Guest Publication

Not Yet a World Leader: Environmental Reviews of Metal Mines in British Columbia

In this report, Ecovision’s Stephen Hazell challenges British Columbia premier John Horgan’s claim that the province’s 2019 Environmental Assessment Act (BCEAA) is “world-leading”. “Not Yet a World Leader: Environmental Reviews of Metal Mines in British Columbia” finds that B.C actually lags other key jurisdictions by failing to assess some proposed metal mines that may have significant adverse effects.  

Publication

Canadian Mining Investments in Chile: Extractivism and Conflict

In its Andean salt flats, Chile has one of the largest proven reserves of lithium in brines and is a leading exporter of both lithium and copper -- two minerals identified as "critical" for the energy transition. But "green extractivism" has caused conflict in Indigenous and rural territories in Chile, threatening communities and environmental defenders who are currently facing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as climate change that the electric vehicle (EV) market promises to solve. This brief report seeks to explain the responsibility of Canadian investments in the emergence of new socio-environmental conflicts in Chile’s salt flats, in an effort to contribute to the national and international debate on possible futures with climate justice as a cornerstone in the development of policies that go beyond a corporate energy transition towards a real and socio-ecological transformation.

Publication

Mapping Community Resistance to the Impacts of Mining for the Energy Transition in the Americas

Full report: The global mining industry, often supported by host governments, is positioning mining as a “green solution” to the climate crisis. This “green mining boom” is rapidly expanding into culturally and ecologically sensitive areas, increasingly affecting Indigenous and human rights, community livelihoods and the environment. Communities, academics, and activists say that an energy transition that heavily depends on mining new materials without considering materials and energy for what, for whom, and at what socio-environmental costs will only reinforce injustices and lack of sustainability that have deepened the climate crisis in the first place. 

Publication

Submission to the Marathon Palladium Project Joint Panel Review

These comments were submitted to the Joint Panel reviewing the environmental impact of the proposed Marathon Palladium Mine. We have reviewed documents filed for investors by Generation Mining, particularly the Feasibility Study (FS) and the 2020 Annual Information Return (AIF). We also researched the history of the mine’s proponents by talking to communities where they had operated and searching publicly available literature.  Both research projects unearthed some serious concerns about the Marathon Mine of which the Panel needs to be aware. These issues are:

Publication

Bridging the Gap: Towards Best International Standards on Mine Waste Safety in British Columbia

In 2014, a dam breach at Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mine resulted in the largest mine waste disaster in Canadian history. Over 24 billion litres of solid and liquid mine waste rushed downstream into the Quesnel Lake watershed, leading to a drinking water ban and destroying kilometres of forest and fish habitats in its wake. Long-term effects of this disaster, such as contamination of lake sediments and species, are still being monitored. 

Publication

Indigenous Sovereignty: Consent for Mining on Indigenous Lands

The Indigenous Sovereignty: Implementing Consent for Mining on Indigenous Lands is a new report prepared by the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council (FNEMC) setting out 25 recommendations which, if implemented, would compel mining companies and prospectors to secure the approval of First Nation governments in order to obtain consent-based access to First Nations' lands. They would further be required to agree and abide by conditions set by those First Nations governments.

Publication

B.C. Fails to Meet Indigenous Consent Standard for Mining – 8 recent cases

The passing of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA) by the B.C. Legislature in November 2019 was supposed to be the start of a new chapter in the nation-to-nation relationships between Indigenous peoples and the provincial government.

But two years on, implementation of the standard of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of Indigenous Nations before mining activity can take place on their territories—one of the bedrock principles on which UNDRIP is based—is still as distant as it was in 2019. Read about eight recent cases where B.C. is failing to meet Indigenous consent standards for mining.

Publication

Backgrounder: Mapping Community Resistance to Mining for the Energy Transition in the Americas

The global mining industry, often supported by host governments, is positioning mining as a “green solution” to the climate crisis. This “green mining boom” is rapidly expanding into culturally and ecologically sensitive areas, increasingly affecting Indigenous and human rights, community livelihoods and the environment.

