Category Archives: Extractive Industries

Meet the Company Suing El Salvador for the Right to Poison Its Water

Other Words

In an obscure World Bank court, a multinational mining firm is suing El Salvador for attempting to protect its citizens from deadly mining pollution.

By Robin Broad and John Cavanagh

Salvadorans protest in favor of a ban on all mineral mining. (Photo: laurizza / Flickr)
Salvadorans protest in favor of a ban on all mineral mining. (Photo: laurizza / Flickr)

An obscure tribunal housed at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. will soon decide the fate of millions of people.

At issue is whether a government should be punished for refusing to let a foreign mining company operate because it wants to protect its main source of water.

The case pits El Salvador’s government against a Canadian gold-mining company that recently became part of a larger Australian-based corporation. When OceanaGold bought Pacific Rim last year, it identified the Salvadoran mining prospects as a key asset, even though gold prices have sunk by more than a third from their 2011 high of more than $1,900 an ounce.
Continue reading Meet the Company Suing El Salvador for the Right to Poison Its Water

Africa Activists Urge Obama to Act on Extractive Industries Law

IPS

By Jim Lobe

Artisanal diamond miners at work in the alluvial diamond mines around the eastern town of Koidu, Sierra Leone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS
Artisanal diamond miners at work in the alluvial diamond mines around the eastern town of Koidu, Sierra Leone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS

As the three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit got underway here Monday, anti-corruption activists urged President Barack Obama to prod a key U.S. agency to issue long-awaited regulations requiring oil, gas, and mining companies to publish all payments they make in countries where they operate.

“The companies need to be held accountable, and we would ask President Obama to also support us in this message,” said Ali Idrissa, the national co-ordinator of Publiez Ce Que Vous Payez (Publish What You Pay, or PWYP), in Niger, a country rich in uranium and iron deposits.

Anti-corruption activists are losing patience with what they see as pressure by the extractive industries to prevent the emergence of tough new disclosure requirements.
“We need to look at the entire production chain of these extractive industries; we need to continue putting pressure on this industry …so we can fight poverty and corruption and ensure we have a better development,” he added.

Idrissa, one of scores of African activists who have descended on Washington for this week’s unprecedented gathering, was speaking at a forum sponsored by the Open Society Foundations (OSF), Global Witness, Human Rights Watch, and Oxfam America, among other groups, on civil society efforts to promote government and corporate transparency and accountability on the continent. Continue reading Africa Activists Urge Obama to Act on Extractive Industries Law

Peru’s Conga Mine Conflict: Cajamarca Won’t Capitulate

Upside Down World

The fight over the Conga mining project is one of Peru’s largest current social conflicts.

By Lynda Sullivan

peru                   Today, the local population continues resisting the imposition of one of Latin America`s largest gold mining projects – Minas Conga. The situation remains tense, and the resistance continues, but with an intensified sense of urgency because as the battles are won and lost, many feel that the conflict is nearing its conclusion.

The struggle against the Conga project has been a long and arduous one already (1). To summarize, Conga is a 4.8 billion dollar project of Yanacocha – a company which combines the interests of Newmont mining corporation (US-based), Buenaventura (Peru) and the IFC of the World Bank. It aims to destroy the head of the water basin for the province of Celendin, and in part that of neighboring Cajamarca and Hualgayoc, leaving severe water shortage and contamination. This would prove disastrous for the mainly rural provinces of the region of Cajamarca, in the northern highlands of Peru, where the majority of dwellers live by agriculture and cattle rearing.  It would be an aggressive open pit mining project, an Earth-destroying technique that Newmont itself initiated in the early 1960s (2), and similar but more expansive than Yanacocha`s previous work in Cajamarca. For this the population rejecting the project have a fair idea of what is in store – all they need to do is look next door to the devastation that 20 years of open pit mining has left in its wake (to see more about the particulars of this devastation please see the aforementioned article). Continue reading Peru’s Conga Mine Conflict: Cajamarca Won’t Capitulate

Peru’s Conga Mine Conflict: Cajamarca Won’t Capitulate

Upside Down World

The fight over the Conga mining project is one of Peru’s largest current social conflicts.

