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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Vatican Hosts Mining CEO’s in a “Day of Reflection” September 11th, 2013

vatican mining meeting 2013

Participants of the “Vatican Day of Reflection on Mining” in front of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in Rome                                                                 

 

 

The CEOs of some of the world’s top mining companies went to the Vatican for a day-long meeting last Saturday to discuss better ways to operate in communities that are increasingly protesting the destructive impacts of mining. Communities are fearful – with good reason – of the impacts of mining on their water, land and air.

Saturday’s “day of reflection with the mining industry,” was organized, at the request of leaders in the mining sector, by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. It included the CEOs of Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Newmont Mining, who alone represented companies with well more than $100-billion (U.S.) in market value. The chairmen, presidents or senior executives of dozens of other companies, ranging from AngloGold Ashanti to African Rainbow Minerals, were also present. Fr. Seamus Finn OMI, from the USP JPIC team in Washington DC, was invited to be a part of the team that prepared the day of reflection and offered input during the day. Pope Francis offered a message of greeting and challenge to the group and offered his prayers and blessings on the event.

The companies were interested “to open a dialogue where mining interfaces with the community … to hear other views with the promise of all of us making a difference.”

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Religious and Civil Society Groups Challenge Violent Repression of Peruvian Mining Protests July 12th, 2012

Newmont Mining Protests in Peru

The Oblates JPIC Office joined a broad array of civil society and religious groups expressing serious concern to the Peruvian government about the “alarming escalation in the repression of free speech, police brutalities, and human rights violations” in the country, largely related to mining activities. Indigenous communities, whose water supplies and way of life are threatened by the mining developments, have refused their consent to such projects. The government’s response has been heavy-handed, with the death of five people since the beginning of July 2012, and numerous injuries. The international groups resolved to continue to monitor and publicize developments, and asked the government to:

  • Immediately halt the repression and violent attacks against protestors.
  • Lift the “State of Emergency” that violates citizen rights and has led to the militarization of the region, with the potential to lead to additional acts of violence.
  • Immediately undertake an independent investigation into the brutal arrest of Father Marco Arana and the intimidation of other leaders of the opposition to the Conga project.
  • Adopt a mandate of community consent prior to all extractive industry projects, as the lack of consent is the largest driver of social conflicts in Peru.
Read the letter (Download PDF)

Shareholders, NGOs, raise questions about Newmont Mining’s social and environmental risks at company’s Annual General Meeting April 26th, 2012

Shareholders and NGOs at the Newmont Mining annual meeting in Wilmington, DE on Tuesday, April 24, questioned company senior management and the Board of Directors about the operational and reputational risks Newmont faces in Peru, and emphasized the need for the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of local communities where Newmont operates. In addition, the group strongly encouraged additional disclosure by the company on its environmental and social guidelines and practices, including Board oversight of these issues. The Missionary Oblates are involved in the dialog with Newmont, with particular concerns about the company’s operations in Peru, the Congo and Indonesia.

In 2007, in response to a shareholder proposal filed by members of The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), Newmont agreed to conduct a global review of its policies and practices related to community opposition in its mining operations. At this year’s annual shareholder meeting, the lead proponent of that proposal, Julie Tanner, Assistant Director of Socially Responsible Investing at Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS), expressed frustration over Newmont’s lack of disclosure on the implementation its Community Relations Review (CRR).

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Threat to Water from Mining in Peru Mobilizes Masses February 5th, 2012

Thousands of Peruvians from the Amazon to Lima have mobilized against a serious threat to the water in the Cajamarca region of Peru. Residents there, mostly indigenous peoples, are deeply concerned about the threat to their water from a proposed mining development by the American company, Newmont Mining. Oblates in the US have engaged Newmont about the impact of their operations on communities where they have mining operations. The Yanacocha mine has been a priority in those conversations though the recent turmoil in the Cajamarca region is related to the proposed development of Minas Congas and extension of the Yanacocha project. The Oblates in Peru are supporting the March for Water that has been organized by civil society in the impacted areas.

The movement claims “the right to be consulted, to be respected and heard in decisions about its development model, for socially-just participation in economic growth, the prohibition of mining in the headwaters of rivers, and a stop to mining with cyanide and mercury that is causing so much damage to land and water.” The marchers are proclaiming their human right to water, and drawing support from churches and civil society alike in a several day march from Cajamarca to Lima. The Great National Water mobilization began on February 1st and will conclude with a convocation in Lima on February 9-10.

Read a full description of the mobilization (in English translation):

“SMALL STREAMS MAKE THE GREAT RIVER OF LIFE”: THE GREAT NATIONAL WATER MOBILIZATION”

Materials in Spanish are also available under News in the Spanish section of this website

 

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