BlackRock fazed by “fracking” move « Mining Blog

BlackRock fazed by “fracking” move

26. October 2011,

The BlackRock Group is the world’s wealthiest private institutional funder of the minerals industry.

Normally it doesn’t comment on the social or environmental aspects of its investments, which include those in virtually every major mining company in the world.

But, in an unusal move, BlackRock’s managing director, Evy Hambro, speaking recently in Melbourne, accused BHP Billiton of having “unsettled the market” when it recently purchased “so hard and quickly” US shale gas producer, Petrohawk, for US$12.1 million, “without adequately explaining” why it did so [Business Spectator, 26 October 2011].

BlackRock (one of the most influential shareholders in the world’s biggest mining company) apparently views BHP Billiton’s precipitate move as risky.

This is not least because the practice of “fracking” (breaking rocks by pumping into them a cocktail of chemicals and water to release the gas) is “controversial” (Hambro’s own term) among a large range of environmental groups.

(On October 26, the UK anti-shale gas group, “Frack Off” called for Britain’s first “mass action” against fracking, to be held at ano fficial industry Shale Gas Environmental Summit. The group announced that, on 2nd November 2011, “protesters will meet outside [the summit] with gas masks, “fracked water” and noise makers. They aim to blockade the road outside the hotel, disrupt the conference and hold a people’s assembly assembly to discuss the environmental impacts of fracking”).

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