MARINDUQUE, PHILIPPINES—The Philippines has suffered numerous disasters from its mining industry over the decades, creating a legacy of health problems that continue to the present day. Now there is a proposal to reopen one foreign-owned mine with a checkered history, and the backlash from activists who are trying to stop it.
When a typhoon or heavy rain hits Marinduque island, many residents along the Mogpog River are evacuated to higher ground.
That is because the Philippine government says an upstream dam that holds back toxic waste from an abandoned copper mine is deteriorating and could overflow or burst, just like it did in 1993.
When that happened, the river was silted over with heavy metals and other debris, or tailings, from the mine. Farmer George Hayno, 53, lives alongside a branch of the Mogpog, and he said the polluted river cost him his right foot.
He said he used to walk back and forth across the river. In 2012 he noticed a cut on his foot that would not heal. A doctor determined it was infected with arsenic and needed to be amputated. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Asia Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict, Mining Environmental Accidents and Pollution |
Protests against the country’s biggest copper project resulted in at least three deaths
LIMA, Peru—Peru on Tuesday declared martial law in parts of its southern highlands after protests against the country’s biggest copper project resulted in at least three deaths.
The protests are the latest to hit Peru’s mining sector, which is one of the world’s top producers of copper, gold and silver. Mining accounts for about 50% of Peru’s exports.
The prime minister’s office said that martial law would be implemented in four provinces in the Apurímac region and two provinces in the neighboring Cuzco region, located high in Peru’s southern Andes.
Local residents clashed with police on Monday during protests against the $7.4 billion Las Bambas copper mine, owned by a consortium led by China’s MMG Ltd.
During the 30-day period of martial law, civil liberties like freedom of association and movement will be restricted, while police are allowed to enter houses without search warrants. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Copper, International Media Resource Articles, Latin America Mining, Mining Conflict |
More than 4,000 metres above sea level in Peru’s central highlands is one of the biggest construction sites in the western hemisphere.
Some 16,000 workers are building Las Bambas, a huge copper mine. It is already 95 per cent complete and when the project owned by MMG, controlled by China Minmetals, starts producing next year it should quickly ramp up to become one of the largest in the world.
The vast mineral wealth of projects such as Las Bambas have made Peru one of the focal points for mining investment in recent years. But while the resources have not changed, the climate has.
Las Bambas may mark the end of a period of substantial mining spending in Peru that has seen one mine, Hudbay’s Constancia, reach commercial levels of production this year, as well as the imminent completion of a big expansion of Freeport-McMoRan’s Cerro Verde copper mine.
“In the past four or five years, we have seen important investments in mining projects,” says Carlos Gálvez, president of Peru’s National Society for Mining, Petroleum and Energy. “But, unfortunately, we are now dropping.” Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Copper, International Media Resource Articles, Latin America Mining, Mining Conflict |
Trio of mining proposals threatens Klamath-Siskiyou region
If there were a place in the United States that possessed such biodiversity that it had been designated an “Area of Global Botanical Significance” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and also proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, surely it would be protected from any industrial development that would compromise its ecological integrity. There is, in fact, such a place. But its most recent designation is “endangered” as the area faces threats from three proposed nickel strip mines at its heart.
Spanning the northern California-southwestern Oregon border and encompassing nearly 20,000 square miles, the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion includes a complex suite of geology, climate, terrain, and such a remarkable example of temperate climate biodiversity that in 1992 the IUCN recognized the region as an area of global botanical significance. The region is home to 3,500 plant species – 280 of which are rare or endemic. The streams that originate in the Klamath and Siskiyou mountains are among the most productive on the continent, the spawning grounds for wild Pacific salmon and steelhead.
And while the region has the most designated Wild and Scenic Rivers in the US, nearly a dozen wilderness areas, and the 62,000-acre Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, it also contains the largest area of unprotected forest on the West Coast outside of Alaska. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in International Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict, Nickel Laterites, United States Mining |
MONTREAL — Fears about radioactive contamination may close the door to uranium mining in Quebec just as public angst shelved shale gas extraction in the province in 2011. “Like shale gas, it touches a sensitive chord in Quebec,” says Ugo Lapointe of MiningWatch Canada, which opposes mining of the metal that fuels nuclear power plants.
Hundreds of municipalities have joined First Nations to oppose uranium mining, worried that it could threaten their health, harm natural environments and ruin traditional hunting and fishing.
Quebec’s environmental regulation agency (BAPE) has concluded there is no “social acceptability” for uranium mining to proceed at this time. After a year of study, a three-person panel said that it would be premature to authorize development of Quebec’s uranium industry.
