Assignment 2: Mining and the Environment

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  • Over the years the mining giant BHP Billiton has audited its environmental performance in documents of various names including Health, Safety and Environment Community Report, Environment Report, Environment and Community Report or more recently as Sustainability Reports. These documents can be found electronically on its website and date back at least until 1997.

Select two reports that are at least 5 years apart.  Identify the major environmental issues mentioned in the reports.  Has there been a change in emphasis on the main environmental issues over this time?  Discuss and justify your answer.  Discuss whether genuine improvement in environmental outcomes has occurred in this time frame.

  • Read the Executive Summary of the Jabiluka Environmental Impact assessment. Identify and discuss the main environmental issues reported in the Executive Summary.  Has reading the Environmental Impact Statement altered your opinion on whether the mining of uranium should occur at Jabiluka under the conditions described?  Explain your reasoning.
  • Discuss the impact of the Ok Tedi copper mine on the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. In your opinion do the benefits of the mine outweigh the disadvantages?  Explain your reasoning and justify your conclusion.  This essay requires an evaluation of both the advantages and disadvantages.

Each assignment should be about 2000 words

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