London: campaigners to raise concerns at Rio Tinto AGM

The London Mining Network (LMN), an alliance of church, human rights, development and environmental groups, will be calling London-based Rio Tinto plc, the world’s third largest publicly traded mining company, to account for its human rights and environmental abuses this week.

The LMN will raise concerns at Rio Tinto’s 2011 AGM on Thursday 14 April at London’s Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre between 11am and 1pm. Protestors will be outside from 10am.

The Network has arranged for representatives from local organisations in regions where Rio Tinto operates to attend the AGM. Visitors from Indonesia and the United States will confront the company with the impacts of its activities on their communities.

Chalid Muhammad is Chairman of the Indonesian Green Institute and acted as a witness in negotiations between the company and communities around its now-closed Kelian gold mine in Indonesia, where numerous human rights abuses occurred.

Meg Townsend works in a New York City law firm handling high-profile environmental litigation and represents Michigan groups concerned about water pollution and violations of Indigenous rights at the Eagle Mine.

Cherise Udell from Utah Moms for Clean Air leads the Utah delegation.

Sukhgerel Dugersuren, Executive Director of Oyu Tolgoi Watch, a coalition of Mongolian human rights organisations monitoring the impacts of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in the arid South Gobi region of Mongolia, where mining operations will deplete scarce water resources may also be attending.

Chalid Muhammad of the Indonesian Green Institute said: “Rio Tinto is not what it seems. It claims to be socially responsible but it is not.”

Protestors from Utah, challenging the company over air pollution from its mining and smelting operations at Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, will do a colourful street theatre presentation as part of their demonstration outside the AGM at around 10.30am on Thursday.

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