Jim Letourneau's Blog

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Freeport McMoRan Scrutinized

The New York Times article Below a Mountain of Wealth, a River of Waste hasn’t done much for the reputation of Freeport McMoRan (FCX).

The free version of Google Earth doesn’t allow one to zoom into the “deepening spiral” of the open pit as described by the authors and the massive tailings plume (which is clearly visible) doesn’t appear “soot colored” but large scale environmental issues related to Freeport’s mining activities are evident from satellite imagery. The Austin Chronicle’s Robert Bryce article “Written in Stone” drew attention to the environmental damages back in September.

A couple of Mineweb articles focus on the improvement in Freeport’s human rights approach (fewer deaths help) but tended to minimize the environmental concerns raised.

The spotlight is on mining once again. Compliance with ever tightening environmental standards will lead to higher metal prices.