On Friday, dozens of people gathered outside the office of Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, to demonstrate their solidarity with the people of El Salvador who have waited seven years for a World Bank tribunal decision in the controversial case of OceanaGold v. El Salvador.
On August 4th, the massive tailings dam at the Imperial Metals Mount Polley gold and copper mine burst. The dam breach unleashed around 25 million cubic meters of toxic heavy metals and chemical laden tailings water and sludge (enough water and material to fill nearly 9,800 Olympic-sized swimming pools) into Polley Lake, down Hazeltine Creek, into Quesnel Lake and onto the Quesnel River which directly connects to the Fraser River Watershed. Volumes of water, tailings and other debris released into the environment by the August 4 breach of Imperial Metals’ tailings pond at Mount Polley Mine were at least 70% higher than the initial estimates released to the
In a media release, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society warned that “Fortune Minerals is proposing construction of a metal processing plant near Langham, SK. This proposal involves use of highly hazardous chemicals and the burying on-site of 2.8 million tonnes of arsenic-containing waste.”
Angélica Choc and Máxima Acuña, two of the land-defenders we most deeply admire, were threatened and attacked last week at their respective homes in Guatemala and Peru.
OceanaGold should respect the democratic process in El Salvador, abandon its acquisition of Vancouver-based Pacific Rim Mining, and drop its lawsuit against the government of El Salvador for not having permitted a mine, according to international civil society organizations.
The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix reports, "Ore production has finally begun at the Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan.... The ore from Cigar Lake is being transported to the McClean Lake mill, which is operated by [Paris-based] Areva Resources Canada Inc. and is located 70 kilometres northeast of the mine site." The article adds, "The uranium sector has been in a funk since the Fukushima, Japan, disaster in March 2011.... [Cameco CEO Tim] Gitzel said as the Japanese units come back on, and with China announcing Thursday they will be building nuclear facilities faster than previously announced, the long-term prospects are bright."
E-oaxaca reports (in Spanish), "Twenty organizations of Mexican and international civil society presented the report 'Justice for San Jose del Progreso', generated from a Civil Observation Mission on Human Rights held in late 2012 and now updated. The report shows the systematic human rights produced by the imposition of 'San Jose' mining project in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, powered by the (Vancouver-based) company Fortuna Silver Mines since 2006." Blue Planet Project campaigner Meera Karunananthan and I participated in that Civil Observation Mission in Oaxaca.
Civil society organizations from Canada and Quebec are concerned that the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement (FTA) currently being debated in the House of Commons will further undermine human rights and democracy in Honduras.