Groups plan to stop Minerals Forum

MEDIA RELEASE: Groups plan to stop Minerals Forum
FROM: Stop the Minerals Forum Coalition
DATE: Thursday 24 September 2020

Church groups, students, climate activists, anti-mining protectors and individuals from across the country have announced they plan to stop this year’s Minerals Forum in Hamilton next month to highlight the destruction of mining, drilling and resource extraction that is killing our planet. They are calling on people to join them.

“In what can only be seen as a gathering of economic degenerates, the forum will have speakers and representatives from gold, coal, oil and gas, iron sand, phosphate, lithium and aggregate mining companies as well as intensive farming companies and government departments. These include Bathurst, Trans Tasman Resources, OceanaGold, NZPAM, Straterra, Fonterra and more. With examples like Bathurst applying for an extension to its coal mine at Coalgate in Canterbury, purely to supply the dairy industry, we can clearly see the link now between all these extractive industries,” said Emily Bailey from Coalition member group Climate Justice Taranaki.

“The theme of the Minerals Forum this year is ‘Mining’s Role in a Prosperous, Low-emissions Economy’. We think this is complete greenwash and a cynical attempt to try and pretend their industries could be low carbon emitters. Their linear economic models rely entirely on take, make and waste which is highly polluting at all stages of the process as well as increasing the gap between rich and poor. These industries can have no role in a low-emissions economy other than cleaning up their mess. We want decommissioning to be the only topic for this forum,” added Bailey.

Coalition member Cindy Baxter, chairperson of Kiwis Against Seabed Mining, said “These companies will go to the ends of the earth to dig up minerals, and now they want to dig up the seabed – but so far we have managed to stop them, in coalition with Iwi, fisheries interests and local communities. Our oceans are already in enough peril from other pressures like acidification and warming – there is nothing sustainable about seabed mining.”

“The main sponsor of this conference is Bathurst Resources, which is in the process of applying for consent to vastly increase a coal mine in Canterbury, despite having already breached a number of consents for its current mine. Fonterra and the dairy industry will be burning this coal, while they continue to claim their industry is sustainable, largely ignoring the obvious renewable alternatives. It’s time to stop digging up fossil fuels and make the switch,” said Tim Jones of Coalition member group Coal Action Network Aotearoa.

“We challenge the Minerals Forum to stop wrecking the planet for profit and we challenge the Government to live up to their promises on climate and mining issues now! Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki is in full support of this action. The world cannot afford high emissions dinosaur industries and can mine landfills and cellphones if it wants minerals. ” said coalition member Catherine Delahunty, Chair of Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki.

“We will be gathering in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton) at Claudelands Arena, the Forum venue, and using online media and actions to draw attention to and disrupt this two day conference,” continued Bailey. “The age of extractivism, privatization of profit, socialization of losses and using the biosphere as a dumping ground needs to end if we want circular economies and a decent future for our kids and all other life on this planet. We ask anyone who cares about this, to join us either outside the forum or online.”

For more information visit the ‘STOP the Minerals Forum’ facebook page and go here to check out more about the Minerals Forum conference https://www.mineralsforum.co.nz/page/programme-2020

Published by Climate Justice Taranaki

Climate Justice Taranaki is a group dedicated to justice, resistance, education and positive actions at the front lines of climate change.

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