The dark history of Rio Tinto mining company

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Although Serbian officials publicly denigrate environmental movements, accusing them of being a cover for opposition leaders and their political parties, such movements wholeheartedly reject the accusations, wanting only to keep clean necessary living resources such as water and land. At the end of last year, the movement “Let’s protect Jadar and Radjevina” decisively said after the meeting with the representatives of this company that “they do not want a mine in any form” and that there are no further negotiations about that. Members of these organizations demand that Aleksandar Vučić publicly substantiate his claims and publish documents that prove that the state will have to compensate “Rio Tinto” in the amount of 100 billion, in a currency that the president did not want to specify. If so, they claim from these movements, why those who signed such a ridiculous agreement on behalf of the state are not serving their prison sentences, they wonder. Or maybe the president, again, is lying, the dilemma does not leave them.

This corporation was founded at the end of the 19th century, and throughout the history of their business, they have had a really large number of scandals in which they have been accused even of crimes against humanity and the initiation of a ten-year civil war. There are clear indications and documents accusing them of close cooperation with the Frankish fascist regime, as well as of supporting slavery through close cooperation with racist regimes across Africa.

In Spain in the 1930s, under the rule of fascist General Francisco Franco, his forces invited left-wing miners, who were on strike to express dissatisfaction with the conditions in the Rio Tinto mines, to a meeting to solve the problems. At the company’s annual general meeting in 1937, Sir Oakland Gedes informed management that “since the mining areas were occupied by General Frank’s forces, there have been no further problems with the workforce.” The miners were found guilty in court and shot by Frank’s army. Under Frank’s influence, Rio Tinto also provided ore for Nazi Germany’s weapons program, according to

Even miners in a country like America did not go without problems. In the small desert town of Boron, California, Rio Tinto locked 570 miners from a borate mine on January 31, 2010. The company took this action in retaliation for the miners’ refusal to agree to a collective agreement that threatened decent, family and socially supportive jobs. turn into part-time jobs, temporary or contracted.

On the island of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, people fought and won the ten-year war against Rio Tinto and its copper and gold mine Pangun in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Resistance to the mine was so intense, the company was forced to close it in 1989 and has not been in operation since. Although the people of Bougainville were eventually successful in fighting Rio Tinto, they paid a high price – a ten-year civil war ensued (1989-1999) in which more than 15,000 civilians lost their lives. An appeal to collective lawsuits on behalf of the Bougainville people, now before a U.S. federal court, alleges that Rio Tinto committed crimes against humanity, war crimes and racial discrimination, as well as violations of international environmental rights, among other crimes, in his efforts to establish control and operate the Pangun mine.

Release of cyanide into the river


This mine was closed in 2005, and in its 13 years of production, the mine allegedly dumped 100 million metric tons of waste into the environment, most of which was contaminated. “Rio Tinto” admitted that there was “acid mine drainage” from the site of the mine, and in the company’s report on the environment, it says that in 1996, almost 1,100 kilograms of cyanide were released from the mine into the Kelian River. Due to the pollution of the river, the locals lost the source of clean water for drinking and bathing and began to suffer from skin rashes and eye infections, and in addition, the river fish practically disappeared, depriving the inhabitants of an important food source. According to the Indonesian Human Rights Commission, mine protesters were arrested and detained several times during the 1990s, and Kelian’s staff allegedly raped members of the local community. The local population also reported that the security guards of the mine shot at them and attacked them, and the local police conducted a terrorist campaign aimed at suppressing the protests. The same or similar things (waste poisoning, usurpation of local life and malignant diseases of miners) happened in their ilmenite mine on the island of Madagascar, in Cameroon during the construction of a huge Lom-Panger dam, in their uranium mine in Namibia, and in Michigan in the USA -u. These are really just some of the many examples in which the name of the company “Rio Tinto” is mentioned as an exploiter, an economically cruel player who does not shy away from oppressing people, destroying clean natural environments, supporting totalitarian regimes and all for profit.

Who managed to slow them down and stop them?


There are few such examples, but security guards and environmentalists from the Bristol Bay area of ​​Alaska have expressed strong opposition to the development of a gold and copper mine in which Rio Tinto is a minority partner. The project includes supposedly the largest dam in the world that would be used to hold toxic waste produced in a mining operation. Environmental groups and other organizations are concerned about the threats posed by the mine to the hunting of salmon, salmon, bears and other animals, as well as the ecosystem as a whole, and are currently resisting the mining magnates. In the US state of Arizona, the company has exchanged land with the US government, which allows it to build a copper mine on today’s federal land. However, this agreement was stopped in the US Congress due to concerns after the horrific findings about the violation of human rights “Rio Tinta” both in America and around the world.

Recent examples in Mongolia and Australia


After a 46,000-year-old cave, which was a holy place of Aboriginal people, was destroyed in a terrible explosion, the public in that country reacted, as did the representatives of this indigenous people. They demanded fines and dismissals at Rio Tinto, and Mr. Stausholm was soon appointed executive director with the overriding task of restoring the trust of indigenous groups and the entire Australian public, the Financial Times reports.

Confidence in the company has also been shaken in Mongolia, after the $ 6.75 billion project broke the deadlines and costs of the contract, which led to disputes with the Mongolian government and minority partners. The company has therefore appointed a Mongolian citizen to a key position in Mongolia with the intention of being brought back to normal in this country, on a project of great importance to the company.