Libyan deportation centers are rife with abuse, rights groups say, and a CNN undercover investigation last year revealed cases of migrants being sold at slave auctions.Italy’s new populist government has stirred controversy this month by closing its ports to ships rescuing migrants from the Mediterranean.Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte welcomed the European Council deal Friday, saying it took “long negotiation, but from today Italy is no longer alone.”Oscar Camps, president of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, complained that the Italian coast guard did not call on a rescue boat his organization had in range to assist the migrants, as it had in the past.“Today 100 people died in the Med. We are outraged, not only for the deaths of these people, but because they didn’t use the rescue boats in the area. The Open Arms has been here for many days, and neither Italy, nor anyone else, is using our capabilities,” he said.“We did it in the past — we intervened at seven miles from the Libyan coast to assist with a shipwreck — we have done so many operations under the coordination of the Italian coast guard. But suddenly, they ignore us, they don’t call us, and people keep dying a few miles away from us. This is a shame and someone needs to take responsibility for this. We are not here to obstruct the work of the coast guard. We are here to collaborate so that people don’t die in the sea.” Aid group Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières, urged EU leaders Friday to “show some basic decency” by committing to search and rescue operations for those in trouble at sea — and then taking them to a place of safety, rather than Libya.“EU member states are abdicating their responsibilities to save lives and deliberately condemning vulnerable people to be trapped in Libya, or die at sea,” said Karline Kleijer, head of emergencies for the aid group.“They do this fully aware of the extreme violence and abuses that refugees and migrants suffer in Libya.” The news came just hours after European Union leaders hailed a new deal on migration that could see more migrants prevented from making the Mediterranean crossing — if it can be made to work.Hundreds of people have already lost their lives this year attempting the perilous Mediterranean crossing, according to the IOM. Separately, an estimated 345 migrants were returned Friday to Libyan shores by the Libyan coast guard, IOM said.Close to 10,200 migrants have been taken back to Libya so far in 2018, Petre said. More than 2,000 were returned by the Libyan coast guard last week. Meanwhile, EU leaders have squabbled over taking responsibility for migrants rescued at sea and vowed to strengthen Europe’s external borders.Only 14 migrants had been rescued after the boat capsized Friday, the IOM said, as the rescue operation was ongoing.“The bodies of three children under the age of five have been retrieved. How many missing or dead total, we don’t know for now,” IOM spokeswoman for Libya, Christine Petre, told CNN.Doctors are providing medical assistance on site, and additional staff have been deployed, Petre said. “IOM is providing humanitarian direct assistance at the disembarkation point, including water and food,” she said. Held in the outstretched arms of three men close to the water’s edge, one of the babies was still wearing sneakers, fastened shut with pink Velcro straps, another with red socks that matched a pair of red and white dotted pants and the third barefoot, partially wrapped with a makeshift covering. Three babies are among 100 people feared dead off Libya after their boat capsized on Friday, CNN reported.The lifeless bodies of three babies, dressed in brightly colored clothing and looking almost as if they were sleeping, were carried carefully ashore Friday in Libya. They were the latest victims of the migrant crisis, their young lives lost as a rubber boat carrying desperate migrants seeking a better life capsized off the north Africa nation’s coast. A hundred or more people are dead, a spokesman for the UN migration agency, the International Organization for Migration, said in a tweet.
The Australian mining industry is operating in a less certain external and more expensive environment which is placing increased financial and operational pressures on the sector, one of Australia’s most experienced resources industry chiefs, OZ Minerals Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Terry Burgess, believes. The growing popularity of Fly In, Fly Out (FIFO) rosters to many remote mining sites, very high standards of facilities at these and other sites, and increasing costs of plant, equipment and wages are making many mining companies “walk a fine line” in relation to softening commodity prices.The comments were made when delivering the 38th annual Essington Lewis Memorial Lecture – one of the most prestigious lectures on the South Australian resources industry calendar – in Adelaide this week.“Over the past couple of years, the mining industry has been a bit like the wedding industry,” Burgess said. “If you were to organise a nice dinner for a group of family and friends, you may get it for a reasonable price. Mention it’s a wedding and you should expect to pay much more! As an industry, we now want to pay for the nice dinner – not the wedding or mining premium.“Having said this, we do not do it without being realistic. Our industry operates to an increasingly high standard, and in some cases this does mean that things cannot always be done at the lowest cost.“We are hearing a lot about productivity in Australia today and this has been because costs have escalated with the pressure of the resources projects with goods, services and people in relative short supply.“There is a strong view from many parts that this has gone too far. Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has said that miners have become ‘fat and lazy’ and CEOs of major companies such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are calling to their contractors for costs to be reduced.”Burgess said the resources industry had reacted to the situation over the past few years by trying to obtain the needed goods and services, and to retain people almost at any cost to meet the demands of their enterprises.He said the sector now needed to review this environment to determine what the best sustainable option is for this cyclical industry.“Overall, there needs to be a different way of thinking about the business to prevent the boom/bust cycle from which no one benefits,” Burgess said. “Technological investment – particularly in IT and control systems – is one way of succeeding in this.“It is unlikely there will be major changes to the mechanics of mining and processing, but the use of cleverer technology and automation of equipment is an attractive option for a country such as Australia.”In a wide ranging lecture, titled Modern Mining – New Directions, Burgess also spoke about:How China’s insatiable appetite for a better quality of living standard – or urban regeneration – is the “new” global driver of copper demandOnly by Government, industry and local communities working together over the long term will South Australia reap long term sustainable benefits from the mining industryBHP-Billiton’s decision to delay the expansion of its Olympic Dam mine had brought some relief for much smaller operators like OZ Minerals in terms of availability and affordability of quality and skilled people, and specialised equipmentThe global copper industry is struggling to keep up with global demand with an estimated 800,000 t shortfall likely this year – eight times the annual production of OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia.“We have just seen a period of pretty phenomenal demand for commodities over almost ten years, particularly for iron ore and coking coal – the ingredients of the Chinese steel mills and the raw materials for infrastructure of this rapidly growing economy – but also for copper,” Burgess said.“While urbanisation is still occurring in China at a rapid rate, urban regeneration – where people are moving from the older style urban dwellings in the ‘old city’ areas to more modern high-rise living spaces in the ‘new towns’ – is now a bigger driver of copper demand.“This demand will continue for some time to come, and that is good news not only for Australia, but also South Australia, which is very fortunate to have the Gawler Craton – considered to be one of the most highly prospective regions of the world for copper – in its own backyard.”