The now infamous, massive tailings dam failure at the Omai mine occurred in August 1995. Millions of cubic metres of heavy metal laden mine waste spilled into the Essequibo River, the country’s main waterway. Large fish kills were reported and the government declared the area a disaster zone. Amerindian indigenous people living along the banks of the Essequibo claimed major fish losses, contamination of freshwater supplies and adverse health effects, as a result of the spill. A class action lawsuit on behalf of affected Guyanese was thrown out by a Quebec court, which denied the Guyanese plaintiffs standing.
Export Development Canada
The Aucaner (or N’djuka) Maroon community of Nieuw Koffiekamp is located in the heart of the Gross Rosebel mining concession. Relocated in the 1960s to make way for a hydroelectric dam, Nieuw Koffiekamp now faces a second relocation which, according to a human rights expert, “would be tantamount to [its] cultural and social death.” Maroon authorities were not consulted about the project, and groups within the community vociferously oppose relocation. Suriname lacks legislation that requires mine proponents to undertake environmental impact assessments and is the only country in the Western Hemisphere that does not recognize the rights of indigenous or tribal populations. Critics argue that the country’s draft Mining Act discriminates against these populations and a UN human rights body has called on the Government of Suriname to rectify this problem.
Sutton Resources Ltd. Mine acquired by Barrick Gold Corp. in 1999.
EDC: $173 million political risk insurance
MIGA: US$172 million guarantees
CPP: $351 million
Bulyanhulu is among the most controversial Canadian mining operations in the world. Artisanal miners were forcibly evicted from the concession area by Tanzanian troops in 1996 when the concession was held by Barrick’s predecessor, Sutton Resources. A storm of allegations surround the evictions including one that as many as 52 miners were buried in mine shafts. Barrick denies these allegations. A former Tanzanian Attorney General and an international team of researchers, lawyers and NGOs have called for an independent inquiry into the evictions. The World Bank Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) found that the evidence regarding the alleged deaths was unconvincing and did not recommend an independent inquiry, deferring this decision to the Government of Tanzania. No inquiry has been held, and the CAO report has been widely criticized by NGOs.
Mine Your Own Business
Mandatory NOT Voluntary
Human rights and environmental standards for Canadian mining and energy companies operating abroad needed NOW
Click here for complete paper in pdf
Prepared by Özgür Can and Sara Seck, for the ECA-Watch, Halifax Initiative Coalition and ESCR-Net
International human rights law has traditionally focused on establishing the obligations owed by states to individuals. Much recent attention has been given to the question of whether non-state actors, such as transnational corporations, can be considered subjects of international law and as such duty bearers of international human rights obligations. However, less attention has been given to the equally significant question of whether financiers of transnational corporate activities have an obligation to ensure that the activities they support comply with international human rights norms. This paper will explore the international human rights obligations of one type of financial institution: officially supported export credit and investment insurance agencies (Export Credit Agencies or ECAs). ECAs are primarily public or publicly mandated institutions that support and subsidise national trade and investment activities, particularly in developing and emerging markets.
GOLD IN THEM GLACIERS
WILL NOTHING STOP CANUCK MINING DISASTERS ABROAD?
By JORGE FERNANDO GARRETON
Santiago, Chile -- T.O.-based mining giant Barrick Gold will move mountains - literally - to get to buried treasures of silver and gold. But three glaciers?
PDF versions are available in the below links.
Issue brief on IFC and MIGA: "Private Sector and Lending and the World Bank Group."
Issue brief on IFC Performance Standards: "The International Finance Corporation's Performance Standards - the new 'gold standard' or 'fool's gold'?"
Policy brief on EDC: "Export Development Canada and Human Rights - Risk or Rights?"
NGOs welcome changes to policies at Export Development Canada - Implementation still a concern