This clearly demonstrates why we need to implement meaningful changes such as comprehensive reforms especially w.r.t our natural resources (Tiomin contract is manipulative, argues Reform Group - www.ccr-kenya.com/Resources/44.html / www.kbc.co.ke/story.asp?ID=44907) and elect leaders who are truly committed to our best interests. As you all know, sustainable development is not just about the environment.
When General Ward appeared before the House Armed Services Committee on March 13, 2008, he cited America's growing dependence on African oil as a priority issue for Africom and went on to proclaim that combating terrorism would be "Africom's number one theater-wide goal." He barely mentioned development, humanitarian aid, peacekeeping or conflict resolution. And in a presentation by Vice Admiral Moeller at an Africom conference held at Fort McNair on February 18, 2008 and subsequently posted on the web by the Pentagon, he declared that protecting "the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market" was one of Africom's "guiding principles" and specifically cited "oil disruption," "terrorism," and the "growing influence" of China as major "challenges" to U.S. interests in Africa
Mexicans Celebrate End of New Gold Inc.'s Cerro de San Pedro Mine, Workers Attack Villagers Criminal and civil proceedings to begin against company management in Mexico and Canada.
OTTAWA, ONTARIO, MONTREAL, QUEBEC and CERRO DE SAN PEDRO, MEXICO--(Marketwire - Nov. 19, 2009) - Mexican and Canadian organizations decried today's violence in which workers from New Gold's Cerro de San Pedro mine reportedly attacked three villagers whom they blamed for the mine's closure, Armando Mendoza, Gabriel Nuniz, and Jaime Tedesco.
"We understand that emotions are running high, but such violence cannot be tolerated, and we call on New Gold and its subsidiary Minera San Xavier to make this clear to their employees," said MiningWatch Canada spokesperson Jamie Kneen.
Yesterday, PROFEPA, the Mexican environmental enforcement agency, shut down New Gold Inc.'s (TSX:NGD) Cerro de San Pedro open-pit gold mine on the outskirts of the city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The agency was enforcing decisions rendered by the Ninth Circuit Administrative Court(1) and the Federal Tribunal of Fiscal and Administrative Justice.(2)
Patricio Patron Laviada of PROFEPA announced in Mexico City today that New Gold's mine has been operating illegally since its 2005 permit was thrown out by Mexican courts. He declared that recent statements of the company that it will appeal the decision are just strategies to retain investor confidence.(3)
"After weeks in which New Gold has ignored and publicly denied these decisions, we are thrilled PROFEPA has finally put an end to this mine," said Dr. Juan Carlos Ruiz Guadalajara, spokesman for the FAO (Frente Amplio Opositor), the coalition that brought New Gold to trial.
The case is without precedent, according to Kneen. "I can't think of a single example internationally of a Canadian mining operation that has been shut down by the authorities for operating illegally - but then I can't think of another company that has fought so hard for so long to operate without all its permits in place."
The company's Mexican subsidiary, Minera San Xavier, was informed of the Tribunal's ruling on October 14th. On November 10th the FAO filed a complaint with the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) and the Toronto Stock Exchange accusing the company of withholding and misrepresenting information that "is of central importance to shareholders."
Mario Martinez of the FAO also notes that New Gold's land-use contract with the ejidatarios (communal landowners) of Cerro de San Pedro was thrown out by the Federal Agrarian Courts when it was discovered that a number of the signatories to the contract were fraudulent. Under Mexican law, to operate, a company needs all applicable permits and contracts to be in order.
Now that the mine has been shut down, lawyers for the FAO are preparing criminal charges and civil suits against New Gold and its Mexican subsidiary. The FAO is also launching what it calls a "Mega-remediation project" to restore this zone of unique environmental and historical importance for Mexicans.
(1) D.A. 65/2004-873: unanimous and without appeal
(2) Exp. 170/00-05-02-9/634/01-PL-05-04: one dissension; without appeal
Officials cite environmental infractions for temporary closing of barite operation; deny action has any connection to slaying of activist
Andy Hoffman and Gloria Galloway
Toronto and Ottawa — From Wednesday's Globe and Mail Published on Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009 9:43PM EST
Last updated on Wednesday, Dec. 09, 2009 9:06AM EST
The Canadian mining company entangled in a murder investigation of a local activist has had its mine shut down by Mexican authorities because of environmental violations.
The Ministry of the Environment for the state of Chiapas has temporarily closed a barite mine owned by Calgary-based Blackfire Exploration Ltd., citing several infractions, including pollution and causing toxic emissions, a government spokeswoman said yesterday.
Three men linked to Blackfire, including a current employee, were recently arrested in the Nov. 27 slaying of activist Mariano Abarca Roblero, who had publicly protested against the mining operation located in Chicomuselo, Chiapas. Ministry spokeswoman Carolina Ochoa denied the mine closing had anything to do with the killing.
Brent Willis, president of Blackfire, said the company has not been told why the mine, which has been operating since November, 2008, was closed.
“The government asked for it to be shut down today … we don't have an understanding of why it was shut down,” Mr. Willis said in an interview.
Privately held Blackfire, which is controlled by Mr. Willis, his brother Brent and Mexican investor Emiliano Canales Avila, has denied any role in the death of Mr. Abarca, who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting outside his home.
Mexico's Attorney-General has said that all three men arrested in the murder are linked to Blackfire. Mr. Willis denied this. He said one man, Caralampio Lopez Vazquez, works for the company, but that the other two are no longer employees.
