Alpha Natural Resources ranked as most controversial mining company – by Dorothy Kosich ( – March 26, 2012)

RepRisk, a firm specializing in assessing the possible environmental, social, governance and reputational risks has issued a new report naming the 10 Most Controversial Mining Companies of 2011.

RENO (MINEWEB) –  Swiss-based RepRisk-which advises investment banks, assets managers, and multinational companies of the possible environmental, social, governance and reputational risks of the companies in which they have invested or have business relationships with-has issued a new report naming the 10 Most Controversial Mining Companies of 2011.
RepRisk uses the RepRisk Index (RRI), a quantitative risk measure that captures criticism and qualifies a company’s exposure to controversial issues.
In order of ranking, RepRisk named as the 10 Most Controversial Mining Companies: 1. Alpha Natural Resources, 2. Newmont Mining, 3. Glencore International, 4. BHP Billiton, 5. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, 6. Rio Tinto, 7. Compania de Minas Buenaventura, 7. Barrick Gold (equal ranking), 9. Anglo American and 9. Vedanta Resources (equal ranking).
“The negative stakeholder sentiment captured throughout 2011 by RepRisk indicates that it may be in a company’s best interests to heed the warning signals and proactively address the environmental, social, and governance issues raised by various activists groups, employees, governments, shareholders, and communities,” said RepRisk.
Alpha Natural Resources, top ranked on the list, saw a dramatic increase in its RRI after its purchase of Massey Energy, which had paid a fine of $210 million to settle ongoing criminal and civil cases related to the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in 2010, which resulted in 29 deaths.
Massey had been targeted by special interest groups “for the controversial practice of mountaintop removal mining, as well as alleged pollution, safety problems, poor employment, and fraud issues,” the report said.
The second-ranked most controversial mining company is Newmont Mining because of “significant criticism during the course of 2011, in particular for the impact of its mining projects in Peru, Indonesia, Ghana and the US.” 
In their analysis, RepRisk observed that Newmont “is involved with the highly controversial Conga gold and copper mine project” in Peru.
Since the announcement of its IPO in 2011, “media focus has turned to Glencore and its complex web of subsidiaries and affiliated companies,” said RepRisk which ranked Glencore third on the list.

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