Tag Archives: Barrick Gold

Protests, Lawsuits and Arson: South American Mine Resistance

12 Apr

 

 

Thousands of indigenous peoples led by CONAIE (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) converge on Quito in March 2012 after a 15-day march demanding an end to open pit mining and new oil concessions. (Amazon Watch)

Thousands of indigenous peoples led by CONAIE (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) converge on Quito in March 2012 after a 15-day march demanding an end to open pit mining and new oil concessions. (Amazon Watch)Three stories of mines resistance from our southern neighbors:

• Four hundred protesters stormed the planned site of the Minas Conga mine in Yanacocha, Peru, and set fire to construction equipment yesterday. Minas Conga would be the biggest gold mine in Peru, and has been the target of sustained protests from local indigenous residents who say the mine would destroy their water supply. In July, police killed five protesters in anti-mine clashes; the deaths led to a pending complaint to the Inter-American Human Rights Court.

• On April 3, 30 protesters crashed the opening of the Expominas trade fair in Quito, Ecuador, where the government was seeking to coax new investments in mineral and oil mining. Protesters crashed the inaugural speech by singing a rewritten version of the popular hip-hop song “Latinoamérica” by Calle 13: “You cannot buy Intag, you cannot buy Mirador, you can’t buy Kimsacocha, you can’t buy my Ecuador.”

Ecuador is home to a powerful (largely indigenous) anti-mines movement. Leftist President Rafael Correa’s support for big mining has been a major factor costing him support from much of his former base.

• A Chilean court has suspended construction of Barrick Gold’s long- embattled Pascua Lama mine, based on complaints from local indigenous communities that the mine will destroy their water supply. Unfortunately, the injunction does not affect construction in the Argentinean portion of the project, including the process plant and tailings storage facility.

from Root Force

“Renewable” Energy’s Got Bling

15 Dec

A recent article in Bloomberg News documented how gold and diamond mining companies are on the leading edge of “renewable” energy use.  Reposted from Root Force:

Diavik_Diamond_Mine

Diavik Diamond Mine, Canada

“The four windmills dug into northern Canada’s tundra that power Rio Tinto Group(RIO)’s $5.2 billion Diavik diamond mine are the world’s first designed to work in gusts as cold as 40 degrees below zero.

The mining company has sunk $30 million into wind energy because roads are frozen and closed to diesel fuel deliveries for 10 months a year. Near the opposite pole, in Argentina, Barrick Gold Corp. is testing the highest wind turbine at 4,100 meters (13,450 feet), an altitude almost halfway up Mt. Everest. The machine was designed for low air density and provides 20 percent of a Barrick gold mine’s power on windy days.

“All the big mining companies are studying different types of renewables,” Gil Forer, Ernst & Young LLP’s clean-tech head in New York, said in an interview. They are “very strategic” for an energy-intensive industry, he said.”

The article continues to talk about how using “clean energy” could help to improve the image of corporations that have been “tarnished over decades by workers accidents, fouled rivers and toxic tailings”.  Finally, these multi-nationals can improve their image without having to address conditions for workers or the destruction they cause!

“Clean power provides about a third of the energy consumed by London-based Rio Tinto, the world’s second-biggest mining company. Rio, like most competitors, backs up the projects with fossil-fuel generation for when winds die and skies cloud over.

Anglo American, which owns 85 percent of De Beers, the biggest diamond producer, invested about $180 million in low- carbon technologies and gets 23 percent of its energy from clean sources. Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM), having spent about $171 million on hydropower, biodiesel and geothermal power in 2011, uses clean energy at 10 of its 14 mines, spokesman Omar Jabara said.”

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