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I wish to tender my resignation as Chairman and member of PEAK. It has been a struggle since February 2000 when I joined PEAK but my experience and events to date has forced me to this situation.
The coastline of Kenya, from the port of Shimoni to the ancient village of Mambrui, is under severe environmental threat from irresponsible mining. The Kenyan coast is a stunning tropical paradise, with its 250 miles of palm-fringed beaches, blue lagoons and magnificent coral beaches. Conservation International lists Kenya's coastal forest as one of the world's 25 "hotspots" — places of extraordinary biodiversity that are seriously threatened. A new threat now endangers these forests, coastal waters, and the agricultural communities of the Digo and Kamba people. Tiomin Resources, a Canadian...
Widow & children
On December 16, 2000, conflict over the development of a bauxite mine and alumina plant in the Kashipur region of Orissa in India turned violent with the killing of three innocent tribal people. During a meeting of villagers opposed to the mine, armed police entered Maikanch village and opened fire. Abhilas Jhodia (25 years of age), Raghu Jodhia (18) and Jamudhar Jhodia (43) died, and 8 others sustained serious injury.
MiningWatch Canada held its Annual General Meeting (only our second) in Sudbury, March 2nd and 3rd. The meeting started with a forum to discuss the recently-ended Falconbridge strike, involving representatives of CAW/Mine Mill Local 598 as well as various community organizations. Key elements of the discussion included the effects of Falconbridge's acquisition by Noranda/Brascan, and the use of ore from the Raglan mine to help scab the strike and keep the smelter running. The global reach of the company contrasted with the strong community support that enabled the union to survive the strike...
(From an article by the Sudbury Coalition for Social Justice) On Tuesday, February 20th, the 1250 striking mine, mill and smelter workers at Falconbridge Nickel Mines in Sudbury, Ontario ratified an agreement reached between the company and CAW/Mine Mill Local 598 the previous day. Falconbridge's Sudbury operations produce 4% of the world supply of nickel along with copper, cobalt and platinum group metals. The agreement ends a strike that began last August 1, just weeks after Brascan took over majority ownership of Falconbridge's parent company, Noranda. The strike continued...
Mick Lowe
Based on a CAW Mine Mill Local 598 newsletter article written by Brian Macdonald and Norm Chammus: Despite assurances from the company last spring that they had no intention of undermining employee rights in the Collective Agreement, on May 2nd, 2000, an exchange of demands was initiated and the Company presented a major document, complete with a lengthy list of concessions amounting to a complete re-write of the existing collective agreement. Included in the list of "take-aways" was the elimination of five full-time union officials positions, changing the stewardship structure, a...
The fight to stop titanium mining on the Kenyan coast is gaining some ground in the courts. On February 27, the High Court sitting in Mombasa, Kenya, issued a temporary injunction stopping the titanium mining firm — Tiomin Resources Inc. — from mining or prospecting for the mineral at Msambweni. The company has now made a formal application to have the injunction lifted. The injunction suspending the titanium mining was based on an application by 205 Maumba and Nguluku village farmers set to be displaced by the Canadian firm. The farmers said that if the project were allowed to proceed, their...
arsenic drums
The Colomac gold mine , on Dogrib territory, was shut down in 1997, then abandoned by Royal Oak and transferred to the Federal government on December 13, 1999. Under its Water Licence, the company had posted a $1.5 million security deposit. At present it is on "care & maintenance" and awaiting clean-up. The mine tailings have a very high cyanide and ammonia content and a serious acid mine drainage problem, which getting worse, as well as other contaminants and waste on site. The eventual clean-up may cost more than $70 million.
The federal Treasury Board has established the Contaminated Site Management Framework. It has two parts: a policy for an inventory of contaminated sites and solid waste landfills. The policy was completed and posted on the Treasury Board website in June 2000. It is effective as of April 1, 2000; and a general policy in five to six parts for the management of contaminated sites under federal jurisdiction. This is currently underway.
A regional conference on submarine tailings disposal will be held in Manado, North Sulawesi in Indonesia between April 23-30, 2001. Submarine tailings disposal is the disposal of mine-mill waste or tailings into the sea through a submerged pipe, thus by-passing the international ban on ocean dumping which is limited to dumping from boats. Participants will come from Pacific countries where submarine tailings disposal is increasingly being practiced and promoted by the mining industry — Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and New Caledonia — as well as from countries where...