Uktal Bauxite Mine and Alumina Refinery

Alcan Inc.
CPP: $256 million[1]

Thousands of tribal and low-caste people living in Kashipur, India prefer to die rather than abandon their lands to make way for Alcan’s proposed mine and refinery.[2] Local residents have organized massive mobilizations against the project.[3] Opponents describe a climate of fear and hostility, and claim that they routinely meet with police repression.[4] In 2000, three protesters were killed and several others injured.[5] Alcan suspended operations after the incident until it was satisfied that local authorities would responsibly enforce the law and keep order.[6] The villagers have found an important ally in Canada. Alcan workers in British Columbia, represented by the Canadian Auto Workers union, have vowed that they will not smelt any alumina originating from Kashipur.[7] 

Pascua Lama Gold Mine

Barrick Gold Corp.
$351 million[1]

The Pascua Lama gold deposit is located high in the Andes, in an area rich with glaciers. Glacial run-off irrigates the productive Huasco valley, an agricultural centre just south of the Atacama desert.[2] Barrick’s original plan to relocate portions of several glaciers[3] was met with public outcry and was rejected by the Chilean government. Barrick now claims that it can extract the gold without damaging the glaciers or significantly impacting water resources in the valley.[4] However, a government report reveals that exploration activity may already have caused significant damage to several glaciers.[5] The Indigenous Diaguita community of Huasco-Altino claims that the concession includes part of its ancestral territory and is suing to recover the land.[6]

Tambogrande Gold and Silver Mine

Manhattan Minerals

When Manhattan Minerals proposed an open pit gold mine in the town of Tambogrande, local residents came together and stopped the project. The San Lorenzo valley is a lush oasis in Peru’s barren desert coast. The area was transformed into an important agricultural centre with the installation of a World Bank-financed irrigation system. Area residents were concerned that the environmental risks associated with gold mining would threaten their thriving agricultural economy. The municipality held a popular referendum on the proposed project – the first referendum of its kind in the world. The vote, which was monitored by international observers, registered virtually unanimous opposition to the mine. The Tambogrande referendum, which played a vital part in halting the project, has since been replicated by other communities[1] threatened by mining projects.[2] 

PT Inco Nickel Mine and Smelter

Inco Ltd.
EDC: loans of $60 and $200 million[1]
CPP: $130 million[2]

For thirty years Inco enjoyed a cozy relationship with the repressive and corrupt Suharto regime.[3]

Members of the Karonsi’e Dongi and Sorowako indigenous communities lost their most productive agricultural land when the PT Inco mine was built, and they received paltry compensation in return.[4] Mining activity has degraded land and water resources,[5] and initial monitoring suggests that smelter emissions affect air quality in neighbouring communities.[6] Despite apparent efforts by Inco to resolve community claims in recent years, protesting residents report being threatened and intimidated by the Indonesian military and police.[7]