News

A Canadian Mining Giant Is Quietly Ramping Up Work in New Zealand. Locals Are Worried

VICE

Anya Zoledziowski

Screen Shot 2021 05 07 at 12.59.23In the latest allegations against Canadian mining, conservationists say new projects could destroy protected lands and further harm endangered species.

A Canadian-Australian mining giant is preemptively ramping up its operations in and around protected land on New Zealand’s North Island, local conservationists and residents say.

Waihi, a town of nearly 6,000, sits at the edge of the Coromandel Peninsula, an 85-kilometre stretch of largely protected conservation land rich in gold and silver.

OceanaGold is proposing a 6.8-kilometre tunnel that would travel from Waihi to Wharekirauponga (WKP), in the Coromandel, where it purchased rights to mine and explore in 2016.

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U.S.-Backed ANDA Appointment Threatens the Salvadoran People’s Water Resources

CISPES

On September 24, the government of Nayib Bukele named a new official to head the National Aqueduct and Sewer Administration (ANDA), the autonomous institution charged with the management, treatment, and distribution of water resources nationwide. During the swearing in ceremony, President Bukele showed a video greeting from U.S. Ambassador Ronald D. Johnson, who publicly endorsed the appointment. The new president of ANDA, Rubén Alemán, had been employed for twelve years as an environmental monitoring expert by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Alemán’s appointment has generated concerns and questions about the U.S. government’s involvement regarding the control of water resources.

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EL SALVADOR - Water recognized as a public good and human right, the satisfaction of the Church

Agenzia Fides

8Alianza Contra 1San Salvador (Agenzia Fides) - The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador unanimously approved, with 78 votes in favor and no votes against, the reform of the Constitution of the Republic to recognize water as a public good and human right. According to El Salvador's legislation, after this session on October 15, the reform will have to be ratified by the next legislature and can therefore enter into force from 2021, after the parliamentary elections.

The Archbishop of San Salvador, Mgr. José Luis Escobar Alas, president of the Salvadoran Episcopal Conference, in a video posted on the archdiocese's social media thanks the authorities and expresses the satisfaction of the national community and the Church for the approval of the constitutional reform. According to what was approved by the deputies, the change concerns Article 2 of the Constitution, which establishes that water is a human right. Thus the article guarantees individual and fundamental rights, such as life, physical and moral integrity, freedom, security, work; to these would be added water and its sanitation facilities. In addition, a further amendment was approved, to Article 69, to establish that water is a public good.

In El Salvador, the Church has always been a protagonist in calling for a fair law for the distribution and management of this precious resource of water. President Nayib Bukele stressed this when he was elected (see Fides, 12/2/2019). "For over a decade people have been asking for the urgent approval of a general law on water ... now the same people are tired of the lack of commitment and will to legislate on water", said Mgr. Escobar Alas on various occasions. 

Canadian corporate greed on display in Mexico mining dispute

Jen Moore | Canadian Dimension

As gold prices soar to record levels, the Los Filos gold mine in Mexico, one of the country’s largest, has sat idle since early September after its owner, Vancouver-based Equinox Gold, failed to uphold its agreement with the nearby community of Carrizalillo, a small town of about 3,000 people. Equinox blames the community for the shutdown, but in reality, the company and its executives have no one to blame but themselves.

On September 3, the community assembly of Carrizalillo set up camp outside the mine, which is principally located on their lands, after their representatives tried for months to appeal to company management to correct breaches of their social-cooperation agreement. Instead of receiving a constructive response, they faced disrespect, ridicule, and discrimination from the manager designated to respond to their concerns.

The community first sought resolution through written correspondence and meetings. In a July 31 letter, the community appealed directly to the Los Filos general manager and explained that their efforts to address grievances with the manager assigned to them “always end with incomplete responses or without resolution and with arrogant acts and insults that extend to acts of discrimination and lack of respect.” They requested that the general manager be assigned to them instead. But he was dismissed that very week. Subsequently, communication with and trust in the company began rapidly eroding.

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The hidden connection between a US steel company and the controversial Los Pinares mine in Honduras

Jennifer Avila y Danielle Mackey | Univision

An environmental conflict marked by violence is raging in Guapinol, Honduras, where local inhabitants resist an iron oxide mine in a national park. 

GUAPINOLDiscreetly and without public announcement, the largest steel producer in the United States, the Nucor Corporation, spent at least four years associated with an iron mine in Honduras under fire for its presumed persecution of social leaders who are protesting the ecological damage the mine may cause in protected land, according to documents obtained through a cross-border journalism collaboration between Contracorriente, the Centro Latinoamericano de Investigación Periodística (CLIP) and the Univision Investigative Unit.

Nucor, a publicly traded company coddled by President Donald Trump, partnered in 2015 with the prominent Honduran businessman Lenir Pérez and his wife Ana Isabel Facussé, owners of Inversiones Los Pinares -- a company that is waging battle against the residents of a town called Guapinol, who oppose the company's planned mine in the Carlos Escaleras National Park, in the northern part of this Central American nation. The conflict has left a wake of people dead, injured and imprisoned.

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ATM Statement on illegal entry of fuel trucks in Nueva Vizcaya

alyanza

PRESS RELEASE

Nov. 26. 2020

Quezon City - Alyansa Tigil Mina strongly condemns the illegal forceful entry today of five fuel trucks by Oceana Gold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI) in Brgy.  Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.

This is an illegal act by the mining company, as it’s mining contract has expired more than a year ago, and it does not have any permit to operate from the local governments.  

Our alliance also denounce the alleged order of DILG Sec. Ano instructing the PNP to escort the illegal entry of the fuel trucks. About 30 elements of the PNP from Nueva Vizcaya accompanied 50 security guards of the mining company to deliver the fuel.  Local barangay officials and environmental groups from the area tried to prevent the illegal entry, but the police allegedly threatened protestors they will be arrested.

We are deeply frustrated that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of DENR has failed to implement the closure and decommissioning protocols for the Didipio mines, in light of the expiration of OGPI’s Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA).   We hold the DENR and the MGB as accountable for the continued destruction of the forests and livelihoods of affected communities in Nueva Vizcaya, especially in light of the floods and landslides brought by the recent typhoons.

This illegal entry of fuel to the mines add insult to injury, as OGPI prevented the provincial government from opening an alternate road in Kasibu town, after the main road was made impassable, because of the overflow of the mine tailings pond.  

We demand that DILG Sec. Ano immediately revoke any order to the PNP to escort fuel deliveries to the Didipio mines.  The DILG and the PNP should not be used nor be part of this illegal activity of OGPI.

We demand that the DENR immediately disclose the Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Plan (FMRDP) of the Didipio mining project, so the LGUs and affected communities are properly informed about these protocols.

We remind President Duterte that he himself recognized that the deforestation in the mountains of Sierra Madre is the main cause of the devastating floods in Isabela and Cagayan.  Pres. Duterte must instruct the DILG and the DENR to immediately stop the illegal activities in Nueva Vizcaya.  #