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MPI Mining Monitor - November 2013

Meeting of the Mines - It's AGM season at the moment for many of the mining companies MPI keeps an eye on. During October/November MPI will attend AGM's for BHP, Toro, Paladin, Hanan's Reward and Newcrest. Typically, AGM's are a frustrating and increasingly choreographed event - more in keeping with a video promotion of the latest soft drink than an an important industry meeting. If you want help with an AGM, or want add more companies to our AGM list, or are prepared to provide proxies for MPI to attend AGM's then please contact us.

Water Not Gold - MPI is part of an Australian coalition supporting the tour of Vidalina Morales, an environment and mining activist from El Salvador. Vidalina is
knowledgeable and inspirational, providing a rare insight into the activities of transnational mining companies in the developing world. You still have a chance to hear her if you are in Perth, Canberra or Brisbane. Perth's event is  Politics in the Pub this Monday 18th November  starting 6pm - more  details at http://www.waternotgold.info/ or event page.

Mining News - We try and keep the Mining Monitor short to give our members and supporters a snippet of mining news from around the world, but it is only the tip of the iceburg. If you want a more regular fix then tune in to our facebook page or on twitter.

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Australian Nuclear Free Alliance Meeting

In late October the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance held it's annual meeting, this time in the Adelaide Hills. Formed in 1997, the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (formerly the Alliance Against Uranium) brings together Aboriginal people and relevant NGO’s concerned about existing or proposed nuclear developments in Australia, particularly on Aboriginal homelands.

The Alliance provides a forum for sharing of knowledge, skills and experience. It is an opportunity to come together and find strength through our shared aims to protect country and culture from nuclear developments. The Alliance helped to build the successful campaign to stop the Jabiluka uranium mine in the Northern Territory, and more recently, a proposed national nuclear waste dump in South Australia. Currently, Aboriginal communities face a wave of uranium exploration, several proposed new uranium mines, and a proposed national nuclear waste dump. See the 2013 ANFA Meeting Statement on the ANFA website.

Toro Extraordinary General Meeting

Mia Pepper - The Mineral Policy Institute bought shares in Toro Energy Pty Ltd in 2012 with donations from a number of anti nuclear supporters. Toro is a small inexperienced Adelaide based uranium company with no operation mines. Their flagship project is the Wiluna uranium project the front runner for WA’s first uranium mine. They have conditional approval to mine uranium at Wiluna but no financing to make the project a reality. However they have acquired a number of neighbouring uranium deposits increasing their uranium assets by 42%. 
 
MPI Director Charles Roche, and MPI board member Mia Pepper attended the extraordinary general meeting in October where the company discussed the acquisition of the Lake Maitland uranium deposit owned by Canadian company Mega.                             
Read report     Image Source: ABC

Boom: the underground history of Australia

Charles Roche, book review - Boom is a refreshing tour of the history of mining and it’s impact on, and interaction with, Australia.  Refreshing, mainly because Knox manages to discuss mining without being a supplicant observer, a rare feat in the public examination of the Australian mining industry. In doing so, he touches on the dominance that mining has over Australia’s economic, political and cultural identify, what Knox himself refers to as mining in our national DNA. Refreshing also because Knox identifies the cost of mining along with the benefits.        Read the review.
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In MPI related news: Dr. Gavin Mudd (MPI Chair) is featured in Lock the Gate's film on Gas Fracking in Australia. The film, called "Fractured Country'' is about the risks to communities from invasive gasfields. This is the second of six webisodes. You can view the webisode here, or purchase the full copy of the film here.

Around the World

Almost 100 development projects have been closed down as a result of the Papua New Guinea Government's decision to take over the giant Ok Tedi copper mine. Formerly Ok Tedi's largest shareholder, the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program, or PNGSDP, says it has been starved of funds.
A nationwide enquiry into illegal mining in India was aborted before it completed its investigation into the failings of the country’s mining industry. The study had prompted the government to ban mining in two states and arrest high-ranking politicians. The government’s Oct. 16 decision to terminate the enquiry is a worrying indicator of its commitment to ending corruption and malpractice in the mining sector, says Vijay Pratap, convener of the think tank South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy.
Civil society groups from throughout Latin America are urging “home countries” to take greater responsibility for the actions of their companies abroad, particularly those in the extractives industry. “We would like to be able to influence policies that are being developed around the supply of minerals for various purposes – a lot of these policies are being framed as having to do with national defence, so there’s practically a guarantee that these reserves must continue to be supplied,” Pedro Landa, with the Honduran Centre for Collective Development, told IPS in Spanish.

Dr Dave | American Geophysical Union - Last year, and subsequently, I blogged on a number of occasions about the January 2012 Tumbi Quarry landslide in Papua New Guinea.  In a nutshell, this very large landslide occurred in an aggregate quarry that had been used by contractors working for Esso Highlands (Exxon) in the construction of a pipeline.  Everyone involved in the pipeline project denied that the quarry was in any way a factor in the landslide, even though this is by far the most likely cause.

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