Mount Polley - Terrasaurus
Mount Polley mine site, September 5, 2014. Imagery compliments of Jamie Heath, Terrasaurus Ltd.

Mount Polley and the Failure of Compliance

As we wait for the conclusion of the technical review and criminal investigations, information revealed by various media investigations and disclosures by the BC government show that there were a number of warnings and red flags raised about the Mount Polley mine's tailings impoundment in recent years. Whether the issues identified in the past are directly related to the spill or not, the BC government's response to them tells us a lot about how the supervision of mining sites works in BC.

Witness for the Indefensible: A Cheat Sheet for Kevin McArthur on Tahoe Resources’ Tactics to Silence Opposition in Guatemala

Mr. Kevin McArthur, the CEO of Tahoe Resources who came out of retirement after leaving Goldcorp in 2008 to develop the Escobal silver mine in southeastern Guatemala, has been summoned by a District Attorney’s office in Guatemala. He has been called to testify about the company’s tactics to put down opposition to the Escobal mine, such as through framing leaders on false or trumped up charges. We developed this cheat sheet, just in case Mr. McArthur's been busy and not paying close attention to dynamics on the ground around his company's only project.
Skytruth - Mount Polley
Skytruth/Google Earth image of Mount Polley tailings impoundment, Hazeltine Creek and portions of Polley and Quesnel Lakes, August 10, 2014.

Copper in Quesnel Lake, One of Many Concerns in Aftermath of Mount Polley Tailings Spill

It has been two months since the massive tailings spill occurred at the Mount Polley mine in the interior of British Columbia and we are all still trying to understand what its impact will be and how the mess will get cleaned up.

Hazeltine Creek after the spill (photo by Chris Blake)
Hazeltine Creek after the spill (photo by Chris Blake)

Catastrophic Tailings Spill at Mount Polley Mine

On August 5, approximately 10 billion litres of wastewater and 5 billion litres of solid tailings waste escaped the impoundment at Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mine in the interior of British Columbia.

HudBay Responds to Our Report on its Environmental and Human Rights Track Record

On July 17 MiningWatch received a response from mining company HudBay to our July 10, 2014, news release and brief: Canadian Mining Watchdog Warns Arizonans of HudBay Minerals’ Poor Track Record on Pollution and Human Rights.

Federal Government Ignores First Nations and Public Input on Environmental Assessment – Its Own Legislation Makes It Hard Not To

Last week the Minister of the Environment, Leona Aglukkaq bent to the desire of BC to go it alone on the environmental assessment of another major resource development project – in this case, the proposed Ruddock Creek Lead and Zinc Mine.

The Grassy Narrows Decision

Late last week the Supreme Court of Canada released another important Aboriginal rights decision regarding the Grassy Narrows case. Like the Tsilhqot'in decision a few weeks back the Grassy case was prompted by the threats and impacts of extensive commercial logging on traditional indigenous territories. Grassy Narrows was joined in the action by Wabauskang First Nation which has experienced logging as well as extensive mining developments in their traditional territory.

No Small Coup: The Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement

There was no doubt that the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement would be rushed through the Senate and receive Royal Assent before parliament recessed in June. Five years ago, however, – before then-Honduran President Mel Zelaya’s back door was shot open and he was flown to Costa Rica in his pyjamas in a military-backed coup – such a trade pact was not so sure.

Urgent Action: Guatemalan government moves to expel witnesses to police violence at US-Canadian mine site

Urgent Action: Call on Canadian representatives to respond as Guatemalan government moves to expel witnesses to police violence at US-Canadian mine site.

Guatemalan Government Moves to Expel Witnesses to Police Violence at US-Canadian Mine Site

(Updated) Last week, Guatemalan authorities informed two Peace Brigades International (PBI) volunteers that their temporary residence permits were cancelled and that they had ten days to leave the country. Both volunteers witnessed a violent eviction on May 23rd at 'La Puya' - just north of Guatemala City-, where US-based Kappes, Cassidy & Associates and Vancouver-based Radius Gold are trying to develop the El Tambor mine project.

Background: Tahoe Resources, Goldcorp and Mining Conflict in Guatemala

Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver project in the municipality of San Rafael Las Flores, southeastern Guatemala, is the subject of local opposition and ongoing legal processes against the validity of the exploitation licence. Community leaders have faced repression, criminalization and violence for their efforts to promote community consultation processes.

MiningWatch Canada Newsletter #36 – Spring/Summer 2014

Contents: ‘On the Road for Justice’ Speaking Tour to Bring Attention to Guatemala Mining Conflict, Need for Remedy in Canada Over One-Quarter Million People Side with Costa Rica in Imminent Battle with Canadian Company Infinito Gold African Barrick’s Confidential Compensation Agreements Questioned at Troubled Tanzania Mine Rejection of New Prosperity Project Provides Clarity to Industry: Lake Destroying Projects and Projects Without Indigenous Consent Need Not Apply New Federally Funded Academic Institute a Tool to Support Mining Industry New Study Debunks Mining Company “Falsehoods” Regarding El Salvador Ejido Carrizallillo Announces Agreement with Goldcorp, Ending 33-Day Strike Canadian Mining Investment Benefits Eritrea’s Repressive Regime Groups Rally on Parliament Hill To Demand Ombudsman for Extractive Industries Canada’s Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy Up in the Air Yet Again

We’re Celebrating Fifteen Years of Action in Support of Communities Affected by Mining

In honour of MiningWatch Canada's fifteenth anniversary, we are selling "Solidarity Shares" at $15 each. Unlike corporate mining shares, these Solidarity Shares go to support social justice and solidarity with and between mining-affected communities.

Canada’s Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy Up in the Air Yet Again

The federal government is engaged in a review of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy for the international operations of the Canadian extractive sector. As part of this review, MiningWatch was invited to participate in a civil society roundtable consultation hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), as well as in an in-depth interview by the Department’s Office of Audit, Evaluation and Inspection; both meetings were in December 2013.
Moths to a flame

What's Missing in Election Commitments to Stoke Ontario's Ring of Fire?

Like moths to a flame, Ontario’s political leaders have been circling the potential mining developments known as the Ring of Fire during the 2014 election campaign.