Australian Mining Companies Digging A Deadly Footprint in Africa
Australian mining companies are linked to hundreds of deaths and injuries in Africa, which can go unreported at home.
Some of the Australian Securities Exchange-listed companies include state governments as shareholders. One company recorded 38 worker deaths over an eleven-year period.
In Malawi, litigation continues against Paladin Africa Limited, a subsidiary of Perth-based Paladin Energy, and its subcontractor after an explosion disfigured one worker with such heat that his skin shattered when touched by rescuers. Two others died in the same incident.
Other allegations include employees in South Africa hacking a woman with a machete and Malian police killing two protesters after a mine worker reportedly asked authorities to dislodge a barricade on the road to the mine.
An investigation by ICIJ, in collaboration with 13 African reporters, uncovered locally-filed lawsuits, violent protests and community petitions criticising some Australian companies.
In all, reporters counted more than 380 employees, subcontractors and community members in 13 countries who died in accidents or incidents linked to the companies since the beginning of 2004, including some who were shot to death. More were horribly disfigured or injured while working at Australian mines or during community protests against them.
The companies involved deny that they were responsible for any of the incidents.
Since the beginning of 2004, more than 380 people have died in mining accidents or in off-site skirmishes connected to Australian publicly-traded mining companies in 13 countries in Africa.
Australian mining companies are more numerous than those from other mining giants such as Canada, the United Kingdom and China. At the end of 2014, more than 150 companies held about 1500 licenses and owned or managed dozens of mining operations across 33 countries in Africa.
Multiple Australian mining companies are accused of negligence, unfair dismissal, violence and environmental law-breaking across Africa, according to legal filings and community petitions gathered from South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Ghana.
Australian state and federal government entities, including government workers’ pension funds, have invested in controversial Australian mining companies operating in Africa.
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how we did it
Fatal Extraction is an international collaboration combining corporate data and extensive field reporting to reveal deaths, injuries and community conflicts linked to Australian mining companies across Africa. Australia has more mining companies in Africa than other mining giants such as Canada and China.
#FatalExtraction is the largest data-driven transnational investigation yet in Africa. ANCIR worked frontline reporters in 13 African countries, supported by specialist editors on three continents, and forensic technology teams in the United States and South Africa. The resulting articles are being republished by the following media partners: