mining

Rural Australia is again reeling from drought. Elena Garcia, a regenerative grazier and land manager, argues that governments will continue to fail farmers as long as they refuse to acknowledge the underlying cause — climate change.

The Clean Water manifesto was drafted following recent discussions at an anti-CSG workshop in Chinchilla and online among a number of farmers.

In the biggest union mobilisation in Australia in more than a decade, up to 120,000 unionists and supporters descended on the streets of Melbourne on May 9.

The protest was organised as part of the Change the Rules campaign. The rally followed a mass delegates meeting in April and was the conclusion of nearly a fortnight of union actions across the country to launch the campaign.

A brand new World Bank report, The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018, offers evidence of how much poorer Africa is becoming thanks to rampant minerals, oil and gas extraction.

Yet World Bank policies and practices remain oriented to enforcing foreign loan repayments and transnational corporate (TNC) profiteering — thus maintaining the looting.

The Bolivian mining cooperative protests and the August 25 killing of the Bolivian Vice-Minister of the Interior Rodolfo Illanes by cooperative miners requires us to question our assumptions about the cooperatives.

Most of Bolivia’s mining cooperatives began during the Great Depression as miners banded together to work a mine in common. However, like many cooperatives in the US that arose out of the 1960s, they have turned into small businesses.

Regardless of their initial intentions, cooperatives existing in a capitalist environment must compete in business practices or go under.

The Malcolm Turnbull Coalition government's economic spin is that they are managing a “transition” from “strong resource investment-led growth to broader-based drivers of economic activity”.

This, it claims in the 2016 budget papers, is a transition to more “labour-intensive sectors, such as services”. Hence the Coalition's mantra: “Growth and jobs”. Sounds nice, but what does this mean for the different classes in Australia?

Locals and participants in the Radioactive Exposure Tour gathered to say no to Alkane's rare earths mine, on July 1. The mine, at Toongi, 30 kilometers south of Dubbo, will commence operation towards the end of the year. Uranium will not be sold, but it will be dug up and stored on site in a tailings dam, along with other toxic substances.

The Forbes Billionaires list released last month included almost two dozen Australians in its ranks. Among them was mining boss Gina Rinehart, who has now become the richest person in Australia with a fortune of $17 billion.

This placed her 36th in the world, but her net wealth was still double that of her nearest fellow Australian billionaire, chief executive of commodities firm Glencore, Ivan Glasenberg.

Also on the list were finance elites, gaming kingpins and several other mining corporation owners.

The billionaires and their corporate courtiers had a sneer and snigger fest when BHP Billiton, Xstrata and Rio Tinto informed the Tax Office they would pay zero mining tax for the first quarter of this financial year.

The federal Labor government's mid-year budget update downgraded the tax's forecast revenue from $13.4 billion over four years to $9.1 billion. But these mining giants told the media it was not clear how much, if anything, they would pay over the rest of the financial year.

What a sorry end to the mining super-tax profits saga.

Thirty-three miners trapped 700 metres underground in northern Chile have been told they will not be paid in coming months, despite the fact it is expected to take close to two-and-a-half months to pull them out.

Representatives of the San Esteban mining company told the workers’ union that no guarantees can be given that the wages of those miners stuck underground since August 5 will be paid. The company insists it is bankrupt.

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