Communities, academics, and activists say that an energy transition that heavily depends on mining new materials without considering materials and energy for what, for whom, and at what socio-environmental costs will only reinforce injustices and lack of sustainability that have deepened the climate crisis in the first place.

Guest Publication

Vale Unsustainability Report 2021

In April 2021, the International Articulation of Those Affected by Vale (A Articulação Internacional dos Atingidos e Atingidas pela Vale, AIAAV) launched the Vale 2021 Unsustainability Report. Now, after a collective process of review and translation, with the support of partners in Canada, AIAAV has launched the English version of the document. The intention is for the publication to reach an even wider circulation, since a company with global operations requires processes of resistance that are, also, global.

Guest Publication

Shareholder Advisory: The Proposed Business Combination Between Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition and DeepGreen

The purpose of this Shareholder Advisory is to inform potential investors in the business combination proposed by DeepGreen Metals and Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corporation (SOAC) to form The Metals Company (TMC). We believe that the Advisory is of particular relevance to SOAC public shareholders, who would be anticipating an investment with strong sustainability credentials and who will shortly be invited to vote on approving the business combination and/or to elect to maintain or redeem their investment. 

Publication

Economic Analysis: The Marathon Palladium Project

This report analyzes the Marathon Project with specific reference to the market prospects for palladium in the medium term. The analysis suggests that the Project entails far greater economic risk than Generation PGM’s promotional material allows. In particular, the report draws attention to the following areas of concern:

Publication

Lithium: The New Economic Dispute Promoted by the False Green Market

[Report available in Spanish only] The “Energy Transition” promoted by capitalists is a clear greenwashing attempt, and does not represent a significant departure from what the world already knows as an inseparable relationship to the mining extractivist model. The example of lithium in Mexico is a case in point.

Despite statements being made about world lithium shortages, and its unparalleled importance for the “energy transition”, world lithium production fell by nearly 20% in 2019, and in the same year, despite this fact, the slow growth of lithium demand only met 75% of the total supply. A slowing down in the sale of elec- tric vehicles (exacerbated by the removal of Chinese subsidies), as well as a reduction in the practice of stockpiling, among others, depressed production. Despite this, the primary sources of information for the industry, as well as the principle financial institutions, continue to insist that we are on the cusp of a lithium demand boom.

Publication

Analysis of the Quebrada Blanca Expansion Project Phase II

The Quebrada Blanca Phase II (QBP2) Expansion Project will require more than 4.7 billion dollars in capital investment and is financed by Japanese and Canadian  banks and finance corporations. The expansion project is an open-pit copper-molybdenum-silver mine which contemplates a life-of mine of over 25 years, with a capacity of 140,000 tonnes per day (tpd). Following construction the mine will be one of the largest mines in Chile and among the 20 largest mines in the world. It is being erected atop of the existing pit in the Tarapacá region – an area of Chile that is already saturated with large-scale mines.

Publication

Conference report: "Turning Down The Heat: Can We Mine Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis?"

In November 2019, MiningWatch Canada brought together almost 200 people — community and grassroots representatives, experts and academics, researchers and activists — to explore some of the thorny issues around the need for metals and materials for renewable energy and climate action. This is the report of that conference.

Brief

Ontario Must Assess the Impacts of Mines and Smelters Before They Are Built!

This report, written by Ontarians for a Just Accountable Mineral Strategy (OJAMS), commissioned by MiningWatch Canada and endorsed by Northwatch, Friends of the Attawapiskat River, the Canadian Environmental Law Association, Greenpeace Canada, and Kebaowek First Nation, is being submitted to the Ontario government in response to  changes it made to the Environmental Assessment Act as part of the omnibus COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, Bill 197.

Brief

Canada’s National Contact Point: Long Overdue for an Overhaul

On October 7, 2020, MiningWatch submitted this brief to Global Affairs Canada with detailed recommendations for a complete overhaul of Canada’s National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines). This Canadian non-judicial body was set up to receive complaints filed by people from around the world who have been harmed by the activities of Canadian corporations that have breached the OECD Guidelines in their operations. The NCP's utter lack of effectiveness in handling these complaints has resulted in further deepening the harm suffered by those bringing the complaints.