While uranium mining has made substantial progress, especially in containing waste, there are still many uncertainties and “significant gaps in scientific knowledge of the impacts of uranium mining on the environment and public health,” it said in a lengthy report. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict, Quebec Mining, Uranium |
SUDBURY, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Sept. 8, 2015) – Northern Superior Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:SUP) (“Northern Superior” or the “Company”) is now in the final phase of preparation for the trial of its lawsuit against the Ontario Government, scheduled to start October 5th, 2015. Following a busy summer of preparing and processing legal documents and organizing witnesses, several key steps have either been completed, or are in the process of being completed, in preparation for the trial.
Of particular importance was establishing Northern Superior’s quantum of economic damages resulting from the alleged acts and omissions of the Government of Ontario (“Ontario”) which Northern Superior claims caused it to lose access to further explore and develop the Company’s Thorne Lake, Rapson Bay and Meston Lake properties, located in northwestern Ontario.
Northern Superior retained NERA, an international economic consulting company specializing in damage assessment and business related valuations, to assist in determining a fair and defensible value for the damages suffered by Northern Superior (see Northern Superior press release, May 11th, 2015). This report was submitted on time, as have all of Northern Superior’s documents to the Ontario Government, on July 21st, 2015.
Subsequently, Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. (” RPA”), the Ontario Government’s expert witness on this matter, had an opportunity to respond to the NERA report. The Court set a date of August 28th for this purpose. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Gold and Silver, Mining Conflict, Ontario Mining |
CALGARY – Canadian mining company Nevsun Resources is defending its operations in Eritrea following a damning report by the United Nations that accused the miner of using forced labour in the North African country.
Nevsun released an updated independent human rights report this week that found no evidence of forced labour or human rights violations at its 60-per-cent-owned Bisha mine in Eritrea, where thousands of people are fleeing on perilous treks to Europe.
The report by LKL International Consulting is in contrast to June’s UN report, which said Nevsun used forced labour at the Bisha mine after the company was required to hire government-owned contractors that included Segen Construction.
The UN commissioners spoke with former Segen workers who said they were forced to work at the mine while in the compulsory national service. “Even though Segen tried to conceal their status, the majority of Segen’s ‘workers’ were in fact conscripts performing their national service,” wrote the commissioners. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Africa Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Mining and Oil Sector Image, Mining Conflict |
UNITED NATIONS – Illicit trafficking of diamonds from Central African Republic into neighboring Cameroon is helping finance the continuation of a nearly three-year conflict, an expert panel that monitors U.N. sanctions said in a confidential report.
Central African Republic (CAR) descended into chaos in March 2013 when predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, triggering reprisals by “anti-balaka” Christian militias who drove tens of thousands of Muslims from the south in a de facto partition of the landlocked country.
Although rival armed groups agreed to a peace accord in May, the conflict has continued at a lower intensity, and a transitional government has been unable to assert its authority over all of the vast, mineral-rich territory.
The export of diamonds from CAR was banned in May 2013 by the Kimberley Process, which represents 81 countries, including the United States, the European Union, Russia, China and all major diamond-producing nations. The group was formed to prevent so-called blood diamonds from funding conflicts. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Africa Mining, Diamond Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict |
BOGOTA, Sept 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A boom in illegal gold mining in Colombia and Peru is fuelling human trafficking and forced labor in and around mines but there have been few convictions for the crime, researchers say.
In Peru, the world’s fifth biggest gold producer and exporter, sexual exploitation and forced labour in some mining areas is a growing concern, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says.
“Human trafficking in both illegal mining areas and small-scale mining is an increasing problem in Peru,” said Jeremy MacGillivray, IOM’s project development officer in Peru.
Poor, uneducated and unemployed women and girls are vulnerable to recruiters’ false promises of work as cooks, cleaners and waitresses in mining towns but are often forced into commercial sex work.
“Around mines, small towns sprout up providing services for miners, including restaurants, bars and brothels, where many of the victims of sexual exploitation are. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Gold and Silver, International Media Resource Articles, Latin America Mining, Mining Conflict |
Projects that would bring much-needed jobs could also ruin irreplaceable freshwater resources
ELY, Minn. — It’s the kind of July day that Minnesotans fantasize about in the dead of winter. Puffball clouds float in a blue sky and daisies sprout under stately pines lining Spruce Road, the main artery of an old logging network deep in the Superior National Forest about 15 miles southeast of Ely.
Paul Schurke is bumping down a dirt road in a Dodge Ram pickup truck. He owns Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge with his wife, Susan, and is famous in these parts as the explorer who co-led the first dogsled expedition to the North Pole without re-supply in 1986.
The dirt track ends before it reaches the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the roadless, motorless, cellphone-towerless 1.1-million-acre ecosystem where nearly 250,000 visitors from around the globe annually pilgrimage to paddle a connected chain of more than 1,000 pristine lakes.
