdog Earthworks states that before the most recently approved expansion, RTK was releasing 695 million pounds of toxic material into the Salt Lake City environment every year. (15) Because heavy metals do not degrade, are not combustible and cannot be destroyed, that heavy metal toxicity steadily increases year after year, as it has for the over 100 years of the mine's operation. Despite this extreme burden on public health, predictably, the Utah Division of Air Quality recently issued a permit for RTK to expand their operations by 32 percent, which will make their pollution emissions even worse.  

Read more at below link


These problems with open pit mining are so bad that Utah doctors have filed law suits, and of course none of these issues ever appear on Global television or print, the Vancouver sun and Province are low-budget low-hanging fruit papers more interested in propaganda designed to draw in Government advertising dollars than keeping people informed, any real data any real hard-hitting stories come from the internet, specifically bloggers and small web news sites..

And there`s more, Rio- Tinto and Olympic greenwash continues, five-ring circus comes to mind, corrupt, greenwash and more corruption, the only thing constant with Olympics and Olympic bids is Corruption..


In April of this year, while the 2012 Olympics test events were continuing apace in the pools and stadiums of London, I was with a documentary film crew in Salt Lake City, Utah - driving up, and into, one of the largest open-pit mines in the world. With the mercury rising to record levels in this arid corner of the western US, a trip to the Kennecott Copper Mine was less a visitor's tour than it was a fact-finding mission.

This year's medals, the largest and heaviest in Olympic history, will be made almost entirely from the raw materials extracted and smelted at the Kennecott Copper Mine, owned by Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto. But now this mine is also at the centre of a federal lawsuit in the Utah courts, where Rio Tinto Kennecott stands accused of violating the US Clean Air Act for over five years.

 Stretching 3.22km wide and 1.2km deep, the Kennecott mining operation, generating one quarter of all US copper, as well as a portion of its gold, silver and molybdenum, has never been too far from controversy. Its size has much to do with it: producing more copper than any other mine in history, it is said to be the largest man-made hole on the planet. But the vast amount of waste generated as a result of the mine has made it the single largest industrial polluter in the Salt Lake City basin, contributing a hefty amount to the region's total overall pollution.

Now a coalition of environmental, health and advocacy groups have said Rio Tinto are endangering the health of Salt Lake City citizens by flouting emission standards set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Read more here...


Christy Clark and her Federal Conservative Government must be prevented from making any decisions, they are a wounded animal backed into a corner, the 2013 election is over, BC Liberals are finished, as a wounded animal knowing death is near they will still bite, growl and infect others with corporate rabies...

The Straight Goods

Cheers Eyes Wide Open


Anonymous said...

There is no doubt. BC is the province hit the hardest, by Harper's evil greed. The Campbell/Clark BC Liberals, are just as evil as Harper is, in their own, senseless greed. As if we don't know, Christy fully supports the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty tar tankers.

We fully expected Prosperity Mine, to rear it's ugly head for the expansion. We knew the back door was left open, to reapply for the expansion.

As long as Harper has permitted his evil self, to destroy BC, and sell out the tar sands to Communist China. This country is not safe.

Harper and his ranting raving henchmen and the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals, are equal in their disgusting greed. Imagine stringing a pipeline through northern BC. Massive dirty tar tankers, that go into the most treacherous of seas? That's a stupid, idiotic, senseless plot.

If those fools aren't stopped...BC will become a polluted wasteland. It is going to take, extreme civil disobedience, to stop the atrocities on our province by, Harper and his terrorists.

Can you imagine anything as stupid to poison a lake, that will leach into the clean underground water? That will poison all the wildlife who rely on clean lake, river and stream water? Hell no, the evil BC Liberals are just as stupid and senseless, as Harper is.

Don F. said...

Good work on cknw today 'Fred' I absolutely believe that his phone connection was lost and he never heard your comment, absolutely!
I think filling in a lake will seem like a minor rash by the time the Gateway pipeline shows it's consequences. That is when the mask comes off of this government and all hell breaks loose in this province.
They will show us then how much they give a shit about our environmental concerns, our rights and our voice. Many innocent people will die as never seen before in this country and their hand will be shown the bluff ended.
I will probably be amongst the dead as I am older and an easy kill but I do not regret the choice to fight for the future of my grandchildren, I see it as my responsability. Perhaps it is still in me to take one of them with me.