massive expansion planned of Olympic Dam uranium mine

Come along and voice your opposition to BHP's planned massive expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium mine in SA. Thursday, October 29 at lunchtime.Check here for our Alternative Annual Report.

Come along and voice your opposition to BHP's planned massive expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium mine in SA, its refusal to relinquish racist legal
exemptions from the SA Aboriginal Heritage Act, and much more besides - this company has a highly questionable social and environmental performance in numerous countries.

This protest will coincide with BHP's London Annual General Meeting, in solidarity with communities around the world affected by BHP's mining activities, and to show dissent to the proposed expansion and proposed open pit at Olympic Dam uranium mine.

Thursday, October 29, 2009
Time:     
12:00pm - 2:00pm
Location:     
BHP Office, 180 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Organised by Friends of the Earth
<www.foe.org.au/anti-nuclear/issues/oz/u/roxby>
Contact: Jim 0417 318368 <jim.green@foe.org.au>

MEDIA RELEASE – OCTOBER 29, 2009

BHP Billiton Annual General Meeting:


'Alternative Annual Report' Released

An 'Alternative Annual Report' is being released in London today at BHP Billiton's Annual General Meeting, while protesters will mark the event at the company's offices in Melbourne and Perth.

Melbourne-based Friends of the Earth campaigner Mia Pepper, who contributed to the international report, said: "The Alternative Annual Report documents a number of recurring problems with BHP's operations around the world - human rights and labour abuses, relocation of communities, mistreatment of Indigenous Peoples, destruction of sacred sites, adverse impacts on food and water, climate change, use of paramilitaries, health concerns, and irresponsible tailings disposal. These problems are evident in Australia, West Papua, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, South Africa, Canada, Colombia and Chile."

In Melbourne today, protesters will gather outside BHP Billiton’s head office in Melbourne, highlighting the impacts of BHP's plan to make Olympic Dam the biggest uranium mine in the world.

Friends of the Earth's national nuclear campaigner Dr Jim Green said: "For all of BHP Billiton's hollow rhetoric about corporate social responsibility, the company operates the Olympic Dam mine in SA under an outdated Indenture Act which exempts the mine from key environmental and Aboriginal heritage laws.

"BHP Billiton has provided over $2 million to Reconciliation Australia. Yet the company will not relinquish its exemptions from the SA Aboriginal Heritage Act. The company's attitude appears to be 'do as I say not as I do'. It's time for this hypocrisy to end."

Duban Velez, a union delegate for workers at the Cerrejon coal mine in Colombia, will be at today's protest in Melbourne to tell his story about BHP's inadequate social and environmental standards in Colombia. Mr Velez will also be attending BHP's second AGM, in Brisbane on November 26. Farming families in villages around the mine have been deprived of their livelihoods as the mine expands and accuse BHP of failing to negotiate in good faith or offer sufficient assistance or compensation. (More information: <http://londonminingnetwork.org>.)

The Alternative Annual Report can be downloaded at: http://tinyurl.com/yjjluqg

Today's protest in Melbourne: BHP Billiton office, 180 Lonsdale St, from 12 noon.

Contacts:

Jim Green 0417 318 368
Mia Pepper  0415 380 808