Tag: BHP Billiton

Tax avoidance: the damage done


A worker from Peru’s state-run oil company tries to hammer a piece of wood into a gaping hole in the country’s northern pipeline. He fails. Repeatedly. The oil continues to gush with alarming speed and force. Dead fish float belly-up in the black slime.

By the time the spills were stopped this August, over 4,000 barrels of oil had poured into a tributary of the Peruvian Amazon – source of a fifth of our planet’s fresh water. Dozens of indigenous villages were left without drinking water and children were covered in angry rashes.

Leonardo Tello, director of a local radio station, produced a report illustrating these horrific images. He is angry, frustrated and heart-broken. Over the past 19 years the government has registered 190 spills, most affecting the Amazon rainforest.

‘We are slowly being killed by this mine’

Threats, pay-offs and skin defects. Daniel Macmillen Voskoboynik investigates the activities of a massive British-Australian ferronickel complex.

Amid the arid farmlands of Colombia’s Córdoba province, the grassed earth gives way to bare incisions. Upturned mounds of ochre puncture the landscape. Fuming chimneys spill white smoke. This is Cerro Matoso, one of the largest ferronickel mines and processing facilities in the world.

Owned and part-owned for over 30 years by BHP Billiton, an Anglo-Australian corporation and the largest mining firm in the world, it was recently transferred to South32, a spin-off company.1

Matoso has proven a lucrative source of wealth, delivering billions of dollars in sales. But former workers and local communities say that wealth has come at their expense; they are demanding justice for the destructive impact on their health, livelihoods, environment and safety.