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Los Filos
Among questions about the Syrian refugee crisis and Canada’s military deployment abroad, the central role of the Canadian mining industry in the dispossession and forced displacement of many thousands of people around the world, including countless men, women, and children murdered, wounded, and raped, deserves serious attention when Harper, Trudeau and Mulcair head into the Munk Debate on Canada’s Foreign Policy in Toronto this Monday. While it is unlikely that a debate that carries the name of one of Canada’s biggest mining magnates will permit critical questions about Canadian mining...
The Supreme Court of Canada
In a small but significant step towards ending corporate impunity for destroying the environment and people’s health, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Ecuadoran villagers should be allowed to try to get hold of Chevron assets in Canada, to collect on the $US9.51 billion that Ecuadoran courts had awarded them for extensive pollution of the Amazon rainforest. MiningWatch Canada intervened in the case ( Chevron Corp. v. Yaiguaje, 2015 SCC 42 ) in order to support the idea that transnational corporations should be held to account for their abuses, regardless of where they took...
Otto Pérez Molina
If the militarized security strategy that Tahoe Resources used to put its Escobal silver mine into operation isn’t enough to raise questions about the ethics of the company’s operations in Guatemala, the recent resignation of Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina should be. Pérez Molina stepped down on September 2 after Congress voted to strip him of his political immunity. A week later, he was indicted on charges of illicit association, customs fraud, and bribery for his involvement in a customs network that robbed tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money.
State of Seige in Guatemala
Canada’s multinationals work hand-in-hand with corrupt governments and threaten democracy in post-conflict Central American nations. Canadian mining companies account for 75 percent of the world’s extractive corporations. Canada is literally digging up the globe. Minister of Foreign Affairs Ed Fast says, “Canada’s mining sector … leads the world in responsible mining practices, and we are proud of the prosperity that this sector is creating at home and in every corner of the globe.” However, the political, social and environmental costs are far greater than the Canadian government or mining...
TSF failures
A new study reveals that catastrophic mine waste failures are increasing in frequency, severity, and costs all around the world. The authors point toward poor regulations, poor practices, dicey mining economics, and ever larger mines as key factors behind those disasters. This dangerous trend needs to stop. The study by Bowker and Chambers, Risk, Public Liability & Economics of Tailings Storage Facility Failures , found that nearly half of all recorded ‘serious failures’ happened in modern times, between 1990 and 2010. It calculated an average cost of $US 543 million for the...
Mt. Polley breach
By Ana Simeon and Ugo Lapointe On August 4 last year, Quesnel Lake residents and communities along the Fraser River were eagerly anticipating one of the largest sockeye returns in recent history. What they got instead was a nightmare: over 24 billion litres of mine waste burst through Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley dam into their watershed. Mount Polley is the largest mining waste spill in Canada’s history. The consequences and overall costs of this disaster concern us all, including a steep cost on the industry’s reputation and public trust. Yet a year later, the mine is running again under a...
Map - Crucitas
Canadian, US and other international civil society organizations welcome Infinito Gold’s announcement that it is calling it quits on its tortuous quest to open the Crucitas mine in Costa Rica in spite of the determined opposition of the Costa Rican people and repeated court decisions against it. On July 15, Infinito Gold announced that all of the company’s directors and officers have resigned and that its principal shareholder and creditor is no longer willing to put up money for this sinking ship that was reporting a deficit of over $160 million. Ronald Mannix, Infinito Gold’s longtime angel...
This week the United Nations’ International Seabed Authority (ISA) is meeting in Jamaica to consider draft regulations for the exploitation of seabed mineral resources. MiningWatch Canada joins a growing global outcry over the speed at which the ISA is moving from licensing deep sea exploration to adopting regulations for mining the deep sea. MiningWatch joins scientists and concerned citizens in calling for the application of the precautionary principle in the form of a moratorium on ISA contracts for seabed mineral exploration, and on exploitation, until independent scientists...
Escobal opposition banner
Guest Blog: Ellen Moore, Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) On July 12, 2015, the Guatemalan Centre for Environmental and Social Legal Action (CALAS) filed criminal charges against former Minister of Energy and Mines, Erik Archila, and former mines director at the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), Fernando Castellanos. CALAS is accusing Archila and Castellanos of violating the Constitution and of breach of duty for having granted Tahoe Resources an exploitation licence for the Escobal project without adequate consideration of more than 250 community complaints...
Porgera rape survivors
Barrick Gold’s proposed assessment of its project-level non-judicial grievance mechanism for sexual assault victims in Papua New Guinea does not meet criteria set by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2013, particularly with regard to process, independence, inclusiveness and transparency, and credibility.