Mining companies respond to environmental heat


When it comes to a negative public image, mining ranks right up there with cigarette manufacturing, admits Rick Killim, director of Sustainable Development at Placer Dome Latin America. Indeed, problems ranging from tailings to smelter emissions have dogged the industry around the world. And in environmentally sensitive areas, mining of any type is controversial. (See “New twist in Imataca saga: low gold prices”—page 5.) Yet in the past decade, some leading mining companies have made serious efforts to address environmental problems. Perhaps nowhere in Latin America are the shifting sensibilities as evident as in Chile. By 2000, Chile will be producing 40% of the world’s copper. Almost half of foreign investment is in mining, while 40% of Chile’s export income still comes from copper... [Log in to read more]

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