In 2004 MiningWatch Canada partnered with the Labrador West Status of Women Council and the Femmes francophones de l’Ouest du Labrador on a joint effort to explore community women’s own perceptions of the effects on their health from living in a mining town. The final report for this project, in both official languages, was launched in Wabush/Labrador City on February 15, 2005. The results provide insight into specific areas of concern for women regarding their health, but clearly also point to potential impacts from mining on community health that need to be better understood.
Anneli Tolvanen traveled to the mining communities of Bonanaza and La Libertad in August, 2001, interviewing men, women, and youth, community members, small scale miners, local officials, and mining company representatives. We are pleased to present the final document, with many wonderful photographs, as well as the interviews themselves.
The Victor project should be delayed until Attawapiskat First Nation and the communities in the Mushkekowuk Council region have created the capacity, land use planning and education to benefit from the profits from the mine over generations. Regulatory Authorities (RAs) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency have a responsibility to find that there are "significant environmental effects" from the project and to address the impacts of these environmental effects on the lives of the First Nations people who depend on the environment affected by the mine. The need for an independent assessment of the mine's impacts is great enough to require a panel review.
This report, "Protecting Fish/Protecting Mines - What is the real job of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans?", shows how the Department of Fisheries and Oceans -- the federal agency mandated to manage and protect fish and fish habitat in inland waters -- has allowed extensive destruction of fish habitat from mining development, ignoring its own mandate as well as public concern and advice from independent scientists.
Mineral Exploration in Nitassinan: A Matter of Respect. Innu Nation Guidelines for the Mining Industry
In 1995, the unprecedented pace of mineral exploration in Nitassinan following the announcement of the nickel find at Emish (Voisey’s Bay) quickly overwhelmed the ability of the Newfoundland government to effectively regulate or monitor exploration activity. Over 280,000 claims were staked and several dozen exploration companies descended on Nitassinan in the space of a few months—all without Innu consent.
The astonishing cost of the minerals we take for granted must be respected and accounted for in government policy and industry practice. This means treasuring the minerals that have already been extracted and reducing the need for mining wherever possible. Many more jobs and more sustainable economies can be created in the minerals industry if the focus shifts from mining to the re-use of minerals already taken from the ground and to value-added production in Canada.
This document, which includes a literature review and bibliography, provides an overview of current research and information on problems faced by mining-dependent communities and the ways and means by which Canadian communities that are dependent on mining have been able to revitalize their economies in the face of industry down-sizing and closure. The scoping exercise serves four key purposes:
Overburdened: Understanding the Impacts of Mineral Extraction on Women's Health in Mining Communities
This is a comprehensive literature review prepared by CCSG Associates for MiningWatch Canada. The purpose of the review is to provide information to help heal and protect women, their families, and their communities from the adverse health impacts of mineral extraction by enhancing the level of knowledge about the impact of mining on women's health; and developing the capacity of women in mining communities to protect themselves and their families from the effects of mining. May 2004.
Looking Beneath the Surface: An Assessment of the Value of Public Support for the Metal Mining Industry in Canada
The cost to federal taxpayers for the care and feeding of the metal mining industry has increased to $383 million a year, while the industry is delivering in return fewer jobs and reduced economic activity, according to this report by MiningWatch Canada and the Pembina Institute. "Looking Beneath the Surface" quantifies both the public costs to support the metal mining industry and the benefits generated by the industry in fiscal years 1994-95 and 2000-01.
Submarine Tailings Disposal ("STD" in industry jargon) is the practice of dumping mine tailings into the sea through a submerged pipe. It is a serious and growing threat to ocean ecosystems especially in the Pacific. This package brings together case studies and background information on the ocean dumping of mine wastes. Published jointly by MiningWatch Canada and Project Underground, June 2002, in English and Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia). Available as a series of PDF files.
Report from a workshop on abandoned mines sponsored by the Assembly of First Nations and MiningWatch Canada, Sudbury, Ontario, May 11-13, 2001: Abandoned mines are a serious and immediate danger to human health and the environment. They are already costing Canadians millions of dollars in clean-up, cancers, and lost fishery and farm income, and they stand to cost billions more. At least nine of these sites have been identified by DIAND on First Nations land. An unknown number of others are on lands of aboriginal use or interest. Frequently, communities find themselves downstream from toxic sites and are unable to assess the risk or potential damage which may be caused by the sites.
Abandoned mines are a key source of pollution in Canada. They are a serious and immediate danger to human health and the environment — they are costing taxpayers millions of dollars in clean-up, health impacts such as cancers, and lost fishery and farm income. And they stand to cost billions more.
By Jamie Kneen: Mining and the World Bank/International Monetary Fund - A Special Focus on Ghana, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru. Since the 1990s, foreign-backed mining activity in the “developing world” has been expanding rapidly. Increased mineral exploration and mining activity displaces local communities, destroys ecosystems, and creates poverty while primarily benefiting investors (mostly foreign) and local elites.
The mining sector is the largest source of foreign private investment on the African continent, and Canadian investors are at the centre of this economic boom. By the Groupe de recherche sur les activités minières en Afrique (GRAMA) at UQAM (University of Québec at Montréal).
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.