Mining companies listen to Pope’s message over environment

The new Pope is Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. The first ever Jesuit Pope, he will take the name Pope Francis.
The new Pope is Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. The first ever Jesuit Pope, he will take the name Pope Francis. Getty Images

POPE Francis's prayers and thoughts have turned to those involved in the world's mining industry.

The head of the Catholic Church recently spoke with representatives from all the major mining companies in attendance.

Many of these including Anglo American and Rio Tinto have a company presence in Central Queensland.

The church expressed its concerns that the industry fulfils its environmental responsibilities and treats workers fairly.

While the specific focus of concern was on Africa and other developing countries, the Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said the message was relevant for all mining communities.

"Mining, like many other industrial activities, has ecological and social consequences which go well beyond national borders and pass from one generation to the next.

"The participants at this meeting are aware that, so as not to repeat grave errors of the past, decisions today cannot be taken solely from geological perspectives or the possible economic benefits for investors and for the states in which the companies are based," he said. "A new and more profound decision-making process is indispensable and inescapable, one which takes into consideration the complexity of the problems involved, in a context of solidarity.

"Likewise it requires the assurance that extraction activities respect international standards for the protection of the environment.

"The great challenge of business leaders is to create a harmony of interests, involving investors, managers, workers, their families, the future of their children, the preservation of the environment on both a regional and international scale," he said.

Topics:  anglo american business environment mining pope rio tinto

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