OceanaGold Corporation, an Australian-Canadian company, is one of dozens of transnational mining companies in the Philippines that have been reaping profits by mining gold, silver, copper, and other minerals. Its underground Didipio gold and copper mine in the Northern Luzon province of Nueva Vizcaya started open-pit commercial production in 2013. It continues to operate despite a suspension order issued on February 14, 2017 by then-Philippine Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Gina Lopez.
Jubilee Australia's report 'Growing Bougainville's Future: Choices for an island and its people' examines the choice facing the people of Bougainville and asks the question of ‘to mine or not to mine.’ MiningWatch Canada staff member Catherine Coumans contributed the chapter, "Mining and development: Is “good governance” really the cure?"
Statement from OECD Watch and MiningWatch Canada regarding the Canadian NCP’s improper handling of the OECD Guidelines specific instance Bruno Manser Fonds vs Sakto Group
On May 16, 2018, MiningWatch Canada and OECD Watch issued a media release to draw attention to an attempt by the Government of Canada to cover up its mishandling of a complaint through Canada’s National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The Request for Review in question, titled “Complaint against the Sakto Group, Ottawa” was filed with Canada’s NCP in January 2016 by the not-for-profit Bruno Manser Fonds (BMF) of Switzerland. The complaint alleges that the Sakto Group, with corporations headquartered in Ottawa, breached disclosure requirements of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, a guide to responsible business conduct that is binding on Canada and other members of the OECD.
Review of Barrick Gold/Acacia Mining’s Draft “Community Grievance Process - Standard Operating Procedure” for the North Mara Gold Mine in Tanzania
In January 2018, Acacia Mining released a draft Standard Operating Procedure for a new Community Grievance Process for the North Mara Gold Mine in Tarime, Tanzania. This review of Acacia/Barrick’s new draft Grievance Process is informed by field assessments carried out yearly at the North Mara mine by MiningWatch Canada in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development (ENVI) Regarding Bill C-69
Bill C-69 brings both promise and disappointment. Overall, however, it does not fulfil the government’s promise of restoring public confidence, and therefore also cannot fulfil the promise of facilitating good development projects. In some respects, it represents a failure of ambition, where a stronger commitment and stronger leadership are required to meet the challenges of the 21st century. In other respects, it is just a matter of design flaws and limitations of implementation. At this juncture, it may be too late to address the bigger structural problems, but Parliament has the opportunity to fix many of the Bill’s deficiencies.
On February 8, 2018, the federal government tabled Bill C-69, which introduces a proposed new Impact Assessment Act (IAA) to replace the current Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). Bill C-69 follows more than 18 months of consultation and discussion of Canada’s environmental assessment (EA) processes, and is claimed to fulfill the government’s commitment to introduce new, fair processes to ensure decisions are based on science and Indigenous knowledge, and win back public trust.
How does the proposed new IAA measure up?
Over 40 organizations and individuals, including MiningWatch Canada, submitted comments and recommendations in response to the Proposed Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations and Proposed Amendment to the Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), 1999.
This report examines the Hunter Dickinson family of companies, their track records and current situations, and the implications for the prospects of Northern Dynasty Mining, the company promoting the controversial Pebble mine project in Alaska’s sensitive Bristol Bay. The report labels Northern Dynasty as a highly risky speculative investment, calling its risk levels “unprecedented even among other junior mining companies.”
OECD Peer Review of the Canadian National Contact Point on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
As part of the OECD Peer Review of the Canadian National Contact Point on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, MiningWatch was asked to submit a general questionnaire, as well as to participate in a review of the Porgera Specific Instance (2011), in which we were a notifier. This questionnaire answers general questions. Under section B. (Specific Instances) we discuss the Porgera case in more detail. Finally, Appendix 1 provides further detail regarding specific concerns related to the Canadian NCPs handling of ten Specific Instance cases.
In response to the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT)'s request for public input for the development of a new Mineral Resources Act (MRA), MiningWatch Canada submitted key recommendations that would help better protect northern communities and the environment, while also increasing the long-term benefits from the extraction of non-renewable minerals. These recommendations also aim to reduce mining-related conflicts and increase predictability for all of those involved in, or affected by, the sector. We divide our recommendations in three sections:
Comments on the Government of Canada Discussion Paper on the Review of Environmental and Regulatory Processes
This is MiningWatch Canada’s submission in response to the federal government’s Discussion Paper on its reviews of environmental and regulatory processes, including the review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, the National Energy Board Act, the Fisheries Act, and the Navigation Protection Act. Our focus here is on the environmental assessment portion of the Discussion Paper; we refer readers to our submissions to the Parliamentary reviews of the Fisheries Act and the Navigation Protection Act for our comments on those reviews.
This is a report of MiningWatch Canada's human rights field assessment of Acacia Mining/Barrick Gold's North Mara mine in northwest Tanzania, conducted by staff member Catherine Coumans. This was the fourth consecutive year Coumans had conducted human rights field assessments around the mine interviewing over a 100 victims and family members of victims of excess use of force, including sexual violence, by mine security and police guarding the mine.
Submission to BC Ministry of Environment re: Mount Polley Permit Application for Long Term Water Discharge into Quesnel Lake
MiningWatch Canada is very concerned about Mount Polley Mining Corporation’s (MPMC's) application for a long-term permit to discharge not-fully treated mine waste water into Quesnel Lake. We recommend that the BC Ministry of Environment (MOE): 1. reject this permit application and require MPMC to propose…
Submission to the Expert Panel Reviewing Environmental Assessment Processes
Based on our work, we would like to focus on four areas within the collective recommendations of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Caucus, the Multi-Interest Advisory Committee (MIAC), and the EA Reform Summit.
Submission to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities on its Study of the Navigation Protection Act
This submission focuses on the critical relationship between the protection of navigable waterways and protection of the environment, specifically through the environmental assessment of projects and activities that may harm those waterways. The Navigation Protection Act should be amended to turn it back into the Navigable Waters Protection Act, with the full scope of application of that Act, but with clear direction on the appropriate level of scrutiny for projects and activities of different types, magnitudes, and durations.
Submission to the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans on its Review of Changes to the Fisheries Act
The Fisheries Act is a keystone law in Canada’s legislative framework for protecting the environment and allowing the pursuit of sustainable development. Far beyond simply regulating fisheries, it can, and should, protect all aspects of aquatic habitat. In so doing, because water is so fundamental to all ecological cycles as well as human survival and well-being, the Fisheries Act provides a crucial link to everything from environmental assessment to protecting human health.