Marlin Gold and Silver Mine

Glamis Gold Ltd.
IFC: US$45 million loan
CPP: $63 million[1]

Marlin, which became operational in 2005, is the first major mining investment in Guatemala in 20 years[2] and is an important test case. In January 2005, the break-up of a 40-day protest by the army resulted in one death.[3] Later that year, indigenous Sipacapan communities affected by the mine overwhelmingly rejected mineral development in a popular referendum.[4] In response to a community complaint, the World Bank’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) investigated the project. While the CAO found that some community concerns, particularly those involving impacts to local water supplies, were unwarranted, the CAO identified some serious shortcomings with project assessment and management. For example, the CAO described the lack of a clear policy on human rights as a “significant oversight” on the part of both Glamis and the IFC.[5]

[1] CPP Investment Board Canadian Equity Holdings as of March 31, 2006.

[2] Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman of the International Finance Corporation and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. Assessment of a complaint submitted to CAO in relation to the Marlin Mining Project in Guatemala. September 7, 2005 (hereinafter CAO Report).

[3] Swann, Christopher. World Bank Attacked Over Gold Mine. Financial Times. August 21, 2005.

[4] CAO Report.

[5] Ibid.