Archive | Mining Conflict

Undeterred by politics, Eldorado digs in for the long haul in Greece – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – November 30, 2016)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

ATHENS – The development of Eldorado Gold’s mining projects in Greece have been exercises in misery.

In 2012, the Skouries mining site in northern Greece, the centrepiece of the Canadian company’s European gold portfolio, was besieged by protesters who said the mine would be an environmental disaster. A year later, the site was firebombed. In mid-2015, the new, far-left Syriza government revoked the permits that Eldorado needed to put Skouries into production and the project was suspended.

Today, after striking peace agreements with the Syriza government, Eldorado is sinking more than $1-billion (U.S.) into three projects in Greece, dominated by Skouries, that will drive the company’s growth in the next decade. Propelled by the Greek mines, Eldorado expects to produce more than 800,000 ounces of gold in 2020, up 110 per cent from forecast production in 2017. Continue Reading →

How Romanian People Power Took On Mining and Corruption – by Shaazka Beyerle and Tina Olteanu (November 17, 2016)

http://foreignpolicy.com/

One doesn’t usually think of the southeast corner of Europe as a hotbed of citizen dissent and mobilization. Yet people power in the region has been on the rise in recent years, producing some impressive outcomes. This has been most notable in Romania, where grassroots action has challenged corrupt political-economic interests, undone a toxic gold mining project, and put teeth back into the country’s democracy.

This was clearly evident about a year ago, on October 30, 2015, when thousands of Romanians took to the streets of their capital to protest a horrific fire in a Bucharest nightclub that took 64 lives. The organizers of a rock concert had set off fireworks inside, causing a catastrophic blaze.

The club’s owners were arrested and charged with building code violations. Some of the hospitalized victims contracted life-threatening bacterial infections after a Romanian pharmaceutical company supplied over 350 hospitals with heavily diluted antiseptics at inflated prices. Continue Reading →

Anti-mining groups force Hudbay to keep Peruvian operation suspended – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – November 10, 2016)

http://www.mining.com/

Operations at Hudbay Minerals’ (TSX, NYSE:HBM) Constancia copper-molybdenum mine in Peru remained suspended Thursday as a group of locals that has occupied parts of the pit since Monday evening refuse to leave the site.

The trespassing by the crowd of about a thousand, according to local paper La Republica (in Spanish), forced Hudbay to temporarily suspend operations as a safety measure to protect both employees and protesters.

Most of the intruders are from the Chamaca district, about an hour away from the mine, Hudbay said in a statement. It added that their representatives had signed an agreement with the national and local governments, as well as with Hudbay Peru within the previous two weeks, confirming their willingness to work together and cooperate. Continue Reading →

How a $900-million lawsuit is shaping the future of Canada’s natural resource landscape – by Damon Van Linde (October 25, 2016)

http://www.calgaryherald.com/

SEPT-ÎLES, QUE. — Flying in a helicopter over the Bay of Sept-Îles, Alexandre Pinette points to the mouth of the Moisie River where it empties from the north into the St. Lawrence River. Members of his Innu community used to live by the river every summer to fish salmon and trap, but he said they were moved by the government in 1949 to the permanent Uashat and Maliotenam reservations.

“When the Innu came back in spring, their houses were destroyed. They had disappeared,” said Pinette, his voice crackling over the helicopter intercom. He adds that Innu were also displaced between 1948 and 1950 from what is now the Iron Ore Co. of Canada’s port, where huge mounds of the sparkling mineral are sorted and then loaded into waiting cargo ships.

A 578-kilometre railway stretches north from Sept-Îles’ deep-water port to where the mineral is dug from the ground. Here, the Innu claim the mines and other facilities have ruined the environment, displaced members from their territory and prevented them from practising their traditional way of life, while not giving much back to the community. Continue Reading →

Peru scrutinizes pacts between police and miners after clash – by Mitra Taj (Reuters U.S. – October 24, 2016)

http://www.reuters.com/

Peru is scrutinizing paid security services that federal police provide to mining companies following a deadly protest by local residents that suspended exports from one of the world’s biggest copper mines, the government told Reuters on Monday.

The three-month-old centrist government of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is also talking with the Red Cross about setting up a program to teach police to manage protests better, Rolando Luque, director of the National Office of Dialogue in Kuczynski’s Cabinet, said in an interview.

