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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.
The MiningWatch Canada national office staff consists of a Canada Program Coordinator, a Communications and Outreach Coordinator, a Research Coordinator, a Latin America Program Coordinator, and a Resource Development and Administrative Coordinator. Our Canada Program Coordinator Ugo Lapointe focusses on Canadian provincial and territorial mining policy development, review of individual mining projects through environmental assessments, and provides technical and logistical support to communities affected by mineral exploraiton and mining projects. He also conducts research about domestic...
Bisha Mining Share Company
A new report by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea describes “a totalitarian state bent on controlling Eritreans through a vast security apparatus that has penetrated all levels of society.” Nevsun’s Bisha gold-copper mine is repeatedly cited for appalling labour abuses by the company’s Eritrean contractors, including forced labour and inhuman living and working conditions. The findings clearly echo the charges levelled against the company last year in a lawsuit on behalf of former workers at the site. The range of alleged human rights allegations that the commission...
Diana Martin
MiningWatch Canada is pleased to announce that Diana Martin has joined our staff as Administration and Resource Development Coordinator. Diana brings a strong commitment to social justice and comes to us with many years of experience working with activists, networks, and decision-makers in Canada and internationally. Diana replaces Susan Murdock in this position, as Susan is retiring after nine and a half years of outstanding work. Diana’s concern for social justice started from a very early age as she was faced with the struggles of a deeply divided society in her native Colombia. After...
The lives of human rights defender Victor Andrés Cruz Chi and his family, from Colima, Mexico are under threat. They are being targeted for their work in support of the indigenous community of Zacualpan that has been resisting the presence of mining concessions on their land and for Victor's persistant willingness to confront state collusion in human rights violations taking place. The following is a translation in English the online urgent action being circulated by the Mexican National Network of Human Rights Organizations for the Rights of All (REDTDT its initials in Spanish). These...
Mokopane residents at SAHRA office
Members of the Mokopane community in Limpopo province, where Ivanhoe Mines subsidiary Ivanplats is building the Platreef platinum mine, today protested inside and outside the Pretoria office of the South African Heritage Resource Agency (SAHRA) as well as picketing the Canadian High Commission.