Iron Ore  

Rio Tinto ready for talks over Bougainville mine

Rio Tinto said on Tuesday that it was ready to talk to stakeholders over allegations of human rights breaches at a giant copper mine in Bougainville that it formerly owned, after community members filed a complaint with the Australian government.

We are ready to enter into discussions with the communities that have filed the complaint,” it said, adding it would also speak with current mine owners as well as the Bougainville and Papua New Guinea governments.

The stance marks a change from April, when Rio rebuffed a request by the same group for a review of health and safety concerns at the mine as a starting point for discussion around compensation and remediation.

It also highlights a different approach by Rio to social responsibility, after its destruction of sacred and historically significant rockshelters for an iron ore mine in Australia in May cost its chief executive and two other executives their jobs.

Rio Tinto subsidiary Bougainville Copper (BCL) ran the Panguna copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea from the early 1970s to 1990 when it was abandoned during a civil war that was largely fought over how mine profits should be shared.

Rio handed its shareholding in the mine to national and local governments in 2016.

The complaint, backed by 156 community members, was filed on Tuesday to the Australian OECD National Contact Point by Melbourne’s Human Rights Law Centre. It alleges that the large volumes of mine waste left behind poisoned water sources, flooded lands and sacred sites, and caused a range of health problems.

Rio said that it was aware of the “deterioration of mining infrastructure at the site and surrounding areas, and claims of resulting adverse environmental and social, including human rights, impacts,” despite not having had staff at the mine since 1990.

While global miners have not been forced to account for mines they operated in the past, or those they inherited, they have come under increased pressure from shareholders in the past few years to ensure high standards of responsible mining.

The Bougainville mine – Bougainville Copper Ltd – is part listed on the Australian stock market and part-owned both by the Bougainville and PNG governments .

Bougainville, which held an election last week, is in talks with the Papua New Guinea government over its independence.

News No: 9926
Date: 2020/09/28 - 23:17
News Source:

Rio Tinto  Bougainville Copper  Bougainville mine 


Leave a Comment:


Rio Tinto didn’t inform cave blast owners of other mine plans

Rio Tinto did not tell Aboriginal traditional owners of two ancient caves destroyed to mine iron ore about three alternative mine plans, its CEO told an inquiry on Friday, despite saying it had won fully informed consent for blasting.

Fortescue rethinking expansion that endangers Australian sacred site

Australian iron ore major Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) said on Friday it would re-evaluate an expansion plan at one of its iron ore mines in the Pilbara region, after an Indigenous group said the project threatened sacred sites, including a 60,000-year-old rock shelter.

Iron ore dominates Australian resource 2018-19 profits

Australian iron ore producers accounted for the largest share of operating profits in the entire resources sector, including upstream oil and gas and coal mining, during the 2018-19 fiscal year to 30 June. The resources sector, at 8pc of the economy, accounted for more than a fifth of all industry profits.

Rio Tinto’s Kennecott starts drilling at Frisco

Rio Tinto’s (NYSE: RIO ASX: RIO) subsidiary Kennecott has kicked off an initial four-hole 2,000m drill program at Alderan Resources’ Frisco copper/gold/silver project in Utah.

Rio Tinto increases safety measures to prevent coronavirus outbreak at Canadian diamond mine

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) announced this weekend that it is introducing covid-19 testing at its Diavik diamond mine in Canada.

Rio Tinto dodges emissions cut, but issue unlikely to go away

Rio Tinto shareholders in Australia voted on Thursday against forcing the miner to set targets for the emissions of its steel-making customers, but the issue is unlikely to go away as more than a third supported the motion.
Upcoming Events
 Mines & Metals

Mine & Business Today

 Scrap & Recycling


Our partners