'Century Aluminum' Tag Archive

Jul 27 2008

Pollution from Smelters Damages Teeth in Sheep


Iceland Review – Sigurdur Sigurdarson, a veterinarian at Keldur in south Iceland, claims that fluorine pollution from aluminum smelter is causing teeth-damages in livestock and encourages sheep farmers who live near smelters to pay close attention to the symptoms. Read More

Jul 25 2008
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Saving Iceland Invades Landsvirkjun for Alcoa’s Severe Human Rights Abuses


Við hús Friðriks Sophussonar PROTESTS AGAINST LANDSVIRKJUN’S PLANNED DAMS IN ÞJÓRSÁ RIVER AND THE CONNECTION BETWEEN LANDSVIRKJUN AND ALCOA

REYKJAVÍK  – Today 30 activists from the international campaign Saving Iceland have invaded the Landsvirkjun (national power company) building (Háaleitisbraut 68) to disrupt work. Earlier this morning Saving Iceland activists dammed the house of Landsvirkjun director Friðrik Sophusson and nailed an eviction notice to his door.

“We oppose Landsvirkjun’s intentions to build the four Þjórsá and Tungnaá dams for Rio Tinto at Straumsvik (1,2), despite the referendum. They are also negotiating to dam Skjálfandafljót and Jökuslá á Fjöllum for ALCOA’s planned Bakki smelter (3,4). This is on top of the mess they are making of Þeistareykir (5) and the deep drilling into Mount Krafla, right next to the tourist attraction. LV are doing this for a company that is a self-admitted arms dealer (6) and has been in the news again and again for it’s gross abuse of human rights. (7) This company should not be welcomed by Landsvirkjun,” says Jaap Krater from Saving Iceland.

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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 21 2008
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Saving Iceland Blockades Century Aluminum Smelter and Elkem Steel Factory


Tripods used for the first time in Icelandic history GRUNDARTANGI – A short while ago 20 activists from Saving Iceland blockaded the single supply road to Century Aluminum’s smelter on Hvalfjordur and Elkem – Icelandic Alloys steel factory. They have chained themselves to each other using arm tubes to form a human blockade as well as using tripod for the first time in Icelandic history. “We protest the environmental and human health hazards Century’s bauxite mining and refining activities in Jamaica, their plans for a new smelter and refinery in West Congo. Both Century’s and Elkem’s expansion plans will also mean destruction of unique geothermal areas in Iceland and produce large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions,” says Miriam Rose of Saving Iceland (1).

UPDATE: The blockade went on for three hours. Nobody was arrested. Read More

Jul 19 2008

Saving Iceland Stop Work at Century Aluminum Construction Site


Aluminium = Cultural Genocide HELGUVIK (ICELAND) – Early this morning activists from over 10 countries occupied the construction site where California-based Century Aluminum are constructing a new aluminium smelter, and chained themselves to machinery. The protest by the campaign Saving Iceland is aimed at damage to geothermal areas in southwest Iceland and Century’s environmental and human rights abuses in Jamaica and Africa.

As well as Century, other aluminium corporations ALCOA and Rio Tinto-Alcan want to construct new smelters. This would require exploitation of all the geothermal areas in the country, as well as damming all major glacial rivers (1).

Impact assessment: ’pollution will just blow away’
The construction of Century’s Helguvík plant depends on the expansion of geothermal power plants east of Reykjavik (Hellisheiði) and on the Reykjanes peninsula southwest of Reykjavik (2). Construction of the smelter began in June, without a valid environmental impact assessment. There is also no guarantee of sufficient energy (435 MW) for the smelter (3).
The environmental impact assessment for the Helguvik smelter was produced by the construction engineers HRV, who have designed smelters for ALCOA and Century (4). Read More

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

Radical Actions and Professional Protesters


snorri-jonsson-ulfhildarson By Snorri Páll Jónsson Úlfhildarson, originally published in Morgunblaðið

Last Sunday, an anonymous journalist from Morgunblaðið wrote about Saving Iceland under the title “Action Groups and Cells”. He talked about Saving Iceland’s upcoming action camp in Hellisheiði and brougth forward a list of actions that people could anticipate from those attending the camp this summer, i.e. “try to get the police into a fight, chain themselves to whatever is near to them, do minimum sabotage, disturb companies’ legal operations or public traffic”. According to him, this kind of behaviour has characterized Saving Iceland’s activities for the last years.

We at Saving Iceland, use direct action and civil disobedience in our actions against capitalism in the form of Iceland’s heavy industrialization – and we do not deny that. Although we do not chain ourselves to whatever is around us, but to machinery, machinery which is being used to destroy the nature. Thus we stop the destruction for some limited time. One does not lock lock on to a huge machine “just because” – one does it because of ideals and with a spirit of resistance. Read More

Jul 13 2008

Africa Suffers as Aluminium Price Peaks


Attilah Springer and Lerato Maregele at Saving Iceland Camp 2007 The price of aluminum has risen by more than 35 percent since the beginning of 2008. Aluminium prices hit a record high this week as China, the world’s biggest producer, ordered smelters to reduce production because of power shortages. In Africa, electricity prices for consumers skyrocket as ESKOM, Landsvirkjun’s South African partner, attempts to free up energy for aluminium. As electricity is redirected to aluminium corporations, people suffer blackouts. Read More

Jul 13 2008

Lethe and Anarchy with the Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin)


G. H. Haarde PM of Iceland, Independence Party Due to Iceland’s current difficult economic situation (read our recent report Iceland Overheats) and the rapidly increasing aluminium prices. Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde (Independence Party, Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn), who is doing his best to negotiate new emission rights with the UN, and the Icelandic authorities are now more likely than ever before to approve new aluminium smelters.
Apparently the Social Democratic Alliance, who are part of the current coalition government with the Independence Party, drank too much of the Greek Lethe River. Those who drink from it experience complete forgetfulness, exhibiting concealment

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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