COMING SOON to a mining city near you… March 28 Toxic Tour!

toxic web 1

amazing poster by: murray bush, flux design

Soon, Indigenous leaders, academics, scientists, activists and public intellectuals will converge in Vancouver, on unceded Coast Salish Territories, to explore global resistance to the new face of resource capitalism in Canada as a State of Extraction.

On March 28th, in conjunction with the State of Extraction conference-convergence, please join us for:

Extractive Industries and Voices of Resistance:

A Toxic Tour of Vancouver

MARCH through the streets! in a lively procession to stand up for community self-determination.

SEE the sites! of fancy offices where corporate decisions lead to social and environmental injustices.

HEAR from indigenous and global communities! affected by Vancouver’s extractive companies.

Music! Snacks! Dance! Street Theatre! Testimonies! Family-friendly! Bring your drums and regalia!

Saturday March 28

12pm – 3pm

Starts at Vancouver Art Gallery (North side, Georgia and Howe)

Unceded Coast Salish Territories

RSVP on facebook:

Organized by: Mining Justice Alliance, Café Rebelde, Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights, Council of Canadians, No One Is Illegal-Coast Salish Territories, Rising Tide-Coast Salish Territories

Endorsed by: Alliance for People’s Health; Beyond Boarding Collective; Canada Tibet Committee; Critical Criminology Working Group at KPU; In Solidarity With All Land Defenders; INDIGENOUS ACTION MOVEMENT-Coast Salish Territories; International Allies Against Mining in Latin America; International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS); Migrante BC; Red Sparks Union; Rights Action; Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group (SFPIRG); SocialCoast; South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD); Stop Enbridge, Stop Kinder Morgan-Call to Action; Streams of Justice; Teaching Support Staff Union at SFU, The Purple Thistle, Vancouver Solidarity with Ayotzinapa, We Love This Coast, Wirikuta Vancouver Alliance

Thanks to: CUPE BC

Want more information? Is your group willing to endorse this event? Please get in touch! | @miningjustice

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Film: Plundering Tibet – Sunday March 8th

Plundering Tibet – Environmental and Social Consequences of Resource

Film Screening and Discussion Forum

please share the info via the Facebook event page! (link below)

Date: Sunday March 8, 2015

Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Location: Library Square Conference Centre (350 West Georgia Street,

Room: Peter Kaye Room

 Suggested Donation: $10

 Sponsored by Canada Tibet Committee (

 From Wild Yak Films (

A film by Michael Buckley
A personal take on mining in Tibet
How much can an ecosystem take before it collapses?

Length: 24 minutes

Plundering Tibet is a short documentary about the dire consequences of  China’s ruthless mining in Tibet. As a Canadian filmmaker, the narrator  has a personal take on this because of the involvement of Canadian  companies in mining in Tibet—and the railway to Lhasa. Following the  arrival of the train in Tibet in 2006, large-scale mining of lithium,
gold, copper, lead, crude oil, natural gas and other resources is under way to feed China’s voracious industrial sector. Tibetans have vigorously protested the defilement of their sacred mountains by Chinese mining operations. None of the mining operations benefit Tibetans. In fact, mining pollutes drinking water, kills the livestock, and degrades the
grasslands on which Tibetan nomads depend. A disaster of Biblical proportions is unfolding in Tibet—so big you can see it happening on Google Earth—the mines, the pollution, the environmental damage.

The environmental impact may go far beyond Tibet’s borders because of rivers that run downstream to ten Asian nations—including India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos, Burma and Vietnam. Tibet’s abundant rivers supply large quantities of both water and power for mining operations. Chinese engineers are heavily damming Tibet’s mighty rivers to supply
power for large-scale mining operations: the building of mega-dams will immediately affect the nations downstream. The documentary uses undercover  footage and still photography shot on location in Tibet—including  cellphone footage of an anti-mining protest smuggled out of Tibet.  Although some photography of mine sites was shot within Tibet, it is extremely difficult to get to mining sites due to tight security in remote locations. For mining sites in Tibet, the film uses Google Earth flyovers to show what is happening on the ground, hidden from view.