“We were not involved in the incident in any manner,” Mr. Willis said.
The mine shutdown and murder investigation comes as Canadian Governor-General Michaëlle Jean visits Chiapas on a diplomatic tour and as Parliament considers Bill C-300, a private member's bill that would impose sanctions on Canadian resource companies that violate human rights and environmental standards in foreign countries.
The powerful mining industry is lobbying hard to quash the bill, introduced by Liberal MP John McKay, but concedes the Blackfire situation is unlikely to help its cause.
“It is a serious situation and it is a tragic situation,” Gordon Peeling, president and chief executive officer of The Mining Association of Canada, said of the murder.
“It is not helpful in terms of the dynamic of the discussion for those that want to link these things. Their thinking is flawed if they try to link it to C-300,” he added.
Roger Maldonado, another activist in Chiapas who knew Mr. Abarca, said Blackfire has been accused of causing environmental damage and bribing local officials and that anti-mining activists have faced threats and retaliation from mine employees.
“They feel their jobs are jeopardized by somebody protesting against the mine,” Mr. Maldonado said in an interview.
Ms. Jean and Peter Kent, Canada's junior foreign minister for the Americas, were touring in Mexico yesterday as the Blackfire mining operation was being shut down.
A spokeswoman for Ms. Jean said the Canadian delegation was not targeted by protests related to either the environmental accusations that have dogged the mine or the murder charges pending against people linked to the Canadian company.
But in Canada, federal opposition members say there must be some controls placed on Canadian corporations operating abroad.
Mr. McKay, the author of Bill C-300 said allegations like those levied against Blackfire, even if unproven, damage the company, the industry and the reputation of all Canadians.
Peter Julian, an NDP MP who has put forth his own bill that would allow people who have been harmed by Canadian corporations operating in other countries to seek redress in a Canadian court, says Mr. McKay's bill does not go far enough.
“The actions of a Canadian company, good or bad, have an impact on Canada as a whole,” said Mr. Julian, whose proposed legislation is unlikely to get as far as Mr. McKay's.
“There is no doubt that there are a number of Canadian companies that have been irresponsible,” he said. “That, unfortunately, gives a black eye to the whole industry and does have an impact on Canada.”
The government needs a means of address for these kinds of issues to ensure that Canadian companies are always acting in a socially end environmentally responsible manner, Mr. Julian said.
Eleanor Johnston, a spokeswoman for Mr. Kent, confirmed that no protesters greeted the Canadian dignitaries yesterday. “A crime has been committed and the appropriate Mexican authorities are investigating,” said Ms. Johnston.
N.B: Bill C300 being proposed by Liberal MP John McKay, is still a very cosmetic change. A government appointed ombudsman to "hear" complaints is just another "important-sounding" position being created, while prolonging the suffering of the world's poor.
Peter Julian, the NDP MP who has put forth his own bill (above) "that would allow people who have been harmed by Canadian corporations operating in other countries to seek redress in a Canadian court, says Mr. McKay's bill does not go far enough." This is the fact of the matter. Urgent and meaningful solutions are required, particularly in terms of legislation.
Please see the article below:
ECUADORIAN MOUNTAIN VILLAGERS SUE A CANADIAN MINING COMPANY AND THE TORONTO STOCK EXCHANGE TO DEMAND SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTABILITY
High in Ecuador’s Andean mountains, where the roads come to an end in the cloud forests of the Intag region far from the capital city of Quito or other towns, lies an area of great natural beauty. It is dotted with small villages, family farms and small coffee-growing plots, and located next to the pristine Cotacachi-Cayapas national ecological reserve.
But a Canadian junior mineral exploration company says a significant copper deposit lies buried underneath this lush ecosystem and peaceful community. Copper Mesa Mining Corporation, financed largely on the Toronto Stock Exchange and associated with global mining giant Rio Tinto, says a gigantic open pit mine should be excavated in the cloud forest mountains to extract the copper.
Most local Ecuadorian villagers, farmers, and political leaders believe a large open pit mine will bring far more social, ecological and economic destruction than could ever be justified.
The local community members and leaders have repeatedly protested and voted to block the proposed mine. They have said the company’s attempts to begin mining exploration activities have broken Ecuadorean laws relating to land rights and ecological protection, and sparked harsh community conflicts. They also say that the company’s agents have resorted to physical assaults, death threats and various human rights violations.
Attacks on the communities
On December 2, 2006, local community members received a tip that a large private armed security brigade hired by Copper Mesa (then known as Ascendant Copper) was travelling up the forest road to force its way past the communities to the site of the alleged mineral deposit. Community members quickly mobilized and a group of men, women and children gathered on the road to defend their homes, land and environment. A student from Europe visiting to study the controversy caught what happened next on video camera.
A number of company-hired trucks came to a stop in the forest, and dozens of uniformed men wearing bullet-proof vests and carrying shotguns and revolvers climbed out and approached the group that was peacefully blocking the road.
The paramilitary men came to a stop a few feet from the assembled local community members. The community members pleaded with them to leave and insisted the police should be called in. Suddenly and without provocation the leader of the paramilitaries levelled a canister of spray and blasted the faces of the women and men a mere metre away. He then drew his revolver and began shooting. Others in the paramilitary brigade followed suit. In all, scores of shots were fired by the company’s forces.
