Dutch NGO targets largest copper producer

Group calls on metal firms to demand environmental improvements from mining companies

Friends of the Earth the Netherlands yesterday dumped 24 cubic metres of earth on the doorstep of the Netherlands' largest copper producer, NKF. The earth was meant to represent the quantity of waste produced when enough copper is mined to produce 1 kilometre of copper cable - NKF manufactures thousands of kilometres of cable annually. The action marked the start of a campaign to force Dutch metal companies and investment banks to share responsibility for the environmental impacts of mining activities. The group says its campaign is a logical extension of a previous one to force electrical appliance manufacturers to take-back and recycle their products. Now, it wants companies to extend environmental pressure to their suppliers by creating awareness of the environmental impacts of raw material sourcing. It targeted NKF because the company had failed to respond to questionnaires from the group about their suppliers. Several metal firms and banks are due to take part in a debate on mining at a conference organised by the group in Amsterdam on 15 December.

Follow Up:
Friends of the Earth the Netherlands, tel: +31 20 622 13 66.

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