Every night they break camp on a forested shoreline to hear the cool northern breeze whisper through the pines and loons project their mournful calls over vast stretches of open water. Occasionally an emerald display of Northern Lights flickers in a sky entirely free of light pollution. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Copper, International Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict, Mining Environmental and Water Shortage Issues, Minnesota Duluth Complex and Iron Range, Nickel, United States Mining |
Relations between Vancouver-based Eldorado and the leftist Greek government have been testy
Shares of Eldorado Gold slid in Wednesday trading following reports that the Greek government is temporarily halting production at the company’s operations in northern Greece.
Reuters quoted Greek Energy Minister Panos Skourletis as saying Eldorado had “violated some terms.” He provided no elaboration.
“We are recalling the technical studies, which will result in the halting of operations at Skouries and part of operations in Olympiada,” Skourletis said, referring to two of the company’s mine sites.
According to the Associated Press, documents released by the ministry say the violations concern a project to build a copper and gold processing plant, including not carrying out certain tests on the flash smelting process proposed for use. According to the decision, the suspension will be lifted if the company resubmits the necessary documentation and meets the requirements within a year. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Europe Mining, Gold and Silver, Mining Conflict |
Push to amend environmental laws comes after court decision overturning approval for Adani mine
CANBERRA, Australia—Australia’s conservative government plans to amend environmental laws to prevent green groups from challenging mining projects in which they have no direct involvement.
Opening another front in a long-running battle with the environmental movement, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane told Parliament on Tuesday that “there is a strategy to destroy jobs” and that activists were blocking resource projects “regardless of the economic impact on the community.”
The push to amend environmental laws comes after a court earlier this month overturned approval for Indian conglomerate Adani Group to build one of the world’s biggest new coal mines on scrubland near the Great Barrier Reef.
Environmental groups went to court to try to stop the Carmichael coal mine project amid concerns the mine and associated infrastructure in the Galilee Basin of tropical Queensland state could endanger a rare lizard known as the yakka skink and another vulnerable species, the ornamental snake. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Australia Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict |
After taking over a major mine, a U.S. company has been met with violence
Muzo, Columbia – The chopper touched down on the hillside helipad and Charles Burgess, a cigar-chomping former U.S. government employee, stepped out to survey the full sweep of his Andean domain.
Since before the conquistadors, men have dug for emeralds in the soil of this steep-walled jungle valley. The gemstone bounty found here fueled the empire of Victor Carranza, the feared billionaire “emerald czar” who vanquished his rivals in bloody battles that left some 6,000 dead.
Now all that Burgess could see — from the green peaks where the vultures circled to the valley floor where grimy campesinos shoveled dirt in the black river — belongs to his American mining company, which has taken control of the world’s largest and most valuable emerald mine.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Burgess said. By purchasing Carranza’s share of the mine two years ago, the Houston-based company, Minería Texas Colombia, known as MTC, is now the only foreign mining company in the treacherous world of Colombia’s emerald trade — once responsible for about two-thirds of the world supply. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, Gemstone Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Latin America Mining, Mining Conflict |
Adam Cernea Clark is a writer on sustainable development issues and an environmental attorney.
Two weeks ago, a little-known Canadian gold mining company that has developed or operated exactly zero mines over 17 years announced to its investors that it had initiated international arbitration proceedings against the government of Romania for failing to permit what would be the largest open-pit gold and silver mine in Europe.
Claiming this right under Romania’s bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with Canada and the U.K. (the company consists of ten separate entities in half a dozen countries), Gabriel Resources opined that the Romanian government had unlawfully deprived them of their right to develop the project and extract the full value of their investment.
Using some 40 tons per day, Gabriel subsidiary Roşia Montana Gold Corporation’s project would have created a massive pool of cyanide over priceless archaeological gold mining sites dating back to the Roman Empire and possibly earlier. It would have destroyed the village of Roşia Montana and two adjacent villages, as well as four mountains in this remote corner of the Carpathians.
Almost two years ago, the project triggered historic street protests of tens of thousands of people around Romanian cities. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Canada Mining, Europe Mining, Gold and Silver, Mining Conflict |
Bill Shorten has challenged Tony Abbott to propose “sensible” reforms to environmental laws, rather than “attacking the court system” for overturning the proposed Queensland Carmichael mega coalmine.
The Opposition Leader today accused Mr Abbott of “second-guessing our judges” by proposing a new environmental standard that “near enough is good enough”.
“If there’s a problem with the way the law is formed then we go back and debate it in parliament, but Mr Abbott seems to be creating a new test for environmental protection in this country that near enough is good enough – well it’s not,” Mr Shorten said.
“If Mr Abbott doesn’t like the law … he can always sit down with Labor and talk about sensible amendments which may need to be made … rather than just attacking the court system.”
Mr Abbott today touted the environmental benefits of Australian coal, describing it as “invariably … much better for the environment than the alternative”. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Asia Mining, Australia Mining, Coal, International Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict |