Rio Tinto Zinc: Extract from 'Written in Flames'

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Extract from the pamphlet Written in Flames, published in 1987. Full reference: I-Spy Productions Written in Flames: Naming the British Ruling Class London: Hooligan Press ISBN 1869802071. Undated, but published in 1987.

Rio Tinto Zinc Is a multinational robber baron and few people would bother to deny It. At a strike last year at the Rio Tinto copper mine which gave- RTZ half its name, Spanish miners laid off by the company, held up placards saying -English thieves go home-, Meanwhile, one thousand Cornish tin miners were being held to ransom by RTZ untl1 the government loaned out £15m Interest free to keep their mines open,

RTZ mines copper In South Africa and Chile. Iron Ore, Bauxite and diamonds In Ausralia, where It Is accused of polluting aboriginal land (in partnership with BP). It steals uranium from South African occupied Namibia, in breach of International law Together with the uranium It mines In Canada, this goes to supply the nuclear power stations and arm the missiles. Silver and gold come out of Bougainville In Papua New Guinea and 0il and gas out of the North Sea.

At RTZ share holders' meetings, Greenham women shout at the executive chairman. Sir Alistair Frame, a former director of the Atomic Energy Authority and of Vickers; a man who dines with top army generals. This 58 year old Is a director on the boards of engineers Plessey and the drug company Glaxo.

  • John Birkin (58), deputy chair and chief executive, Is also a director of the construction company George Wimpey. He represented RTZ's Australian mining interests at a Grosvenor House banquet of the British-Australian Society earler this year. At the same table were the chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir David Craig and other top men of the RAF and' Royal Navy. Also there was Bruce Matthews, boss of Rupert Murdoch's News International.
  • Lord John Assheton, the 2nd Baron Cl1theroe, an RTZ execuuve director, went to Eton, Oxford and served in the Life Guards.
  • Sir Anthony Tuke, former Barclays Bank chairman, was the RTZ boss until '85 when he took over the Savoy Hotel. He's still on the RTZ board. Sir David Orr, former head of Unilever and chair of the Hong Kong and Singapore trading company, Inchcape, and Mark Littman, the barrister who has made a career out of company directorships are also non-executives.