Unsettling truths about high-risk mining projects

Mine-field: The Dark Side of Australia’s Resources Rush

by Paul Cleary

Black Inc., $24.95 pb, 207 pp, 9781863955706

When BHP Billiton announced last month that it would indefinitely shelve its proposed Olympic Dam expansion in South Australia, some said it signalled the symbolic end of the mining investment boom. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill’s reaction was particularly revealing. With his government now staring into a $1 billion black hole, Weatherill declared that he and the community had lost trust in BHP, and that the decision was a ‘major disappointment’. Many of Weatherill’s critics have suggested that his response betrayed his party’s zeal for the mining project, to the detriment of other sectors, with the sole aim of bolstering the state’s beleaguered economy. Putting ‘trust’ and ‘mining companies’ in the same sentence may be nothing more than political aikido. After all, given the tumescent economic growth that has come from the commodities rush, Weatherill’s reaction is predictable. Yet one can’t help but feel that his trust is misplaced.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Gillian Terzis

Gillian Terzis

Gillian Terzis a writer and editor based in Melbourne. She has written on the mining industry for the Guardian and Meanjin.

Published in October 2012 no. 345

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.