Despite the unprovoked violent attack and ensuing chaos, community members did not disperse or back down. Surprised and confused by the community members’ bravery, the mining company’s forces retreated, regrouped, and then left in the company trucks.
One of the women sprayed in the face at point blank range was Marcia Ramírez. One of the men injured in the shooting and chaos was Israel Pérez.
The December 2, 2006 company-sponsored attack was only one part of an extended campaign to break the principled local opposition to the Copper Mesa open pit mine. Throughout 2005, 2006 and 2007, Polivio Pérez, a local community representative, and his family, received several death threats because of his role as a leader of the opposition to mining in Intag – threats believed by community members to be perpetrated by individuals connected to Copper Mesa. On July 31, 2007, Polivio Pérez was physically assaulted by a group connected to the mining company.
These threats and assaults are part of a wider campaign of intimidation, harassment and violence carried out by allies of, and sometimes apparently direct agents of, the Copper Mesa company of Canada, aimed at silencing the widespread and sustained local opposition to a gigantic open-pit copper mine in the Intag region.
What is happening in Intag is illustrative of a wider problem - the corporate and financial unaccountability of the Canadian mining industry. These events in Ecuador are being replayed in numerous other countries from the Democratic Republic of Congo, to Peru, to the Philippines, to Indonesia, and they are symptomatic of the fact that under current Canadian law, Canadian mining companies are not being held responsible for the harms that they create abroad.
But against enormous odds Ms. Marcia Ramírez, Mr. Israel Pérez and Mr. Polivio Pérez eventually were able to find a way to begin a lawsuit in Canada, on behalf of their communities, to defend their homes, lands and ecosystem against the corporate and financial institutions located thousands of kilometres away whose local agents and allies were causing such violence and harm, with impunity and apparently without accountability.
The Legal Claim Against the TSX
The Toronto Stock Exchange enables more money to be raised for international mining companies – especially junior exploration companies – than any other stock exchange in the world. It does so while turning a blind eye to the potential and actual harms that this financing can cause and often does cause.
In the Intag case, the TSX’s stock market listing of Copper Mesa (at that time under the name of Ascendant Copper) allowed the company to obtain over $25 million in capital funds – some of which paid for the armed attackers who injured Marcia and Israel on December 2, 2006. The TSX listing committee had previously agreed to list Copper Mesa (Ascendant Copper) on its stock exchange despite having been specifically alerted in a letter from the local Ecuadorean mayor to the company’s involvement in local conflict, and despite a warning by the Canadian financial agency, hired by Ascendant, which prepared Ascendant’s listing prospectus. That prospectus warned that there was a “potential of further escalating violence” if the mineral exploration operations continued. The TSX ignored these specific red flag alerts, listed the company on its exchange, and soon the funds flowed to pay for the armed and violent men acting illegally on the cloud forest road in the Intag.
According to Canadian law, anyone who undertakes an activity, including a corporation such as the TSX, must “take reasonable care to avoid conduct that entails an unreasonable risk of harm to others”1. If someone does not take such care, and their conduct causes harm, they must pay compensation for the injuries that they cause.
Marcia, Israel and Polivio claim in their lawsuit that the TSX was bound by a legal duty under Canadian law to not provide financing assistance to a company such as Copper Mesa when there was a foreseeable and unreasonable risk that funds raised on the Exchange would be used to harm individuals in places such as Ecuador. In other words, the TSX was under a legal duty not to provide access to financing assistance without taking precautionary “due diligence” measures to reduce the risk that funds raised through the Exchange would be used to harm individuals such as Marcia, Israel and Polivio. In this lawsuit, the Plaintiffs point to a number of clear indicators known to the TSX which signalled that there was a real risk of such harm occurring.
Currently, the TSX does not take any steps whatsoever to help avoid the possibility that the funds raised on its exchanges will cause real harm to individuals abroad. The TSX presently has no policies in place that would inhibit the exchange from listing a company that was likely – or even certain – to use the funds so raised to instigate violence and human rights abuses in local communities abroad.
In the case of Copper Mesa, the TSX provided a means for the corporation to access millions of dollars in new financial capital, with which the company could continue and extend its remote-control campaign of fear and intimidation, and with which it could, and did, hire the violent security forces that harmed Marcia, Israel and Polivio.
The Plaintiffs are not saying that the Toronto Stock Exchange should be held responsible for each and every action of the companies which the TSX decides to list for trading. But the Plaintiffs are saying that the TSX should take reasonable steps to prevent the large amounts of capital raised with its assistance from being used to seriously harm individuals and communities in places like the Intag Valley in Ecuador, when the high risk of such harm is known or clear.
The Legal Claim Against Members of Copper Mesa’s Board of Directors
The lawsuit also claims that members of Copper Mesa’s board of directors are under a duty to avoid conduct that creates a foreseeable risk of harm to individuals and communities located in the company’s areas of exploration. It is the directors who ultimately have control over a corporation, and they are responsible in law for their own actions and omissions taken in the course of their duties as directors.
In this case, at least some of the company’s directors personally knew about the harmful use of private armed security forces in Intag. In particular, they had been shown photographic evidence of violent attacks against peaceful assemblies, perpetrated by forces hired by the company, and the directors were specifically warned about the high risk of further future violence.
Despite this knowledge, members of the board of directors of the company continued to operate the company in a manner that created a high risk of future violence. They approved further funding which was used for dangerous security forces. They failed to take any meaningful steps to reduce the risk that threats of physical harm and violent tactics would be used by the corporation’s agents in the future. The result of the acts and omissions of the directors was that threats and violence continued.
