Solid Energy hits back at illegal environmental activist actions

first_imgAround the world it is reassuring to see mining companies and mining executives taking positive action against the bully tactics and illegal activities of anti-mining NGOs and others. Legal action in justified cases is one thing, illegal and dangerous actions that are wholly self-serving to the anit-mining cause are quite another.Just this weekend, New Zealand coal producer Solid Energy said on Sunday that it “stands 100% by its use of security advisors to help protect its people, its property and its business against the ongoing and increasingly illegal activities of environmental activists.” The company’s CEO hit back hard following an article in the Sunday Star Times: “All businesses gather a wide range of information to protect themselves against risk. We’re no different; one of our significant risks is the illegal activities of these activists, which are specifically designed to cause us maximum economic damage. As part of our security risk management we employ advisors, including Thompson & Clark Investigations, to provide us with information and advice to manage and minimise these sorts of risks to our business. “We contract with them on the same basis as all our other consultants and contracts; that all the activities they carry out are legal, ethical and moral. We are fully satisfied that all TCIL’s and others’ work for us complies with this requirement. “Time and time again over the last two years activists have tried to damage our business. These people are not peaceful, legitimate critics or protestors. These groups include anarchists who have stated publicly that they believe they do not need to act within the laws of New Zealand. Their actions have repeatedly broken the law, and part of their purpose is to intimidate staff and others associated with our company. “Activists have repeatedly harassed our staff. In recent weeks they have also harassed and attacked the home of one of our directors. Just on Friday two activists were seen, by a number of staff,filming and ‘casing’ our Christchurch office from the street. They have shown they are willing to endanger their own lives and others by chaining themselves to railway lines and by camping out in an area closed for public safety reasons due to blasting.“This occupation of the blasting zone was the tipping point that forced us to cancel export shipments with the potential loss of NZ$25 million to the company. We have a responsibility to take appropriate steps to protect our business and the public investment in our company against illegal and inappropriate activities. We have been doing this and we will continue to do so”.“We will not discuss any details of our security arrangements, as this would prejudice and disadvantage our ability to carry out our commercial activities. However I would like to be absolutely clear. We stand behind Thompson & Clark Investigations and their work for us. Their activities are legal, moral and ethical, and they conduct their business in compliance with their industry standards which are widely accepted and consistent with international practices. These are standards which the activists do not have and could not comply with.“Solid Energy treats the security of our business and the safety of our staff extremely seriously. We will do whatever is appropriate to ensure our staff and contractors work in a safe environment, to protect our property and to minimize disruption to our business. None of this should come as any surprise. It’s what businesses do. Those who claim otherwise are simply trying to mask their own true objectives which are to maximize the damage to our business. Their pathetically contrived outrage is totally without any legal, moral or ethical justification.”last_img read more