By Lynda Sullivan

Local people protesting  the abuse of local environment
Local people protesting the abuse of local environment

Today, the local population continues resisting the imposition of one of Latin America`s largest gold mining projects – Minas Conga. The situation remains tense, and the resistance continues, but with an intensified sense of urgency because as the battles are won and lost, many feel that the conflict is nearing its conclusion.

The struggle against the Conga project has been a long and arduous one already (1). To summarize, Conga is a 4.8 billion dollar project of Yanacocha – a company which combines the interests of Newmont mining corporation (US-based), Buenaventura (Peru) and the IFC of the World Bank. It aims to destroy the head of the water basin for the province of Celendin, and in part that of neighboring Cajamarca and Hualgayoc, leaving severe water shortage and contamination. This would prove disastrous for the mainly rural provinces of the region of Cajamarca, in the northern highlands of Peru, where the majority of dwellers live by agriculture and cattle rearing.  It would be an aggressive open pit mining project, an Earth-destroying technique that Newmont itself initiated in the early 1960s (2), and similar but more expansive than Yanacocha`s previous work in Cajamarca. For this the population rejecting the project have a fair idea of what is in store – all they need to do is look next door to the devastation that 20 years of open pit mining has left in its wake (to see more about the particulars of this devastation please see the aforementioned article).

Continue reading Peru’s Conga Mine Conflict: Cajamarca Won’t Capitulate

In Nation’s Capital, It’s Native Americans and Ranchers vs. KXL ‘Death Warrant’

Common Dreams

‘Cowboy and Indian Alliance’ protest encampment on national mall culminates with ceremonial procession to ‘protect sacred land and water’
- Sarah Lazare, staff writer

"Reject and Protect" mobilization pictured Saturday, April 26 (Photo: Reject and Protect)
“Reject and Protect” mobilization pictured Saturday, April 26 (Photo: Reject and Protect)

Native American tribes, farmers and ranchers, and thousands of their allies flooded the National Mall Saturday with a ceremonial procession calling for President Obama to reject the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Continue reading In Nation’s Capital, It’s Native Americans and Ranchers vs. KXL ‘Death Warrant’

U.S. Federal Court Action Requests Information from Newmont Regarding Repression of Protests at its Conga Mine Project

Earth Rights International

January 24, 2014
Contact:

Rick Herz (U.S.): (860) 233-4938, rick@earthrights.org
Benjamin Hoffman (Peru): +51-959-284295, benjamin@earthrights.org

January 24, 2014, Denver – EarthRights International (ERI) filed an action in federal court today on behalf of a protestor paralyzed by police violence at the site of Newmont Mining’s Conga mine project in Peru. ERI is seeking documents and information from Newmont to assist in pending legal proceedings in Peru related to the police repression of protestors against the Conga project.

Elmer Eduardo Campos Álvarez, a 32-year-old resident of the Cajamarca department, where the Conga project is planned, lost a kidney and his spleen and was paralyzed from the waist down on November 29, 2011, when police officers shot him in the back while he was peacefully protesting. Mr. Campos was among at least 24 protestors injured by police that day.
Continue reading U.S. Federal Court Action Requests Information from Newmont Regarding Repression of Protests at its Conga Mine Project

Despite Legal Attacks, Conflict Minerals Ban Gets Stronger

Carey L. Biron

Former “blood diamonds” now provide employment in Sierra Leone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS
Former “blood diamonds” now provide employment in Sierra Leone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS

WASHINGTON, Jan 8 2014 (IPS) – Major manufacturing and business groups on Tuesday urged a court here to roll back a new U.S. regulation that would soon require major manufacturers to ensure that their global supply chains are free of minerals used to fund violence in the Great Lakes region of central Africa.

Yet the previous day, Intel, the major computer hardware manufacturer, announced the world’s first product formally dubbed free of such materials, stating that its microprocessors would no longer use “conflict minerals”. The announcement highlights trends that advocates of greater supply chain accountability say are already well underway, and which they suggest belie parts of the legal case against the rule. Continue reading Despite Legal Attacks, Conflict Minerals Ban Gets Stronger