The fatal shooting of a protester in clashes with police near MMG Ltd’s Las Bambas copper deposit earlier this month derailed talks between the government and Quechua-speaking communities upset with the company’s use of a local road. Protesters blocked all roads near the mine after the incident, disrupting exports and threatening to halt output. Continue Reading →

Government not doing enough on violence near Canadian-owned mines: Report – by Marina Jimenez (Toronto Star – October 24, 2016)

https://www.thestar.com/

A new report that documents 15 years of violence near Canadian mines in Latin America says the federal government is not doing enough to address the problem. The study, published Monday, charts 44 deaths, 403 injuries and 709 arrests, detentions and charges from 2000-2015 that the authors link to 28 Canadian companies’ mining projects in 13 countries in the region.

“The world is taking notice of Canadian companies for all the wrong reasons,” said Shin Imai, a law professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and principal author of the report, titled The Canada Brand: Violence and Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America.

“We need a more robust way to hold companies accountable,” he said. Pierre Gratton, president of the Mining Association of Canada, which represents several of Canada’s largest resource companies, said his members are committed to human rights and do disclose workplace injuries and fatalities in annual sustainability reporting. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: MiningWatch Predicts KGHM Ajax Would Face At Least $100 Million in Compensation or Litigation Costs If Mine Opens

http://miningwatch.ca/

(Kamloops) – October 21, 2016 – MiningWatch Canada claims that Kamloops should pay attention to recent legal developments of the only other urban mine of comparable size in Canada: the Malartic open pit mine in Quebec.

For the first time since it started operations in 2011, the Malartic open pit mine, owned by Agnico Eagle and Yamana Gold, faces a $70 million class action suit for the impacts on 700 houses and 1400 people located closest to the mine site. The suit was launched on August 1st of this year and aims to compensate damages related to dust, noise, and daily blasts.

The company itself has admitted the impacts of its mine on local community members and has agreed, on September 1st 2016, to offer a $50 million relocation and compensation package for the 3500 residents of Malartic, some of whom live up to about 2-2.5km away from the mine site at the city limits. Continue Reading →

Lima in stalemate with towns blocking road to copper mine – by Mitra Taj and Marco Aquino (Reuters U.S. – October 19, 2016)

http://www.reuters.com/

Peru’s government failed to restart talks with residents of remote Andean towns blocking a road to one of the country’s biggest copper mines on Wednesday, as protesters demanded a meeting with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

Kuczynski, who took office July 28, said when he was a candidate that he would travel to far-flung towns to personally resolve disputes over mining in the world’s third biggest copper producer. But Prime Minister Fernando Zavala said Kuczynski would not travel to the highland region of Apurimac while residents continued occupying a road leading to MMG Ltd’s Las Bambas mine.

“We’re open to dialogue, what we can’t have is dialogue threatened by forceful actions,” Zavala told a news conference. Continue Reading →

Mountaintop Removal Never Ended: Coal River Mountaineers Fight On – by Jeff Biggers (Huffington Post – October 17, 2016)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Standing in solidarity with the water protectors on the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, Coal River Mountain residents already fending off seven square miles of devastating mountaintop removal mining permits are planning a protest on Monday at the Department of Environmental Protection in Charleston, West Virginia against pending permits for a possible expansion of operations by formerly bankrupt Alpha Natural Resources.

Yes, Virginia, in 2016 formerly bankrupt coal companies continue to blast away historic Coal River Mountain and adjacent communities. Let’s call it morally bankrupt.

And while the presidential campaigns trade “war on coal” slogans, no candidate and few reporters have made a single mention of one of the most egregious environmental crimes and civil rights violations in our lifetimes: The enduring health crisis of residents living amid the fallout of mountaintop removal operations. Continue Reading →

Tsilhqot’in First Nation says no to mineral exploration by Amarc Resources on its Ike prospect – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – September 20, 2016)

http://vancouversun.com/

Above the tree line on a mountain in the Southern Interior is a spot most people have never heard of, but is increasingly the centre of attention for a mining exploration company and communities of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation.

