Fighting Fund: BHP Billiton a Big Global Vandal

November 23, 2012
BHP Billiton is expanding investment in dirty energy minerals.

BHP used to be called “The Big Australian”. It is now BHP Billiton — a global corporation, the largest mining company in the world and the largest Australian headquartered corporation by market capitalisation.

Its CEO Marius Kloppers is described as being one of "the top 20 most powerful people in business worldwide".

In the 1980s, BHP sacked thousands of steelworkers after taking millions of dollars in public subsidies supposedly to "save jobs". Then it acquired Utah International and turned from a company with 99% of its assets in Australia into one that gets 90% of its revenues from overseas operations. The Big Australian Bastard became the Big Global Vandal.

With support from governments around the world, this corporate giant has logged a long history of human rights abuses, labour rights abuses, displacement of communities, mistreatment of Indigenous people, destruction of sacred sites, devastation of food and water sources, adding significantly to climate change, use of paramilitaries, health concerns, irresponsible tailings disposal procedures... the list of its crimes goes on.

BHP Billiton is expanding its investment in dirty energy minerals, like oil, uranium and coal, bequeathing a horrible toxic legacy for future generations.

In August this year, BHP Billiton announced it would shelve its planned multi-billion-dollar Olympic Dam expansion plans in South Australia, which would have created the world's biggest open-cut uranium mine. This followed a 34.8% fall in the company's full-year net profit to $14.7 billion, in part due to a fall in commodity prices.

However, the company is now investigating resuming its Olympic Dam expansion using new “heap leaching technology”. This would involve pumping sulphuric acid through six-metre columns to extract copper and uranium. Incredibly, the company and South Australian Premier Jay Weatherall claim that BHP Billiton does not need to conduct a full environmental impact if it proceeds with this new plan.

Protesters will gather at BHP Billiton's annual general shareholders meeting at Sydney's Darling Harbour Convention Centre on November 29. The protest will be addressed by members of the Aboriginal communities affected by uranium mining in South Australia and BHP Billiton's monster Cerrejon coalmine in Colombia, which has displaced Indigenous communities.

Green Left Weekly and Green Left TV will be there to join and cover the protest to help expose this global corporate vandal. We are appealing for help to keep our independent media project fighting BHP Billiton and the other corporate vandals that are ruling and destroying our planet.

So far this year our supporters have raised $177,995 of our $250,000 fighting fund target. You can help us get closer to target by making a donation to the Green Left fighting fund this week.

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