'Rio Tinto Alcan' Tag Archive

Jul 20 2011

Blood and Treasure – Rio Tinto’s Bloody Path in Bougainville


Originally published on Dateline

It’s 14 years since the war ended over what was once the world’s largest copper mine, at Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, but Dateline has uncovered claims that the PNG government was acting under instruction from mining giant Rio Tinto, when it killed thousands of people who wanted the mine shut down. The allegations come from PNG’s former Opposition Leader, and now Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, in 2001 court documents obtained by SBS Senior Correspondent Brian Thomson for Dateline. In them, Somare says the company, and its subsidiary Bougainville Copper Limited, effectively used its wealth to control the government – a claim denied by BCL. With negotiations now underway to reopen the abandoned mine, could Bougainville be heading for a repeat of the bloody battle over its resources?

Jun 10 2011
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Increased Sulphur Pollution in Reykjavík Due to Geothermal Expansion in Hellisheiði


The Public Health Authority of Reykjavík is highly critical of the recently published preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a 45 MW construction of geothermal power plants at Gráuhnjúkar on Hellisheiði. The reason is that the EIA, carried out by engineering firm Mannvit, hardly mentions the possible effects of the project’s sulphur pollution on the human population living in the capital area of Reykjavík. “They mention the impacts of increased amount of hydrogen sulphide at the power plant area, but hardly mention the capital area where a high proportion of the population lives” said Árný Sigurðardóttir from the Public Health Authority in an interview with newspaper Fréttablaðið. The power plant in Hellisheiði is only about 30 km away from Reykjavík.

Since October 2006 Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (Reykjavík Energy) has produced geothermal energy on Hellisheiði, predominantly for the Norðurál/Century aluminium smelter in Grundartangi, Hvalfjörður. Since then increased sulphur pollution in the power plant’s surrounding area, as well as in the area around Reykjavík, has regularly become a topic of discussion and Sigurðardóttir says that the pollution’s impacts are systematically underestimated. Instead of using recent researches into the issue, Mannvit bases the EIA on prediction-models, but new studies by the University of Reykjavík indicate that the increased use of medicine for asthma and heart disease angina pectoris is directly linked to increased sulphur pollution. Read More

Jun 04 2011

Fundamental Questions About Modern Civilization Itself – Arundhati Roy on “Broken Republic”


In the video above, Indian author Arundhati Roy talks about her recently published book, Broken Republic: Three Essays, and how the Indian government is, along with international mining corporations, violating the indigenous of India, destroying their lands and displacing them, leading to a constantly increasing gap between the rich and the poor. One of the book’s essays, titled “Mr Chidambaram’s War”, focuses on the Dongria Kondh tribe in Odisha, who have fought against Vedanta’s and ALCAN’s bauxite mining for aluminium production over the last decades.

The following text explains Broken Republic’s content briefly:

War has spread from the borders of India to the forests in the very heart of the country. Combining brilliant analysis and reportage by one of India’s iconic writers, Broken Republic examines the nature of progress and development in the emerging global superpower, and asks fundamental questions about modern civilization itself.

Mar 22 2011
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Icelanders Not Impressed By Heavy Industry


Grapevine.is

Most Icelanders would like to see their country’s economy turn towards innovative industries rather than aluminium smelters, a new survey shows.

Vísir reports on the results of an online poll conducted by the business analysis company Miðlun. Respondents were asked what the most important field of employment was.

Of those who responded, 30.8% said domestic industry should be a top priority. This was followed by companies focusing on innovation (18.1%) and jobs related to the fishing industry (14.7%).