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carr clifton valley photo

The BC Government is expected to soon grant Imperial Metals a permit to discharge tailings at the Red Chris Mine site in the Sacred Headwaters area of northwestern BC. This area is one of the last intact ecosystems and source of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers. Approval of this permit is the final step Imperial Metals needs to begin large-scale industrial mining at the Red Chris Mine. Do you think this is a good idea?

Did you know that Imperial Metals operates the Mount Polley Mine, site of the August 2014 tailings pond spill, one of the biggest environmental disasters in modern Canadian history? The tailings pond proposed for the Red Chris Mine is based on the same design as the one that failed at the Mount Polley Mine. An outside review of the Red Chris Mine tailings pond has cited technical design flaws. Do you trust the safety record of Imperial Metals?

Indications are the BC Government will provide the final mining permit to Imperial Metals early in 2015. There has been further speculation that Imperial Metals will use the profits from the Red Chris Mine operation to finance two other mine projects in Clayoquot Sound. Do you remember the historic fight to protect Clayoquot?

Send a clear message to the BC Government before it issues a permit for Imperial Metals to start operating its Red Chris Mine in the Sacred Headwaters. We do not want another Mount Polley disaster, or worse! Take action now!

Stand firmly against this mining operation and destruction of the Sacred Headwaters, yet another pristine Canadian and BC wilderness. Join us in an act of peaceful solidarity to show the BC Government and Imperial Metals that we are opposed to corporations implementing more mining, tailings ponds, and further degradation of our environment.

January 22, 2015, 12-1:30 pm

on the sidewalk outside the offices of Imperial Metals at 580 Hornby Street

Environment Committee / Social Justice Committee
Unitarian Church of Vancouver

Posted in Environment and Health, Imperial Metals, Local and Indigenous Rights, Oh, Canada: Canadian policy | Tagged | Leave a comment

Rally to Support the Wilderness Committee for speaking out on Fish Lake

Wilderness committee graphic
You are invited to a gathering on the steps of the courthouse at Nelson and Hornby, Monday, January 19th, 8:30-9:30am.
The rally is  a gathering of friends and allies in defense of the right to speak and public participation, held in response to Taseko Mines Ltd.’s defamation suit against the Wilderness Committee.
The defamation suit was launched in 2012 at the time of a public comment period for the New Prosperity Mine. For background information you can check out the Wilderness Committee’s press release:
Joe Foy from the Wilderness Committee, Devon Page from Ecojustice and Grand Chief Stewart Philip will each say a few words. Media will be in attendance.
Posted in Community Resistance, Oh, Canada: Canadian policy, Taseko Mines Ltd., Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Interactive map shows scope of natural resource concessions in Guatemala (NISGUA)

From Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala‘s blog:

Those of you following NISGUA’s work on defense of land and territory over the past seven years may remember the story of how Goldcorp’s Marlin mine first gained access to indigenous lands in San Miguel Ixtahuacán, San Marcos. Company representatives told residents that they were interested in starting an orchid farm, when in reality they planned to open a massive, open-pit gold mine.
This first encounter – characterized by the withholding and distorting of information about the mine by the Guatemalan government and trans-national companies – has come to represent one of the key issues facing affected communities: Lack of access to clear, accurate and unbiased information about potential resource extraction on their territory, before extraction activities begin.
In an effort to confront this ongoing problem and to better understand the immensity of resource concessions in Guatemala, NISGUA supported the development of an online, interactive map entitled: Authorization of Natural Resource Exploitation.
How to use the map
To access the map online where it’s hosted on the Western Peoples’ Council (CPO) website, click here.
To access a downloadable copy to run offline, click here.
First, make sure the Google Earth plugin is downloaded onto your computer. The left-hand side of the map page includes the scope of information available. Select the category to be displayed (mining licenses, hydro-dams, protected areas etc.). You can choose the color for each layer of information by clicking the color square. For several subjects there is the option to select a group of records with specific characteristics. Finally, hit the “update map” button at the bottom of the page or use the map offline by selecting the “export KML” file button.
When the map is loaded, click on different concessions for additional information about the territory impacted, companies involved and resource sought.
Depending on the speed of the Internet connection, the type of information and the scale (i.e. the whole country or just one department), it may require more or less time to load/download the information from the maps. If needed, it is worth the effort to wait several minutes.
Outline of protected areas, mining licenses and areas that have held community consultations in northwestern Guatemala.
The map includes data about  mega-projects that are in the operation, construction or investigation phases, including difficult-to-find information on who owns the concession or license. The information included on the map was collected using government databases and public records, and as such, does not include projects by companies that are not officially registered in Guatemala. The map also highlights protected areas and territories and municipalities that have carried out community consultations. All the information comes from relevant parties: protected areas from the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP), mining and hydrocarbons from the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), and community consultations from the committees charged with their undertaking.