The Plaintiffs are not saying that corporate directors are personally responsible and liable for any and every act of the corporation. Rather, they are saying that in cases where directors in fact have personal knowledge of a real and unreasonable risk of harm to individuals, or the risk is plain to see, they are under a duty to not act in a way that perpetuates or increases this risk, and they should take steps to reduce the risk.
The Legal Claim against Copper Mesa Mining Corporation
One serious shortcoming in the existing legal controls on Canadian mining companies operating abroad is that companies can spread their operations into many legal jurisdictions in a way that avoids laws of accountability in any one jurisdiction. This can happen through the use of subsidiary companies, and by incorporating in one jurisdiction while having the main company offices in another and its actual operations in yet another. For example, Copper Mesa, despite being a “junior” company, has connections to some nine different legal jurisdictions, making it difficult to identify which jurisdiction is the proper one in which to hold the corporation accountable.
In this lawsuit, the Plaintiffs have focused on decisions, actions and omissions of some of the final decision-makers of the company, that is, the directors, which have occurred in a specific provincial jurisdiction in Canada (the province of Ontario). By using existing laws and principles in this focused way, the Plaintiffs believe that both the directors and the company can be held accountable, since the corporation is legally responsible for the wrongs of its directors.
The Need for Law Reform
While the Plaintiffs are pursuing justice under existing legal rules and principles, they also strongly believe that legislative reform of the existing laws in Canada is critically necessary, to make accountability of corporations in these situations clearer, more effective, and more consistent with our common human and ecological values.
KLIPPENSTEINS Barristers and Solicitors, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Solicitors for Marcia Ramírez, Israel Pérez and Polivio Pérez
1. This longstanding legal principle is restated in the 2003 Supreme Court of Canada case of Odhavji Estate v. Woodhouse,  2 S.C.R. 263 at paragraph 45.
Canada and the Oppression of its Indigenous People and its Opposition to sign the U.N Declaration and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples www.amnesty.ca/lubicon
Amnesty International Canada and the Assembly of First Nations have joined together on this International Human Rights Day to launch a petition to urge Canada to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Some background information on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. A copy of the petition itself is attached.
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 September 2007. There had been more than 20 years of negotiations leading up to the final text. Although Canada had played a vital role in the finalization of the text, after the election of the government of Stephen Harper Canada abruptly and inexplicably reversed its position. In the lead up to the General Assembly, Canada collaborated with a small handful of states with terrible records of violations against the rights of Indigenous peoples - including Colombia - to call for a sweeping renegotiation of the Declaration. When the Declaration came to vote, Canada was one of only four states to vote against it. (Of the other three, Australia has now officially endorsed the Declaration while New Zealand and the US are known to be reviewing their positions.) Since the adoption of the Declaration, Canada has opposed its application in Canada and in the elaboration of other standards that would apply in Canada, including in standard setting processes at the OAS.
On 10 December (international Human Rights Day), an ad hoc coalition of Indigenous peoples' organizations and civil society groups will launch a petition campaign calling on Canada to endorse the Declaration and work toward its implementation. The petition campaign will continue until the next meeting of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in May 2010.
For more information on the Declaration, please see:
The root cause of the crises that affect humanity on a massive scale - mass poverty, displacement / landlessness, food insecurity, environmental degradation / climate change, wars, political instability / bad governance / corruption, pandemics, and social collapse - is the unsustainable extraction of the world's natural resources by multinational corporations, in a process that is facilitated by bilateral and multilateral agreements, and supported by international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization.
Everything that we use is derived from or depends on the use of natural resources, which include land, water, fossil fuels, minerals, forests, fisheries, and biological resources. However, multinational corporations are increasingly concentrating this natural wealth into fewer hands. A 2008 United Nations report revealed that the problem lies in a governance gap, whereby companies operate as multinational corporations, but are regulated at the national level, thus leading to conflicts and violations of human rights and environmental standards.
A major study on global wealth distribution revealed that the richest 1% of adults own more than half of global wealth, while the richest 10% own 85% of global wealth. In contrast, the bottom half of the world's adult population own barely 1% of global wealth. Rather than lift the poor, corporate-driven globalization has therefore caused record income and wealth disparities between rich and poor nations, as well as between the rich and poor within nations. It has greatly subdued democracy and social justice, destroyed local communities and pushed farmers off their traditional lands. It has also accelerated the greatest environmental breakdown in history. The only real beneficiaries of globalization are the world's largest corporations, their top officials, and the global bureaucracies that they helped to create.
Since corporate-driven globalization is the problem, it would therefore be logical to return to the "local" - to reinvigorate the conditions by which local communities regain the power to determine and control their preferred economic and political paths. Instead of shaping all systems to conform to a global model that emphasizes specialization of production, comparative advantage, export-oriented growth, monoculture and homogenization of economic, cultural, and political forms under the direction of multinational corporations, we must reshape our institutions to favour exactly the opposite.
Pursuant to the above, Canada is both the epicenter and undisputed powerhouse of the global extractive / mining industry. 60% of the world's mining companies are based in Canada / listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Canada is also the only country in the world that has refused to sign the recently adopted UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which stresses on the right to "Free Prior and Informed Consent" as opposed to the feudal "Free Entry" system.