Only 13% said they believed heavy industry was the most important area of unemployment that Iceland needs to focus on. Read More

Mar 17 2011

Loan for Búðarháls Dam Dependent on IceSave Outcome


Yesterday, national energy company Landsvirkjun received the first loan for its planned Búðarháls dam in Tungnaá River (south Iceland, north-east of Þjórsá river). The 8,6 billion ISK loan comes from the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and is dependent on the outcome of the referendum about the so-called IceSave bill, which will take place on April 9th. The energy is meant for Rio Tinto- Alcan’s increased aluminium production. Read More

Mar 01 2011

Local Resistance to Dams in Lower Thjorsa Solidarity Meeting


Sól a Suðurlandi, the local grass roots resistance group to the projected dams in Lower Thjorsa (Þjórsá) river, call a solidarity meeting tomorrow, March 2, in Reykjavik. The meeting will focus on demands that the three projected dams be stopped and that reconciliation be reached in communities that have been split for many years because of the plans for the dams. Read More

Feb 15 2011
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The Þjórsá Farce Continues – Are the Dams Planned for Aluminium Production?


A decision by Svandís Svavarsdóttir, Minister of Environment, to reject the construction of a dam in Urriðafoss waterfall in Þjórsá river, has been ruled illegal by Iceland’s supreme court. Whilst Svavardóttir and her comrades in government accept the ruling, and say the Minstry of Environment now has to look into the case and examine the legal environment, the right wing opposition in parliament, along with heavy industry lobbyists, demand the ministers’ resignation, claiming that she has delayed all construction in the area for two years. People living by Þjórsá have announced that these statements are wrong and ask for examples, while a MP accuses Landsvirkjun (the national energy company) of bribery. Read More

Jan 29 2011
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Victory in India! – The Tribes of Orissa Conquer British Mining Giant Vedanta


These news about Dongria Kondh’s victory against Vedanta are not recent, but from August 2010. Unfortunately we were not able to publish the story until now.

Miriam Rose

After 13 years of continuous battle, the people’s movements to save the Niyamgiri hills from bauxite mining have won their land and livelihood back from the jaws of extinction. Niyamgiri is one of a series of threatened bauxite capped mountains in Orissa. On August 21st 2010 a review of the Vedanta mining project carried out by the Ministry of the Environment exposed the company’s “total contempt for the law”, having violated a number of environmental regulations, and revealed “an appalling degree of collusion” by local government officials with Vedanta. A few days later Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh called a halt to the project. Read More

Jul 24 2010

Energy for Straumsvík Expansion to Come From Búðarháls-Powerplant


Map showing Búðarháls-powerplantRio Tinto Alcan (ISAL) has landed all the energy-related deals necessary for the company to start expanding it’s aluminum smelter in Straumsvík. In the middle of June, Landsvirkjun (National Power Company) and Alcan renewed their current deal on energy purchase between the companies. The renewal included an extension on purchase right up until the year 2036, along with an added purchase of 75MW of power, energy Alcan needed to secure to be able to act on their plans on expanding the smelters productional capacity by 40.000 tons a year. This expansion will not exceed the companies current boundaries, thus manouvering around any results from local referandums against the smelters expansion. As mentioned earlier, the expansion also requires these 75MW of power on top of all the energy Alcan is already receiving at bargain prices. But the deal does have some reservations, most prominently a demand that the uncertainity about the taxation of heavy industry in the country be settled before the 31st of August. This is a clear and blatant example of how the power-sector and aluminum lobbyists toy with the countrys government, that has never dared to resist or stand up to this kind of pressure, or blackmails as it is, of financial muscle, so the same should be expected in this case.

A week after the signing of the deal with Alcan, Landsvirkjun invited tenders on the construction of Búðarháls-powerplant and related constructions. The tenders close at the end of August, and construction is expected to be finished by the fall of 2013. Read More

Jul 13 2010
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Saving Iceland Mobilisation Call-Out


Join our resistance against the industrialization of Europe’s last remaining great wilderness and take direct action against heavy industry!

The Struggle So Far
The campaign to defend Europe’s greatest remaining wilderness continues. For the past five years summer direct action camps in Iceland have targeted aluminium smelters, mega-dams and geothermal power plants.

After the terrible destruction as a result of building Europe’s largest dam at Kárahnjúkar and massive geothermal plants at Hengill, there is still time to crush the ‘master plan’ that would have each major glacial river dammed, every substantial geothermal field exploited and the construction of aluminium smelters, an oil refinery, data farms and silicon factories. This would not only destroy unique landscapes and ecosystems but also lead to a massive increase in Iceland’s greenhouse gas emissions. Read More

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