NISGUA support for community mapping and information sharing

The online map is one part of an ongoing process to support access to and sharing of information about government concession of licenses for mega-projects to multi-national companies. Since 2008 NISGUA has participated in community mapping projects in departments impacted by Goldcorp’s Marlin gold mine, including Huehuetenango and San Marcos, and more recently in Santa Rosa,Jalapa and Jutiapa as a result of Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine.

Community members participate in community mapping in Mataquescuintla, Jalapa  (Photos NISGUA)
The imposition of natural resources exploration and exploitation projects in Guatemala without accurate and timely information for impacted communities has led to an increase in conflict throughout the country. The conflict has manifested itself in intimidation and violence against communities, organizations and individuals opposing these projects, and the criminalization of their leaders. The lack of information and consultation is a violation of indigenous rights as outlined in ILO Convention 169 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
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Stop The Institute

VANCOUVER, BC – Over 1000 individuals and civil society organizations are signatories to a letter petitioning coalition universities to dissolve the mining, oil, and gas think-tank headquartered at UBC.

Among the signatories are professors Glen Coulthard (UBC), David Suzuki (UBC, emeritus), Stephen Collis (SFU), Stephen Brown (U. of Ottawa), and Boaventura de Sousa Santos (U. of Coimbra), and author Naomi Klein. Many other professors and hundreds of students at the coalition universities join them. Additionally, hundreds more community members, stakeholders, and public intellectuals have added their names to the petition, including Hugo Blanco, community organizer and editor of Peru’s Lucha Indigena; Alberto Acosta, economist and former member of Ecuador’s Constituent Assembly; and Uruguayan journalist Raúl Zibechi.

Funded $24.6M by the federal government, plus roughly $21M more by coalition universities and strategic partners, the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute—CIRDI (formerly known as CIIEID)—has received consistent opposition by academics and civil society alike.

Addressed to the Presidents and Boards of Governors of UBC, SFU, and École Polytechnique de Montréal, the petition specifically lists a loss of academic freedom, biased representation and conflicts of interest, lack of credibility and trust, and a lack of accountability as the reasons to pull out of the agreement with the federal government. It states that the signatories do not want their universities “linked with an industry currently being rejected by many communities in Canada and around the world because of its destructive impact on their lives and on the environment.”

A project with origins in the Prime Minister’s Office, in 2013 the coalition of three universities signed an agreement with the federal government to run the institute mandated to intervene in developing countries’ “policy, legislation, regulatory development and implementation, training, technical assistance, and applied research related to their own extractive sectors.”

A fundamental disconnect in CIRDI’s mandate, however, is that these so-called developing countries’ own extractive sectors are comprised in their majority by Canada-based transnationals. Indigenous and non-indigenous communities, and grass-roots organizations in solidarity with those affected by extractive projects have long been calling for an end to the impunity that Canadian companies have, and demand mechanisms of accountability in Canadian legislation to hold the companies accountable in our courts for abuses committed abroad.

Now academics, alumni, rights-holders, and stakeholders across Canada and in Latin America have made it clear to the decision-makers at the universities that, rather than attempting to overhaul a fundamentally flawed experiment, it is now time to take the precedent-setting step of dissolving CIRDI, advocating rather for research into the role and impacts of Canadian extractivism abroad that is truly independent from conflicted interests.

The letter states that “an appropriate institute would rather be accountable to communities impacted by extractive projects, and emphasize their rights to free, prior, and informed consent, which includes the right to legislate against or reject a given extractive project. The appropriate problem to be addressed by such an institute is Canada’s responsibility in resource extraction conflicts both here and abroad, and the lack of accountability for Canadian companies accused of abuses abroad.”

