Relief that Australian minerals not to be owned by Chinese Government

5th June 2009 - The news that a significant proportion of Australia’s mineral wealth will not be owned by the Chinese government is welcome news, Greens (WA) MLC Robin Chapple said today.

“20 years and one day ago today the tanks and troops of the autocratic Chinese Government moved into Tiananmen Square and brutally crushed a grassroots democracy movement.” Mr. Chapple said.

“This is the same government, responsible for 2600 deaths that day and guilty of so many human rights abuses before and since, that would have become an 18 per cent shareholder in Rio Tinto through its wholly owned company, Chinalco.”

“For the Chinalco deal to have proceeded would have been a black day for ethical investment in Australia.”

Concerns but also opportunities in BHP/Rio Tinto Joint Venture. Of the BHP-Rio Tinto Joint Venture that will succeed the failed deal, Mr. Chapple said that he was concerned that job losses could result from the merging of some operations but that any reduction in overlapping infrastructure was positive for the environment.

“Obviously I am concerned that job losses might result as BHP and Rio move to eliminate parallel operations. However the synergies of this joint venture will also result in greater sharing of infrastructure, especially rail. A reduced need to expand mining infrastructure can only be good news for the vulnerable ecologies affected by mining operations statewide.”

“BHP and Rio Tinto have a real opportunity to substantially shrink their environmental footprint, if this joint venture is managed appropriately.”

Mr. Chapple said that he agreed with Colin Barnett’s statement that royalty concessions currently enjoyed by Rio Tinto and BHP now needed to be reviewed in light of the joint venture, but said that this should not jeopardise the sharing of infrastructure.

  • For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263
Go to top