In 1989, BHP acquired land and mining rights to an iron sand deposit at Waikato Heads, New Zealand. This is the site of important Maori burial grounds, and local traditional landholders have vociferously opposed the license, saying that the sacred sites are not adequately protected.
In early 1990, Greenpeace divers blocked off a waste outlet at Broken Hill's Port Kembla plant. Australia, claiming that huge amounts of cyanide, zinc, ammonia, chromium and phenols were being dumped into a creek leading to the harbour. BHP later admitted that it had been illegally discharging cyanide into the waters.
In the late 1980's, at OK Tedi mine, Papua New Guinea (20% owned by BHP) highly toxic mining waste was dumped directly into the Fly River. Half the fish were killed even 50km downstream, and the food supply of 20,000 villagers was contaminated. The decision not to construct a dam to contain the waste is cited as "one of the most fateful and dangerous ever made in the history of mining in the Pacific region." Moreover, 1988, the Ok Tedi mountain had been lowered by 150 metres and more than 200km of roads had been built through the rainforest.
BHP is one of the companies which carried out oil exploration in Burma since 1989. Environmental impacts of exploration include pollution, erosion and deforestation of virgin tropical forest for roads etc which also give access to the military regime.
Fosters owns companies called Elders Meat Investments, Western Livestock, Elders Meat, Tama Meat Packaging and Australia Meat Holdings.
Elders was criticised in 1989 for exporting live sheep from Australasia to Europe and the Middle East. Some of their boatloads were said to contain up to 100,000 sheep on a three week journey, cramped in spaces little bigger than themselves, and standing in their own excreta.