Signatories to the petition expect the Boards of Governors to write off the sunk cost resulting from the 2013 decision and ultimately to dissolve the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute.

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News bulletins about Goldcorp Inc. (Rights Action)

Posts from Rights Action on Goldcorp Inc. activities in Guatemala:

Contamination of Water By Goldcorp Inc. (Montana Exploradora) In San Miguel Ixtahuacan And Sipacapa, San Marcos:

The INACIF assessment confirmed that the total nitrogen in the water discharge from the treatment plant at Goldcorp’s Marlin mine exceeds the limits established by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARN). It is possible that the source of the high level of nitrogen is the cyanide used to extract the gold and as well, the remnants of unexploded ordnance.  The report also confirms that levels of total lead and arsenic exceed legal limits for drinking water set by the National Standards Commission (COGUANOR).  Local communities, especially their children, are suffering from environmental illness – arsenic poisoning, caused by arsenic contamination of water sources.

The INACIF report can be found at:

Death Of A Worker In A Goldcorp Tunnel

Máximo López Ambrosio, a 53 year old worker from the community of Xeabaj, Sipacapa died in the West Vero underground mine, at 3am, Tuesday, September 9, 2014.  According to statements from other workers, he died in the Marlin mine medical clinic after being transported by ambulance all the way to the San Martin hospital in Huehuetenango, rather than to the closer clinic – Centro de Atención Permanente in San Miguel Ixtahuacán, financed by Goldcorp Inc.  Workers have testified to the extreme working conditions in the West Vero mine – unbearable heat and poor ventilation. Family members of the dead miner have stated that theSan Martin hospital refuses to inform them of the cause of death, unless ordered by law.

Fissure In Earth By Goldcorp’s Mine Threatens Indigenous Communities

Telesur 2 minute report:

Goldcorp Report On Underground Mines In San Miguel Ixtahuacán

Goldcorp’s 2003 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Marlin Mine states that gold and silver deposits at the Marlin site cover an area approximately 10 kilometers long, running East to West.  According to the Goldcorp report, there are five underground mines at the Marlin site: (1) MARLIN, (2) DELMY, (3) CORAL, (4) VIRGINIA, and (5) WEST VERO. Missing from this list is the LA HAMACA mine, authorized by the MARN in 2006, making a total of 6 underground mines.

According the Hydro-geological Analysis carried out by Goldcorp (Montana Exploradora) in June 2011, these mines operate over two aquifers. The one that provides water to local communities is not very deep, while the other one sits at 100 to 300 metres below ground level.

The physical area covered by the mine can cause accumulative impacts on water sources, through both the length and depth of its tunnels: the longitude from Marlin to Coral is one kilometre, from Marlin to West Vero at least two kilometers, and from Marlin to La Hamaca, 3 kilometres. The 2006 EIA of La Hamaca authorized a 2,100 metre longitudinal extension to the subterranean mine. As we have already mentioned, the mineral deposit runs for up to ten kilometres longitudinally from East to West.

The 2003 EIA authorized Marlin to go ahead with a 300 metre deep underground mine (2000 and 1700 below sea level) and as well, with a 180 metre deep mine at LaHamaca, both in San Miguel Ixtahuacán. Only the 2003 EIA for the Marlin underground mine and the 2006 EIA for the La Hamacaunderground mine have been approved by MARN. The other mines have no legal authorization to operate.

The Goldcorp Report indicates that there are 347 metres between the West Vero and Delmy mines (1660 and 2007 meters below sea level). And the difference in height between the West Vero and Sipacapa mines (1970 below sea level) indicates a depth of 310 metres, in comparison to San Miguel Ixtahuacán mine (2065 below sea level) with a depth of 405 metres.

Goldcorp Inc. has been exploiting the Marlin mine for nine years, using dynamite underneath the local communities. This explains the cracks in the houses, churches and schools in San Miguel Ixtahuacán.


Posted in Corporate Impunity, Environment and Health, Goldcorp | Tagged , , | Leave a comment