Canadian OceanaGold Company Told to leave El Salvador and the Philippines

Shareholders meeting in Toronto

(Toronto/Ottawa) Today, during OceanaGold’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Toronto, company shareholders were asked to scrutinize company claims regarding supposed benefits for affected communities in El Salvador and the Philippines.

“It just doesn’t add up. OceanaGold is not acting in the interest of communities in El Salvador when it sues the country for USD $250 million over a mine permit that it has never met the regulatory requirements to obtain,” remarked Rachel Small from the Council of Canadians in Toronto.

A decision is expected shortly over this suit from the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The case, which has dragged on for seven years, has already cost El Salvador over USD $12 million in legal costs; enough for a year’s worth of adult literacy classes for roughly 330,000 people.

“OceanaGold’s claims don’t compute. The company insists that mining is good for the country, but Salvadorans have been remarkably clear that this is not their desired option for future generations in their densely populated and already water-stressed country,” said Jim Hodgson from the United Church of Canada.

Since 2008, three successive Salvadoran presidents have committed not to issue new mining permits. A 2015 opinion poll found that opposition to metal mining is nearly 79.5% nationwide and 83.9% in municipalities affected by OceanaGold’s El Doradoproject.

“The activities of the company’s El Dorado Foundation in El Salvador do not compensate for the bullying of the last seven years. Worse, this sort of so-called corporate philanthropy could compound social divisions and contribute to further violence against local community activists, as has already taken place,” said Jen Moore of MiningWatch Canada, co-author of a recent report about the activities of the El Dorado Foundation in El Salvador.

Between 2009 and 2011, four environmental activists were murdered in Cabañas, El Salvador. More recently, several local organizations have received threats. These crimes have never been fully investigated.

“It is particularly shameful that OceanaGold is using its experience at the Didipio mine in the Philippines to try to pitch this project to Salvadorans when, based on what we have seen on the ground in Nueva Vizcaya, this project’s legacy is one of community displacement, broken promises, and environmental degradation,” said Connie Sorio for KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.”

A statement from the Filipino coalition Alyansa Tigil Mina prepared in time for OceanaGold’s AGM stated the demand from local organizations in Nueva Vizcaya that are calling for OceanaGold’s operations to stop and for their lands to be rehabilitated, given impacts on water supplies and farmlands. The Incoming Governor of Nueva Vizcaya, Carlos M. Padilla, also issued an open letter reiterating the call for OceanaGold to pull out, emphasizing how the costs of the company’s open-pit mine far outweigh scarce benefits.


Articles Par : Dylan Penner

Avis de non-responsabilité : Les opinions exprimées dans cet article n'engagent que le ou les auteurs. Le Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation se dégage de toute responsabilité concernant le contenu de cet article et ne sera pas tenu responsable pour des erreurs ou informations incorrectes ou inexactes.

Le Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation (CRM) accorde la permission de reproduire la version intégrale ou des extraits d'articles du site sur des sites de médias alternatifs. La source de l'article, l'adresse url ainsi qu'un hyperlien vers l'article original du CRM doivent être indiqués. Une note de droit d'auteur (copyright) doit également être indiquée.

Pour publier des articles de en format papier ou autre, y compris les sites Internet commerciaux, contactez: [email protected] contient du matériel protégé par le droit d'auteur, dont le détenteur n'a pas toujours autorisé l’utilisation. Nous mettons ce matériel à la disposition de nos lecteurs en vertu du principe "d'utilisation équitable", dans le but d'améliorer la compréhension des enjeux politiques, économiques et sociaux. Tout le matériel mis en ligne sur ce site est à but non lucratif. Il est mis à la disposition de tous ceux qui s'y intéressent dans le but de faire de la recherche ainsi qu'à des fins éducatives. Si vous désirez utiliser du matériel protégé par le droit d'auteur pour des raisons autres que "l'utilisation équitable", vous devez demander la permission au détenteur du droit d'auteur.

Contact média: [email protected]