Canadian mining companies behaving badly: A new report on gold mining in Haiti

The report documents the history and legal issues surrounding gold mining in Haiti. Canadian companies own the rights to gold mines in several regions of Haiti. The following is an excerpt from the report:

"Byen Konte, Mal Kalkile? Human Rights and Environmental Risks of Gold Mining in Haiti, is the product of collaboration between environmental law experts and human rights lawyers, and was informed by the Justice in Mining Collective, a platform of Haitian organizations and individuals committed to promoting the interests of Haiti’s rural, northern communities. The title of the report, taken from a Kreyòl proverb meaning “well-counted, poorly calculated,” suggests that Haiti’s apparent bounty of mineral resources could easily transform into a curse."

"Haiti stands at a crossroads: The prospect of gold mining glitters on the horizon, while the reality of political turmoil, weak institutions, and widespread impoverishment glares in the foreground. Minerals can be exploited only once. This moment, before mining has begun, presents a unique opportunity for Haiti to hold a robust public debate about the risks and benefits of mining for the Haitian people, and to implement preventive measures to avoid future human rights abuses and environmental harms. Such a debate requires transparency, information sharing, and active engagement of Haitian communities. Until now, most discussions about mining have occurred among government officials, company stakeholders, and international financial institutions behind closed doors. There is a dearth of information in the public domain about what gold mining entails, what challenges it poses, what opportunities it presents, and what it may mean for communities and the country as a whole. The purpose of this report is to help fill that gap."

To read the full report follow this link


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Canadian companies behaving badly

By Michelle Adelman, Toronto Now, December 9, 2015

Canada is the most-sued western country under Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). And most of those suits involved U.S. companies. But it is claims made by huge multinationals, including Canadian-owned companies, against poorer developing countries that have really given ISDS a bad name - and tarnished Canada's reputation abroad. 

Case in point: Gabriel Resources' Rosia Montana gold mine in Romania, which proposed the destruction of four mountaintops, three villages and some ancient Roman ruins to make way for gold and silver extraction.

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Posted Dec. 10, 2015