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BHP Unties A Reef Knot; Questions Stay

The world’s largest mining company is promoting a nickel refinery whose ore has come from an allegedly highly-polluting Indonesian mine.

A Queensland University research study claims that the mine’s tailings are smothering one of the world’s most important coral reefs.

Despite this, BHP Billiton denies the mine is damaging; or that it can be down to the corporate, even when it the pollution was confirmed.

A lot for maintaining a “chain of custody”- one of the pretended hallmarks of BHP Billiton’s observance of corporate social accountability.

BHP hits reef fallout
Felicity Williams and Nicole Lindsay, Herald Solar (Australia)

29 July 2009
AN INDONESIAN mine supplying nickel to BHP Billiton’s Yabulu refinery in Queensland has been accused of causing extreme damage to one of many world’s most valuable coral reefs.

The claims come simply days earlier than BHP finalises the estimated $120 million sale of Yabulu to mining magnate Clive Palmer on Friday.

BHP has sourced nickel laterite from the Indonesian owned and operated mine on Manuran Island in the Raja Ampat archipelago in West Papua since 2007.

In accordance with a University of Queensland draft report, a wholly-owned BHP subsidiary, Queensland Nickel, shipped ore from Manuran Island to Townsville for processing on the Yabulu plant as lately as final month.

The report accuses the proprietor of the Manuran Island mine, PT Anugrah Surya Pratama, of allowing tonnes of sediment to run off into the nearby ocean, turning the coastal waters a rusty blood pink.

The mine tailings are believed to be inflicting grave harm to the reefs of Raja Ampat, which has been shortlisted for World Heritage protection, because they block out life-giving sunlight and “smother” the coral.

The report additionally claims ships carrying ore destined for Yabulu sail via the Raja Ampat archipelago on their method to Townsville, despite the fact that different multinationals working in the realm such as BP take a 200km detour around the island group to protect the reefs.

BHP spokesman Peter Ogden informed BusinessDaily that the operation at Manuran Island was the responsibility of its owner.

He rejected the allegations that the mine was polluting the encompassing waters and likewise that the delivery route from Raja petroleum machinery inc limited Ampat to Townsville lower throughout the reef.

“BHP Billiton typically has a consultant on-site at Manuran previous to and through loading of ore purchased for Yabulu Refinery (i.e each other month) and there have been no stories of tailings landslides into the ocean,” he stated.

“Our Freight Service Supplier is Daiichi. Its vessels do not transit the world in question when loading from Manuran Load Port.”

Mr Palmer did not respond to telephone and e-mail messages from BusinessDaily seeking information on whether he deliberate to proceed processing nickel from Manuran Island at Yabulu.

It’s believed the deal between BHP and Mr Palmer for the sale of Yabulu contains the Queensland Nickel subsidiary that buys the ore from Manuran Island.

Jason MacLeod, lead author of the Queensland University report, referred to as on Mr Palmer’s company, Gladstone Pacific Nickel, to cease shopping for ore mined at Manuran Island.

“Gladstone Pacific Nickel can protect the setting and support local communities in Raja Ampat by ceasing to purchase nickel from Raja Ampat,” he said.

“A larger emphasis on environmental safety and social responsibility throughout its provide chain and the nickel lifecycle is something BHP should have performed long ago.”

Shopping for Yabulu Comes with Dangers and Alternatives for Gladstone petroleum machinery inc limited Pacific Nickel: UQ examine
Media Launch

20 July 2009
“When BHP Billiton sells its Yabulu refinery this month to Gladstone Pacific Nickel, owned by Australian Mining magnate Clive Palmer, will probably be relieving itself of appreciable reputational and financial risk tied up with nickel operations in West Papua” says Jason MacLeod, lead author of the forthcoming monograph, Environmental governance, mining and battle in Raja Ampat, West Papua.

The monograph has been authored by a crew of Australian and West Papuan researchers and is quickly to be printed by the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Research at the College of Queensland. It exposes the appreciable dangers going through Gladstone Pacific Nickel should it proceed with the purchase of Yabulu Refinery.

Under the helm of BHP Billiton, Yabulu refinery buys and processes nickel mined within the Philippines, New Caledonia and Manuran Island in West Papua, a province of Indonesia.

Manuran Island mine lies in the center of the Raja Ampat archipelago, a bunch of islands that tops UNESCO’s world list of World Heritage marine sites most deserving of safety. It is widely accepted that the Raja Ampat archipelago is the most numerous marine surroundings on the planet, surpassing even the good Barrier Reef. The archipelago comprises over 75% of the world’s recognized coral species and scores petroleum machinery inc limited of endemic and susceptible marine and terrestrial species. Mining on Manuran Island is already damaging the ecosystem and placing all of this at risk. Gladstone Pacific Nickel’s buying of Yabulu might contribute to this additional.

Run-off from the mine, which is owned and operated by PT Anugrah Surya Pratama, sends tonnes of sediment into the ocean, turning the water a deep blood pink and destroying native food provides. Following Asian Development Financial institution mission evaluation recommendations, Beyond Petroleum now ensures the ships used by their close by BP Tangguh LNG operation decrease potential environmental risks by avoiding travelling by means of Raja Ampat’s fragile community of reef programs. Nonetheless, massive tankers loading nickel laterite ore at Manuran cross via the reef systems, critically risking vital harm to the marine surroundings which local individuals depend on so heavily.

Many local people members are in despair. “The company just makes promises but there isn’t any evidence of these promises. In the two years for the reason that survey and the extraction of nickel despatched to Hong Kong and Australia, we the native people do not feel like our rights are revered by the corporate. So its better that this firm stops, we will communicate first and if in the end that doesn’t work it is better that the mine is simply closed” mentioned a local church leader.

A change in ownership at Yabulu refinery presents a possibility to help protect this essential and fragile setting. GPN would not condone mining within the Barrier Reef. They can now help finish mining in Raja Ampat.

There are also additional risks for Gladstone Pacific Nickel in the event that they proceed purchasing ore from Raja Ampat. The mine has been embroiled in a corruption scandal after the native Bupati answerable for issuing the Manuran mine license was investigated by police for a misuse of authority. There has also been conflict between the Indonesian security forces and those that oppose mining in Raja Ampat.

Gladstone Pacific Nickel can protect the atmosphere and assist local communities in Raja Ampat by ceasing to purchase nickel from Raja Ampat. A larger emphasis on environmental safety and social responsibility throughout its provide chain and the nickel lifecycle is one thing that BHP Billiton should have completed long ago.

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