Canada is therefore faced with the moral obligation of initiating the necessary steps towards addressing the problems caused by corporate-driven globalization, by reforming its own mining laws / legislating the right to "Free Prior and Informed Consent", and signing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
• Titanium project company returns a loss of Sh2.6 billion after writing off subsidiary, which has now been sold
Tiomin Resources recorded a loss of $35.4 million (Sh2.6bn) for the year ended December 31, 2009, partly due to writing off costs associated with its titanium project in Kenya, compared to a loss of $10.3 million (Sh783 million) the previous year.
Tiomin Chief Executive Officer Robert Jackson said the Toronto Stock Exchange-listed company’s local subsidiary, Tiomin Kenya Ltd (TKL), written off in 2009, accounted for about $30 million of the loss and non-recurring costs associated with a legal settlement accounted for $1.3 million.
He said in the audited annual report for 2009 Tiomin Resources on February 24, 2010, signed an agreement to sale Kwale mineral sands project in Kenya to Base Iron Ltd (BIL) of Australia. This, though, is subject to the approval of shareholders of the Australian.
The agreement provides for BIL to acquire the Kwale mineral sands, all the intellectual property associated with Tiomin’s mineral sands in Africa and an option to acquire 100 per cent of TKL. In exchange Tiomin receives $3 million in cash at closing and if the project reaches commercial production a cash royalty of 1.5 per cent of all product revenue from Kwale paid monthly in arrears.
Jackson in February said the Government of Kenya needs to approve the transaction as BIL is well qualified to develop Kwale mineral sands project.
“It allows us to focus on Brazil. Australian companies understand mineral sands much better than those of North America and we think BIL is well qualified to develop Kwale,” he said in a press statement.
Jackson said BIL will pay Tiomin $60,000 deposit deductible from $3 million cash closing payment and pay a non-refundable $60,000 a month to sustain TKL until transaction closes.
He said conditions precedent (CPs) require among others BIL to raise minimum capital of Australian $7 million. If this is not met within 90 days of signing, either party may terminate transaction.
Jinchuan Group Ltd of China in October last year terminated an investment agreement to purchase 70 per cent of TKL and the Kwale project. Tiomin tried to seek clarification from Jinchuan concerning its notice of intent to terminate the transaction, which was scheduled to close on October 29, 2009.
“This decision by Jinchuan to attempt to terminate the deal two days before closing should be of considerable interest to any mining company contemplating a transaction with Jinchuan,” said Jackson.
Get ready for fight over north, natives tell province: Leaders worried they will lose control of lands under proposed legislation
By Lee Greenberg, The Ottawa Citizen September 17, 2010
Ontario is heading for conflict with First Nations, native leaders said Thursday after the province moved ahead with contentious legislation governing northern development.
Native leaders are worried they will lose control over traditional lands under the proposed Far North Act, which is on the verge of passing.
The legislation opens half the northern boreal region -- about 42 per cent of the province -- to development such as the kind being planned in the so-called Ring of Fire, a pristine 5,000-square-kilometre swath of land set to be mined for its rich ore deposits.
Native leaders were at Queen's Park on Thursday to demand the bill be halted
"If it passes as is, there's going to be conflict on the land," said Margaret Sakchekapo-Kenequana, executive director of the Shibogama First Nations Council.
"We cannot simply just hand over jurisdiction to the government of Ontario, because the jurisdiction was given to us by the creator and we will uphold that. That is our sacred responsibility."
Grand Chief Stan Beardy said Premier Dalton McGuinty ignored requests for changes to the legislation.
"We've told him for one whole year what our issues are, what our concerns are, and it almost seems like they're not listening," said Beardy, who leads 49 northern bands.
If the legislation passed, Beardy said he would oppose it "by any means necessary."
The threat opens the spectre of disruptive occupations like the one that has haunted the southwestern Ontario community of Caledonia since 2006.
Liberal ministers attempted to cool the rhetoric Thursday, touting their outreach efforts in negotiating changes to the bill.
Linda Jeffrey, minister of natural resources, said the government had implemented all the changes demanded by aboriginal groups.
She said their continued discontent was caused by the confusing language of a bill "drafted by lawyers."
"I think there are some challenges with trying to communicate what's happening in the bill," she said. "My goal was to accommodate all of the requests...That's what I think the amendments have done. We'll see on the ground how the First Nations community comes around to understanding it."
The bill has cleared all legislative hurdles and can be passed any time.
Aboriginal leaders warned against that.
"If I came into your backyard and started pitching up my teepee, would you like that? Probably not, eh? You probably would want consent or tell me that I'm loitering, I'm trespassing," Sakchekapo-Kenequana said. "That's the same thing. The far north, 42 per cent of Ontario, is our homeland. That is our homeland. We have a right to say what happens in that territory."
Part 2 - A Case Of Corporate-Driven Globalization SOURCE:
Base Iron Acquires Tiomin Mines
By Kennedy Senelwa Posted Thursday, August 5 2010 at 18:20
Nairobi — Base Iron Ltd (BIL) of Australia has completed acquisition of the Kwale mineral sands project in Kenya from Vaaldiam Resources Inc of Canada (Tiomin).
The company said project progression for titanium mining has started, after it carried out an extensive due diligence exercise, raised capital of about Sh640 million and secured government consent.
Mr Tim Carstens, the managing director, said the firm has also been given the option of acquiring three additional exploration projects in Mambrui, Kilifi and Vipingo.