It is a mineral claim being prospected by the Vancouver-headquartered company Amarc Resources Ltd. And the property is already spoken of in glowing terms for resembling the mineralization that formed the basis of Teck Resources Ltd.’s mighty Highland Valley copper mine. However, the property known as Ike is also in the last place that the Tsilhqot’in communities want a mine.

The location is above the watersheds of the Taseko and Chilcotin rivers and not that distant from Fish Lake (known to the Tsilhqot’in as Teztan Biny), where the First Nation fought a decades-long battle against the Prosperity and then New Prosperity mine proposals of Taseko Mines Ltd. Continue Reading →

[Resolution Copper mine] Arizona: McCain, Kirkpatrick bet on 7,000-foot hole to victory (Environment & Energy Publishing – September 20, 2016)

http://www.eenews.net/

The world’s two largest mining companies have dug a 7,000-foot tunnel in Arizona that Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick hope leads straight to the Senate.

Donald Trump’s controversial GOP run for president has helped put the state’s Senate seat in play even though analysts consider it to be reliably red. Arizona has backed a Democrat for president once since 1952.

Most recent polls have incumbent McCain ahead — some by a lot — of challenger Kirkpatrick, but other surveys have shown the five-term senator to be in a dead heat with the three-time congresswoman. Trump, immigration and other issues are dominating the political tilt, but little separates the candidates when it comes to the proposed Resolution Copper mine. Continue Reading →

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada threatened most often by oil, gas and mining – by Samuel Danzon-Chambaud (CBC News Calgary – September 13, 2016)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/

Physical resource extraction accounts for 31% of threats against natural and cultural sites since 1985

Mining and oil and gas extraction account for nearly a third of threats to UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada over the last 30 years, according to the international organization.

A total of 75 threats against nine designated natural and cultural sites have been documented by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s State of Conservation database since 1985.

Of those, 23 belong to a category called “physical resource extraction,” which consists of mining and oil and gas operations.The next most common threat types are management and institutional factors (13), service infrastructure (10), transportation infrastructure (8) and buildings and development (7). Continue Reading →

Controversy over metal mining in Maine rekindled – by Anthony Brino (Bangor Daily News – September 13, 2016)

http://bangordailynews.com/

A decades-long debate over the prospect of a metal mine in the mountains of Aroostook County will be rekindled Thursday as another proposed overhaul of state mining regulations receives a public hearing.

Opponents again are gearing up to voice their concerns about the potential for mining operations to release waste materials and naturally occurring toxins, such as arsenic and cadmium, from the soil into the surrounding waters and environment.

The Department of Environmental Protection is proposing revised regulations governing large-scale metal mining in Maine under legislation passed in 2012 to replace a 1990 law. Such mining operations haven’t existed in Maine since 1977. The new proposal, which has to be approved by the Legislature, would create permits for different levels of exploration and mining and set up rules for mining, waste disposal and long-term pollution control. Continue Reading →

Two killed in clashes in eastern India as anger over land use rises – by Jatindra Dash (Reuters U.s – August 30, 2016)

http://www.reuters.com/

BHUBANESWAR, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Two people were killed and more than 30 injured when villagers protesting the loss of their homes to a power plant clashed with police in eastern India, in violence highlighting the disputed nature of land use in the country.

Police opened fire late on Monday in Gola in Jharkhand state after hundreds of villagers demanding more jobs and better compensation from Inland Power Ltd. threw stones and ransacked the company’s offices, a senior police official said.

“A meeting between the displaced persons and the management was going on when some people rushed into the premises and vandalized the property,” said Inspector General M.S. Bhatia. Continue Reading →

Coalition pushes for greater environmental protections for the Grand Canyon – by Megan Janetsky (Arizona Republic – August 24, 2016)

http://www.azcentral.com/

The eve of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service was not met in Phoenix with chipper choruses of “Happy Birthday” but rather with calls by local and national organizations to protect the Grand Canyon by halting uranium mining in the area.

Members of Environment Arizona and the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club, which together form the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument Coalition, gathered Wednesday in downtown Phoenix to announce their petition to take action on uranium mining and old-growth logging in the Grand Canyon.

With the support of 500 local businesses and a half-million signatures, groups like Environment Arizona and Sierra Club are banding together to send a petition to the Obama administration to create a Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument. Some 6,000 of the signatures were gathered in the past week in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado, according to the groups’ spokesmen. Continue Reading →