Background Archive

Jul 23 2008

Aluminium Production in its Global Context


By Snorri Páll Jónsson Úlfhildarson, originally published in Morgunblaðið.

In a brochure named “Norðurál and the Community” [Norðurál is Century Aluminum], published by the company, one can e.g. read about the global process of aluminium production. Century Aluminium has its bauxite mines in Jamaica and now plans to open up one in West Congo, in cooperation with one of the world’s corrupt regimé.

It immediately catch one’s eyes that in Norðurál’s brochure, the word bauxite is not menitoned once and according to an explination picture, which is supposed to show the aluminium process from beginning to end, the production starts when alumina is unshipped in to a huge harbour silo.

How can it be? Is Norðurál such an environmentally friendly company that it does not even have to mine bauxite to be able to smelt aluminium? Does Norðurál have any different methods than other aluminium producers? No, this is what we call greenwashing!

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Jul 19 2008

Jamaica Bauxite Mining Videos


An overview of various videos showing the effects of bauxite mining and refining in Jamaica. Note that references to Kaiser and St Ann’s refer to Century Aluminum’s subsidiary activities in Jamaica, while Winalco is a subsidiary of ALCOA. Read More

Jul 15 2008

Reykjavik Energy Linked to Torture


This week Frettabladid and Iceland Review reported that Saving Iceland rejected an offer from Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (Reykjavik Energy) to receive a grant. Vice-chairman of OR, Ásta Thorleifsdóttir, told Fréttabladid that she admires the vision of the Saving Iceland organization.

“We applaud that OR has started listening to criticism, and that this has lead to the cancellation of plans to buid the Bitruvirkjun plant in Hengill. However, Hellisheidi is still being expanded for aluminium and this is not something we support at all. OR is a company that is still directly involved in heavy industry expansion, so we can not accept any donations from them,” says Saving Iceland’s Jaap Krater. Read More

Jul 12 2008
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Saving Iceland Prepares to Target Hellisheiðarvirkjun


Hengill The 4th Saving Iceland action camp has now begun in a beautiful threatened geothermal valley beside Hellisheiðisvirkjun in the Hengill area, where it will target the expansion of the geothermal power station for the Grundartangi plant and other Southwestern heavy industry projects. (1)
This year activists from Iceland, Australia, America, Denmark, Germany, Britain, Holland, France, Belgium and Italy amongst others have joined the campaign as information about the destruction of Iceland’s wilderness has spread. This year the campaign will focus specifically on the humanitarian effects of aluminium production, from the genocides associated with mining in India, South America, Jamaica and more, to the use of aluminium for arms manufacture and the defence industry (2). Read More

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Jul 10 2008

Energy Companies Destroying Þeistareykir


Þeistareykir testdrilling A recent exploration of the geothermal drilling sites in the North of Iceland by some members of Saving Iceland, uncovered shocking evidence of pollution and ecological damage at the Þeistareykir geothermal area near to Husavík.
Þeistareykir is one of three sites in the North currently being test drilled and researched to power the upcoming 250,000 tonne ALCOA smelter proposed at Bakki in Husavík. The area is about an hours drive from the main road down a rough track, and is located about half way between Husavík and Krafla (the biggest geothermal zone in the North, where extensive expansion to the current power plant is also taking place). Read More

Jul 06 2008

Iceland Overheats


Icelandic Economy Suffers as Century Shareholders Make Record Profit
By Jaap Krater

Century first quarter 2008 results, 233$ loss while stock prices soar As inflation rates in Iceland soared to 8.7% and the Icelandic krona lost a third of it’s value, US-based Century Aluminum started construction of a much disputed aluminium smelter at Helguvik, southwest of the capital Reykjavik. The Icelandic economy is suffering from overheating as billions are spent on construction of new power plants and heavy industry projects. The central bank raised the overnight interest rate to a whopping 15% to control further price increases as Icelanders see their money’s value disappearing like snow. It would seem that the last thing the tiny Icelandic economy needs is further capital injections.

But Icelandic investors are making record profits from the new projects. The value of shares sold to them by Century less than a year ago to finance the Helguvik smelter has increased by 33%, though the company has not made a profit in years. Read More

May 29 2008
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Founder of Saving Iceland Acquitted


iceland-police-state.jpgÓlafur Páll Sigurðsson, the founder of Saving Iceland, has been acquitted. Sigurðsson had been accused of vandalizing a police car, using only his fists.
In the end of July 2006, during the 2nd protest camp of Saving Iceland against the dams at Kárahnjúkar, an unmarked 4×4 police car came driving towards the camp site and started photgraphing people having their lunch. A few of the protestors walked towards the car, including Sigurðsson. When he stepped in front of the stationary vehicle the driver of the car, Arinbjörn Snorrason, accelerated suddenly and drove into Sigurðsson, who saved his life by putting his hands on the bonnet of the car and jumping out of its way.
Armand: Brave Cops of Iceland Read More

Jan 07 2008

‘Concerning the Fundamental Values of Society’ by Miriam Rose


A talk which opened a panel discussion at the ‘Reykjavikur Akademia’ with the topic ‘What are the Fundamental Values of Society’ 20 November 2007. Panelists included Reykjavik Chief of Police Stefán Eiríksson, historian and Left Green MP Guðfríður Lilja Grétarsdóttir and philosopher Viðar Thorsteinsson.

For those of you who don’t already know me, my name is Miriam Rose, and I am an activist and environmental scientist from the UK. I have been asked to speak today on my experience of the basic values of Icelandic society, based on an interview I did on Kastljos in October, after I was threatened with deportation from Iceland for my part in actions against the heavy industry policy of your government. The letter of requested deportation which I received explained that I may be expelled from Iceland for a minimum of three years as my behavior constitutes a ‘threat to the fundamental values of society’.
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Oct 22 2007
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Imminent Man-Made Volcanic Eruption Courtesy of ALCOA and Icelandic Government


Upptyppingar

Upptyppingar

Today at the annual general meeting of the Icelandic Glaciological Society the geophysicist Páll Einarsson confirmed that a volcanic eruption is imminent in one or two years time in Upptyppingar near Askja. He said this was a direct result of the inundation of Kárahnjúkar. He also claimed that the earthquakes that had started in February, ceased temporarily when the inundation was halted, but as soon as it was continued the tremors began again. The water in Halslon weighs two billion tons now and over 4000 earthquakes have been recorded since February.
Einarsson added that it was a mystery why the effects of the inundation were felt 20 kilometers away from Karahnjukar, instead of in the immediate vicinity of the dams.

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Oct 08 2007

Behind the Shining: Aluminum’s Dark Side


An IPS/SEEN/TNI report, 2001

This important and lengthy report from the Washington based Sustainable Energy and Economy Network is highly informative about the operational structure of the aluminum industry and the resulting impacts on human rights and the environment.

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