"It represents an outstanding opportunity for Base shareholders to acquire an advanced and highly-competitive project, in a sector that has been forecast to have a significant shortfall emerging in the medium-term," he said.
The option to acquire the exploration projects provides BIL with an extensive development pipeline with the potential for more than 25 years of operations in Kenya.
Mr Carstens said the company has engaged Ausenco Ltd to provide a capital cost estimate update and BIL's technical team is evaluating opportunities for improvement on the earlier study that was done by Vaaldiam.
"A 7,000 metre drilling programme has been initiated to better define lithology, grade and assemblage within dunes for mine planning and process design enhancement. On-ground activity is scheduled to commence in September."
The original project time-line expected construction to begin in the second half of 2006, with first production in mid 2008.
But in late 2006, disputes with affected farmers over land titles and resettlement compensation triggered delays.
Britain backs 'publish what you pay' rule for oil and mining firms in Africa George Osborne and Vince Cable come out in support of proposal by Nicolas Sarkozy at G20 meeting
The Observer, Sunday 20 February 2011 Article history
South African miners working for Anglo American, one of several large multinational resources firms listed in the UK. Photograph: Shaun Harris/AP
Britain is throwing its weight behind European efforts to force oil and mining companies to publish details of every penny they pay to governments in poor countries where they operate.
George Osborne told his fellow G20 finance ministers in Paris on Saturday that the coalition was keen to support an effort by the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, to throw open the operations of the extractive industries in the developing world to public scrutiny.
"As we enter a new decade when the resources of Africa are going to be heavily developed, I strongly believe it's in everyone's interests that mining companies and others operate to the highest standards," said Osborne. "That's the way to ensure some of the world's poorest benefit from the wealth that lies in the ground beneath them."
When multinational resources firms move into African states they often bring the promise of economic development, but campaigners say the result is all too often a bonanza for a tiny elite, while most of the population sees few benefits. In oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, for example, GDP per head is $30,000, equivalent to that of Italy or Spain, but most of the population still live on less than $1 a day. Exports of oil, gas and minerals from Africa were worth $393bn in 2008, while the continent received $44bn in international aid, and natural resources accounted for almost a quarter of Africa's growth between 2000 and 2008.
The long-running Publish What You Pay campaign, supported by a coalition of civil society groups worldwide, argues that if the scale of the payouts to host-country governments were revealed, voters would hold their leaders to account.
Jane Allen, UK co-ordinator for the campaign, said: "Too often the potential for growth and development in countries rich in natural resources is squandered as vast sums of money are misused by governments and individuals.
"By committing to legally binding measures that will make these payments open to scrutiny, the UK and Europe can play a critical role in reversing this 'resource curse' by fighting corruption and poverty."
Gordon Brown promoted a voluntary approach, known as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, launched in 2002; but US politicians have now legislated to force American firms to be more transparent. Sarkozy wants Europe to follow suit.
The business secretary, Vince Cable, will lead the government's push to secure a European agreement on the issue. A business department source said that legitimate firms had nothing to fear. "For businesses, it's something that they should support as well, in terms of creating a level playing-field," she said. A Treasury spokesman said: "George and Vince are working together on this."
The One campaign's Bob Geldof recently met Osborne to urge the government to support a new law. Sarkozy has asked the European Commission to report by September on the best way to legislate at European level, and British backing will be critical, because many of the firms that would be affected, including the mining giant Anglo-American and Tullow Oil, are listed in London.
Cable is keen to mend the government's reputation for ethics after its controversial decision to delay implementation of the anti-bribery bill, passed with cross-party agreement before the election, which would make UK companies liable for corrupt actions by their staff anywhere in the world.
Sarkozy has put the future of Africa at the heart of his aims for France's chairmanship of the G20 this year. He announced on Friday that he has appointed Bill Gates to carry out a study of alternative ways of raising cash for development, including a so-called Robin Hood tax on financial trading. At the G20 meeting, finance ministers also discussed the health of the global economy, and agreed the warning signs they will use to determine whether so-called "global imbalances", such as trade deficits, have reached a point that risks triggering a world financial crisis.
Tiomin Completes Acquisition of Vaaldiam Resources
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 23, 2010) - Tiomin Resources Inc. ("Tiomin") (TSX:TIO - News) and Vaaldiam Resources Ltd. ("Vaaldiam Resources") (TSX:VAA - News) jointly announced today the closing of the previously announced plan of arrangement (the "Arrangement"), pursuant to which Tiomin acquired all of the outstanding common shares of Vaaldiam Resources in consideration of 0.08 Tiomin common shares (post-consolidation) for each Vaaldiam Resources common share. In connection with the completion of the Arrangement, the common shares of Tiomin have been consolidated on a 10 for 1 basis and Tiomin has changed its name to "Vaaldiam Mining Inc." ("Vaaldiam Mining").
The Arrangement was carried out pursuant to the provisions of the Canada Business Corporations Act and was approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on March 18, 2010 and the affirmative votes of the Vaaldiam Resources shareholders at a meeting held on March 15, 2010.
The Vaaldiam Resources common shares are expected to be de-listed from the Toronto Stock Exchange at the close of business on Thursday, March 25, 2010. The Tiomin common shares are expected to begin trading under the name "Vaaldiam Mining Inc." under the symbol "VAA" at the opening of trading on Friday, March 26, 2010.
