To respond effectively to the challenges of mineral development, communities need the context and information necessary to understand and weigh the issues. This booklet profiles major impacts associated with mines developed in remote areas. Produced for MiningWatch Canada by the Environmental Mining Council of British Columbia.
In the summer of 1998, in the aftermath of a cyanide spill outside the Kumtor Mine in Kyrgyzstan, MPC published the issue paper Cyanide Uncertainties. In that paper, Dr. Robert E. Moran exploded the myth perpetuated by many in the mining industry that the public need not be concerned about cyanide spills at mines. Dr. Moran pointed out that cyanide does not simply break down into harmless elements when exposed to air and water. He found that the cyanide story is actually quite complex and there is much that is uncertain about the toxicity of cyanide and cyanide breakdown compounds. He also found that while mine operators test for some forms of cyanide, they are typically not required to test for other cyanide compounds, and therefore do not.
By Roger Moody: In the course of my research, several salient facts emerged. First, the number of mining companies invited into Burma by the military regime, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), is greater than we previously suspected. In Chapter Three, more than sixty of these are listed. Second, despite a high-profile and persistent international campaign to bar all foreign investment in Burma, some major corporations, not just “juniors”, have invested in mineral exploration and exploitation.
On the Ground Research: A Workshop to Identify the Research Needs of Communities Affected by Large-Scale Mining
Report from the Workshop held in Ottawa, April 14-16, 2000. Prepared by MiningWatch Canada and the Canadian Consortium for International Social Development (CCISD). Also in Spanish.
An insightful study full of mining information, articles, legal cases, assessments and more! Mining's Many Faces: Environmental Mining Law and Policy in Canada is intended to provide an introductory overview of current environmental laws and policies applicable to the metal mining sector, major policy trends, and the politics of mineral development in Canada. It also provides an assessment of the existing regime relative to the requirements of a fair and effective system for the environmental regulation of metal mining activities. Also in Spanish.
Presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on Mining Issues in Central Asia
This paper make a series of recommendations regarding improvements to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) and its implementation, based on MiningWatch Canada's analysis. The recommendations are aimed at strengthening the application of environmental assessment (EA) in Canada, increasing public accountability, and improving the consistency of EA practice. Reference is made to the Discussion Paper distributed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency ("the Agency"), though in some cases our proposals go beyond the options laid out in that document.
This study by Forest Peoples Programme, Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links and the World Rainforest Movement, published in January 2000, is the second report in a series which focuses on the social, environmental, economic and political impacts of transnational corporations (TNCs) on forests and forest peoples. Even if often ignored in forestry debates, industrial mining is the second biggest threat (after commercial logging) to the world’s remaining primary forests. Canadian companies have greatly expanded overseas in the past decades, driven by the potential of the unexploited subsoil and the liberalization policy in the exploitation of natural resources applied in many southern countries, where foreign investments are generally perceived as positive, regardless of their social and environmental impacts.
Towards a Spiral of Violence? The Dangers of Privatisation of Risk Management of Investments in Africa: Mining Activities and the Use of Private Security Companies
English translation of a presentation to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade by Entraide Missionaire (endorsed by MiningWatch Canada) "Towards a Spiral of Violence? The Dangers of Privatisation of Risk Management of Investments in Africa: Mining Activities and the Use of Private Security Companies", with Appendix A "Principales Zones de Gisements" (map of mineral resources in southern Africa, from Le Monde Diplomatique) and Appendix B "Mining investment in areas of conflict: the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo".
Reckless Lending: How Canada's Export Development Corporation Puts People and the Environment at Risk
A report published by the NGO Working Group on the EDC, part of the Halifax Initiative Coalition. Includes case studies on Placer Dome's Marcopper Mine in the Philippines and the Ok Tedi Copper Mine in Papua New Guinea, partly owned by Inmet.
A study done by W. O. Mackasey of Sudbury, Ontario. WOM Geological Associates Inc. was retained by MiningWatch Canada to undertake a survey of abandoned mine inventories in Canada. Questionnaires were sent to provincial and federal agencies, requesting information on inventories, number of abandoned mines, testing and remediation completed, and current management policy.
The “toxic orphans” of the mining industry have indeed come of age. They are a serious and immediate danger to human health and the environment. They are already costing taxpayers millions of dollars in clean-up, cancers, lost fishery, forestry and farm income, and they stand to cost billions more. They are a public relations nightmare for the mining industry. In 1995, the Auditor-General made it clear that the enormous liability they –and other contaminated sites– represent should be shown on the public accounts.
Review of the Export Development Act - Presentation to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade
This presentation outlines a number of examples that demonstrate a number of problems with Export Development Canada's involvement with the mining sector, expecially in light of the growth and influence of the Canadian mining industry:
- the need for accountability and transparency;
- the need for environmental assessment of projects;
- the need for social and cultural assessment of projects;
- the need for human rights assessment of projects; and
- the need to evaluate and monitor performance.
The Innu Nation and MiningWatch Canada convened a workshop in Ottawa, Ontario on September 10-12, 1999 entitled "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Aboriginal Communities and Mining". We present here the workshop summary and documentation, including the case studies that were prepared for it.
Lasting Benefits from Beneath the Earth: Mining Nickel from Voisey's Bay in a Manner Compatible with the Requirements of Sustainable Development
This report by ecological economist Tom Green for the Innu Nation was submitted to the Voisey's Bay Nickel Mine environmental assessment review in 1998. It is a thoughtful consideration of the limitations of mining projects' potential contributions to sustainable development and continues to be highly relevant.
This report was prepared at the request of Innu Nation to examine the economic implications of the proposed Voisey’s Bay Mine and Mill in preparation for the environmental assessment hearings into the undertaking.