Coal Tattoo

An interesting news release from earlier this week happened to cross my desk this morning. It’s from an outfit called RepRisk, which describes itself as “a leading provider of dynamic data on environmental and social risks for an unlimited universe of companies and projects.” Here’s the announcement:

RepRisk has released its new report on the 10 Most Controversial Mining Companies of 2011, benchmarked against the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Principles and other international standards. This report highlights the consequences of environmental, social and governance risks on the companies’ reputations, access to capital and licenses to operate.

In 2011 Mining giants Alpha Natural Resources, Newmont Mining, and Glencore International made the top ranks for issues related to mountaintop removal mining and impacts on indigenous people and protected areas.

Regarding Alpha, RepRisk said:

Alpha Natural Resources, top ranked on the list, saw a dramatic increase in its RepRisk Index (RRI), a quantitative risk measure that captures criticism and qualifies a company’s exposure to controversial issues, after its purchase of Massey Energy. Massey had been targeted over its well-documented history of alleged safety issues, fraud, and environmental concerns relating to its mountaintop removal mining practices. The company paid a fine of USD 210 million to settle ongoing criminal and civil cases related to an accident at its Upper Big Branch mine in 2010, which resulted in 29 fatalities.