Holders of Vaaldiam Resources common shares are reminded that, in order to receive the consideration to which they are entitled pursuant to the Arrangement, they should promptly complete and execute the letter of transmittal delivered to them with their shareholder meeting materials, and present and surrender the certificate(s) representing their Vaaldiam Resources common shares in accordance with the letter of transmittal to Equity Transfer & Trust Company, the depositary for the Arrangement, at the address indicated on the letter of transmittal. Failure to present and surrender the certificate(s) representing such common shares on or before the sixth anniversary of closing will result in the termination of any entitlement of the holder of such common shares to receive the consideration otherwise payable to such holder under the Arrangement.
CIDA Subsidizes Mining’s Social Responsibility Projects
February 22, 2011 – Ottawa. In defence of beleaguered Minister of International Cooperation, Bev Oda, Prime Minster Stephen Harper told Parliament that the Canadian International Development Agency should give money only to “the poorest and the most vulnerable.” This is NOT what CIDA is doing.
According to CIDA, tax payer dollars are now subsidizing the corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects of the world’s wealthiest mining companies. In June 2010, CIDA acknowledged having received proposals to fund CSR projects in which “...NGOs and firms have described arrangements of shared responsibility...” The firms CIDA refers to are among the world’s largest and most profitable multinational mining companies such as Barrick Gold and Rio Tinto. Barrick Gold posted record 4th quarter net earnings in 2010 of $896 million dollars.
In a letter received by MiningWatch Canada, Bev Oda acknowledges the agency has set aside $499,445 for a corporate social responsibility project at a Barrick mine site in Peru. Barrick will contribute “approximately $150,000.” Oda goes on to state that she is “pleased to inform you that I have recently approved the contribution of $500,000 over three years to a project in ... Ghana”. This project is located at a Rio Tinto Alcan mine site and Rio Tinto Alcan will contribute $268,000.
Corporate Social Responsibility, as the name implies, is the responsibility of corporations. Traditionally, Canadian mining companies have contracted large Canadian NGOs to carry out development projects in communities at their mine sites. But now, the Canadian tax payer is footing the lion’s share of the bill through CIDA.
Catherine Coumans of MiningWatch Canada notes: “It is clear that at least some taxpayer dollars at CIDA are going to subsidize the corporate social responsibility projects of the world’s most profitable mining companies.” According to Coumans, “this government defeated Bill C-300, which would have held the government accountable for its financial support to the mining industry, and now we see this same government denying funding to long-time development partners such as KAIROS and shifting resources to provide aid dollar support the mining industry.”
Talisman Energy recognizes the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent
January 26, 2011 Bâtirente and the Regroupement pour la responsabilité sociale des entreprises (RRSE) commend Talisman Energy for including the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in their new Global Community Relations Policy.
This adoption follows over two years of dialogue by Bâtirente and RRSE, both shareholders of the company. In the course of this engagement, Talisman commissioned law firm and CSR consultant, Foley Hoag, to provide recommendations on how to operationalise FPIC.
According to its new policy, Talisman is committed to “endeavor to obtain and maintain the support and agreement of Communities for its activities”. Talisman also acknowledges the importance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, an international agreement which was recently signed by Canada and the U.S.
“As shareholders of Talisman, we are happy to see the company adopt a cutting-edge policy likely giving it a competitive advantage to access resources which are increasingly located in populated areas. Successful resource extraction projects depend on good community relations,” states Daniel Simard, General Director for Bâtirente. Mr. Simard adds “A process based on consent is clearly the best way to obtain and maintain the social license to operate.”
Bâtirente and RRSE will now focus their engagement on the implementation of the policy by Talisman. The shareholders will pay particular attention to the situations in Peru and Quebec where the company's activities are facing opposition from local communities.
“Although change cannot happen overnight, we believe this is a significant commitment,” states Sister Esther Champagne, president of RRSE. “We hope and expect Talisman will make a good faith effort to seek the FPIC of communities. We will be interested in how Talisman adapts its approach in order to obtain the consent of communities in Quebec where municipalities are presently forbidden to oppose mineral and gas extraction on their territory,” added Sister Champagne. Bâtirente is a non-profit organization created by the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CNTU/CSN), a 300,000 members Quebec labour organization, to set up and promote workplace retirement plans and investment funds. RRSE is a network of religious communities, organizations and individuals which aims to promote corporate social responsibility using shareholder engagement. For more information:
Australian diversified junior miner, Base Resources Ltd.'s titanium unit in Kenya aims to start mining in 2013, ending years of uncertainty over the project, a company official said on Monday.
Joe Schwarz, the general manager of Base Titanium, said in a telephone interview he expected the ongoing feasibility study at the project to be concluded by early 2011, and an estimated $200 million to be raised next year to kickstart the mine.
The project on Kenya's sweltering Indian Ocean coast has been held up for years by delays including demonstrations by environmental groups, disputes with local farmers over compensation for land and drawn out talks with the government.
Schwarz said so far Base Titanium had yet to sign agreements with buyers of its minerals, but said the exports would likely be destined to China, U.S. and Europe.
"Once we have the green light on the final investment decision, building the plant will take 18-21 months and we would be able to start production in 2013," Schwarz told Reuters.
"There is a lot of interest and discussions on raising finances are progressing well."
Schwarz said the mine should produce between 400,000 to 450,000 tonnes of refined minerals per year, which would bring in about $100 million in annual revenues to east Africa's biggest economy, which lacks a modern mining industry.
