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Published jointly with IndustriALL , CFMEU Australia , United Steelworkers , and Earthworks , this report examines the scope of the Responsible Jewellery Council's certification system and analyzes its components: its governance, membership, standards, auditing, and system for dealing with complaints, among others. It concludes that the certification system cannot provide consumers with meaningful reassurance about the ethical antecedents of the jewelry and minerals produced by its member companies.
Documents released from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) under an access to information request raise serious concerns about the conduct of the Canadian Embassy in Mexico. Throughout a conflict involving Blackfire Exploration’s mining activities in the municipality of Chicomuselo, Chiapas that saw an activist shot and ultimately triggered an RCMP investigation over corruption, it appears the Embassy provided instrumental and unconscionable support to the operations of a Canadian mining company in Mexico. Overall, the released documents suggest that in
In 2006, a remote Ontario First Nation, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI), said 'no' to a mining company, was sued for $10 billion, had its leaders found in contempt of court and jailed but eventually prevailed when, three years later, the Ontario government paid the company $5 million to go away. This 7-page e-book by KI's political advisor and former MiningWatch board member David Peerla tells how it all happened.
This report is a response to requests from community members, activists, and academics in Canada and abroad for information about how Canadian mining laws function. The document provides a non-technical overview of Canadian mining laws, selected ‘lessons learned’ and the outcomes of mining code reform projects. In order to keep the document accessible to a wide audience we have kept it brief but provide links to sources for more detailed information.
Cliffs Natural Resources is proposing to develop a large chromite deposit in a remote area of northern Ontario that has been dubbed the Ring of Fire. Recognising that chromium is a toxic metal that has never been mined in Canada, MiningWatch has conducted a literature review of environmental and human health issues associated with mining and processing the metal. The complete literature review and three summary fact sheets are available here.
This brief was prepared for the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development’s Study on the Role of the Private Sector in Achieving Canada’s International Development Interests . CIDA has been given a new mandate to support Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects of mining companies with Canadian tax dollars through Official Development Assistance. This needs to be examined in the context of an expanding research that details the ways in which large-scale mining3 itself creates very serious and long-lasting development deficits, both at national
By James Wilkes. This study was done as a Masters thesis at Trent University and is posted here at the request of the author. Canadian environmental management involving Indigenous communities is at a crossroads. First Nation communities in regions holding mineral and other natural resources are coping with legal, economic and political pressures to comply with government and industry demands for resource extraction and exploitation.
Regulators, investors, and communities are increasingly aware of the potential environmental and social harm associated with open-pit mining projects. Local-level conflict is now commonly associated with proposed and operating mines as community members struggle to protect economic and social values of importance to them, to assert the right to refuse a mine, or to advance claims on mining companies for damages. In response, mining companies seek partnerships to help them secure a so-called social licence to operate and manage risk to reputation.
In fall 2010, Alternatives North hired Dr. Joan Kuyek to do a study. Giant Mine in Yellowknife has 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide to take care of. There is a plan to freeze this arsenic, so it can’t leak out and hurt the people and the land. For the Environmental Assessment of this plan, Alternatives North asked for a study of how contaminants are managed in other places.
This case study contends that Barrick Gold's Porgera Joint Venture Mine in Papua New Guinea is environmentally unsustainable and is severely undermining current food security, access to clean water, sustainable livelihood, and health, as well as the long-term development potential, of indigenous Ipili landowners living in the mine lease area. The mine is also eroding the sustainable development of surrounding Ipili and downstream communities. The mine is further implicated in serious human rights abuses.
[Update, April 4, 2011: CSR Counsellor Marketa Evans has responded to our brief, occasioning a further response from MiningWatch expanding on some of the key issues.] The Office of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Counsellor’s mandate from the Government of Canada and its review process are similar to those of the Canadian National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines and replicate many of the shortcomings of that voluntary non-judicial grievance mechanism. This brief outlines some of the main concerns.
The creation of large volumes of waste, including solids, liquid effluents, and air emissions, is a fact of life for mining and mineral processing operations. Depending on the minerals’ natural geology and how they are processed these wastes can often be hazardous to the environment and human health. Solid wastes including waste rock and tailings are, by volume, the most significant waste generated by mining and mineral processing. Solid wastes are typically in the tens to hundreds of millions of tons of waste for a single mine. A rough estimate of Canadian production is 2 million tonnes a
Published by the Canary Research Institute for Mining, Environment, and Health , this Community-Centred Health Assessment Toolkit will help members of mining-affected communities conduct their own assessment of the health of their community and guide them in taking steps towards supporting and improving the conditions for health in their communities. The Toolkit is designed to be used by aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities where there is mining exploration or development or closed or abandoned mines. It can also be used by individuals, support groups, or institutions (academic, health) from outside the community that may be invited to help guide community members through parts, or all, of the health assessment and project planning process.
This report, researched by MiningWatch Canada, CENSAT-Agua Viva , and Inter Pares , looks at four case studies of Canadian extractive industry investment projects in Colombia, analyzing their associated potential human rights risks. Referring to principles developed by the UN Special Representative on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations , the report identifies issues and circumstances that clearly indicate that transparent and independent human rights impact assessments are necessary to avoid significant potential risk to human rights in existing and proposed extractive projects. Available from Inter Pares on request or download the PDF . Also available in French and coming soon in Spanish.
Joint news release with Northwatch: A major new report highlights serious impacts on the Canadian boreal forest from all phases of mining activity, from exploration to closure. Two respected mining industry watchdogs – Northwatch and MiningWatch Canada – say they published The Boreal Below (an all-new and expanded version of a widely circulated 2001 report) in response to growing demand from communities across Canada for information and analysis to help understand the impacts of mining on their lives and livelihoods. It provides a carefully-documented analysis of the social, environmental, and cultural impacts of mining from prospecting to mine closure, as well as an overview of the current situation by province and territory.
Communities dealing with the impact from mining activities (whether at the claim-staking, exploration, development, operating, closure, or restoration/rehabilitation stage) find themselves confronted by a legal entity they may not understand, making demands that are contrary to the desires of the community, and giving reason for its behaviour that they do not know how to counteract.
MiningWatch Presentation to Montreal Roundtable Whether they bother with the Cyanide Code or the UN Global Compact or the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, or contract high-priced public relations consultants, or buy support from naïve NGOs and corrupt local officials, or actively divide communities, or rely on good old-fashioned intimidation, it is clear that most mining companies – from the largest global players to the smallest exploration juniors – are willing to do whatever they can get away with to reward their shareholders with juicy returns.
In 2006 independent hydrogological consultant Robert E. Moran undertook an assessment of Gabriel Resources' EIA report for its Rosia Montana project in Romania on behalf of Alburnus Maior and funded by Staples Trust, U.K. and the Open Society Foundation, Romania.
Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is the biggest environmental threat from mining in British Columbia. Water resources are particularly affected. This report introduces issues, profiles key sites, and identifies outstanding concerns. Published by BC Wild and Environmental Mining Council of BC.

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