(Ottawa/Washington/Bogotá) The Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), the independent complaints office of the International Financial Corporation (IFC), will carry out an audit of the IFC’s decision to purchase US$18.2 million in shares of Eco Oro Minerals (previously Greystar Resources). The Canadian company is proposing to develop the Angostura gold mine project in the high altitude wetlands – known as páramos – of Santurbán, located in the Colombian departments of Santander and North Santander.
The Canadian International Development Agency's funding of Corporate Social Responsibility projects mostly near mine sites is intended to help Canadian mining companies compete for access to lucrative ore bodies in developing countries in the face of increasing local opposition to mining.
As I write this, thousands of Cajamarcans in Peru are protesting Newmont Mining Corp.'s proposed Conga mine that will destroy four lakes they depend on for their water supplies and livelihoods.
Work at La Caypa coal mine in northern Colombia resumed after police broke up an "illegal" strike, confirmed Pacific Coal in a statement released Monday.
Communiqué: Marmato Defence Committee and Regional Indigenous Council of Caldas (CRIDEC), December 22, 2011
The residents of Marmato detain open-pit mining in their territory, impede the resettlement of their municipal centre and prohibit the demolition of local heritage
The Mazamorras Gold mining project, owned by Canadian multinational Gran Colombia Gold, and directed by ex-Colombian Foreign Affairs Minister María Consuelo Araujo, is located between the municipalities of Arboleda and San Lorenzo, in the Department of Nariño, Colombia. The company is currently moving ahead with mining exploration activities, which has led to chaos and confrontation in and around local communities. Given this, we feel obliged to publicly denounce the following, which have occurred as a result of Gran Colombia Gold's presence in the region:
Following recent mobilizations against Canadian mining company Gran Colombia Gold, and clashes with between residents and police in Nariño, Colombia, the governor of the department signed an open letter on November 23rd, stating his opposition to open-pit mining on land currently being cultivated by campesinos [small farmers].
In the provincial reserve in the jurisdiction of the Barrancas municipality in the department of Guajira, from November 18th to 20th, 2011, we consider the issues that have arisen as a result of the request for permission to expand the Cerrejón mining project, as well as the impacts from this project's open pit mining activities for the las 35 years in La Guajira.
Especial attention was drawn by the active participation during these meetings on the part of traditional autorities, women, youngsters and children.
Regulators, investors, and communities are increasingly aware of the potential environmental and social harm associated with open-pit mining projects. Local-level conflict is now commonly associated with proposed and operating mines as community members struggle to protect economic and social values of importance to them, to assert the right to refuse a mine, or to advance claims on mining companies for damages. In response, mining companies seek partnerships to help them secure a so-called social license to operate and manage risk to reputation.
The people of Arboleda and San Lorenzo (Nariño), tired of constant aggressions and the lack of consultation on mining development projects in their communities, reject the presence of the multinational Mazamorras Gold.
Firms involved in Colombia's mines must be more transparent about the payments they make and the way they are governed.