The country's mining laws date back to the 1940s, but Schwarz said the government was keen to modernise its laws, pointing to a new bill aimed at improving the sector.
"Once completed, this will be the first large scale mining project in Kenya, and this will be a beacon for attracting others into the sector," Schwarz said.
The mine would have a processing plant to recover ilmenite, rutile and zircon from the mineral sand to be used to make paint, ceramic, tiles, glazing among other uses.
"The minerals are used for making lifestyle products for consumers with a high per capita income," Schwarz said.
Titanium is an important pigment for industrial, domestic and artistic applications. Titanium is a choice material for joint replacement and tooth implants, and body piercing.
Base Resources, which also mines iron ore in Australia, was formerly Base Iron Ltd. The company paid $3 million and a cash royalty to Tiomin Resources Inc in February this year for the Kwale mineral sands project.
The deal, which included the sale of intellectual property related to mineral sands projects in Africa, gave the Australian miner the project located south of Kenya's Mombasa port.
Last year, China's Jinchuan Group Ltd terminated an agreement under which the top Chinese nickel producer was to acquire 70 percent stake in the project.
The development of the project would end more than 10 years of waiting for the plant to take off.
The Daily Nation By NATION CORRESPONDENT Posted Friday, June 10 2011 at 19:45 Nairobi
Foreign companies eyeing Kenyan mineral resources will be required to process the minerals locally to create jobs and wealth.
A new Bill to be tabled in Parliament also recommends that investors must have the necessary equipment to mine and process the products locally.
Environment and Mineral Resources minister John Michuki told a taskforce drafting legislation on land use, environment and natural resources that the mining industry was riddled with corruption.
Mr Michuki told a workshop on environment and natural resources in the South Coast that the new Constitution gives communities more say in the sharing of resources in their counties.
"A foreign investor licensed to mine has to do the processing here because we want to create jobs for our people. The law should be very clear about the conditions and if a company is not ready then it should not be licensed to operate," the minister said.
Mr Michuki said minerals in Kenya only benefit a few and in some cases licences for prospecting and mining change hands in dubious ways.
The taskforce has also recommended the setting up of four organs that will help streamline mining in the country and ensure the national government, and counties where the minerals are found get their proper share of the resources.
The Mineral and Mining Bill proposes the Mining Advisory Board that will be charged with the task of advising the Cabinet Secretary.
Other organs include the Geological Survey Authority, Mining Regulatory Authority and the Conflict Resolution Tribunal.
Communities would soon benefit from resources if task force recommendations were adopted.
In its proposals submitted to the parliamentary committee on Land and Environment, the taskforce for drafting legislation on Land use, Environment and Natural Resources provisions in the Constitution said if the Mining and Mineral Policy and Mining Mineral Bill 2011 were enacted, 15 per cent of proceeds from mining would remain in their localities.
A member of the taskforce, Dr. Grace Cheserek, said currently, the local communities get nothing from mining in their localities.
“We went round the continent to compare how they share their resources after which we came up with a proposal that 80 per cent of the minerals would be taken to the national government, 15 per cent to the counties, and five per cent to the community so that everyone could get a share of the benefits,” he said.
And the Environment and Natural Resources Minister John Michuki said the law on mining should be clear to address the current confusion.
Michuki also said there was need for the quantity of the mineral deposits to be established before a licence to mine is issued.
He also acknowledged that there is rampant forgery and corruption in the mining department, arguing that it should be addressed under the new law.
Msambweni MP Omar Zongo said locals have always been left out in sharing of proceeds from mineral resources in the area.
Kenya’s minerals to be processed locally
Daily Nation 17th June 2011
Kenya’s minerals will be processed locally to boost their value. Environment and Natural Resources assistant minister Margaret Kamar said the ministry was considering pegging mining licences on processing the minerals in the country, and not exporting them in their raw form. “The minister will soon make the declaration that will see to it that iron is not exported any more, because we also need a steel industry,” Prof Kamar said at the opening of a two-day stakeholders’ workshop on the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.
Tiomin contract is manipulative, argues Reform Group See previous post
Kenya titanium mine expected to launch in 2013 See previous post
How Globalization Denies Communities the Right to "Free, Prior, and Informed Consent" SOURCE:
This unfolding story makes you wonder whether the President and Prime Minister are aware that their host, Narendra Raval alias Guru (MD Devki Group - National Cement Company), is attempting to dispossess the residents of Oloitokitok in order to expand.
Oloitokitok Residents Oppose Investor’s Move To Mine Limestone
By Stephen Sangira The Star 15th June 2011
Members of a group ranch in Oloitokitok district are warning of bloodshed should a cement firm move irregularly into their ranch to extract limestone.
More than 4,000 members of Imbirikani Group Ranch have pointed an accusing finger at their area MP Katoo ole Metito, whom they are accusing of using the provincial administration to coerce them to lease their 1,600 acres of land to National Cement Company Ltd, a member of the Devki Group of Companies.
According to Jeremiah Katapa, a member of the Ewangan Community Development Association (ECODA), their MP has been at the forefront in bulldozing them to lease their ranch to the cement company by hook or crook.
However, Metito has said those complaining are just idlers without the true interests of community at heart.
The members of the ranch have now taken their war to their MPs doorstep by appending their signatures to a petition that they have taken to the Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources and also that of Lands.
“Our MP is not even a member of our group ranch, but he has been purporting to hold Annual General Meetings (AGM) to force us to pass a resolution giving the cement company a 99-year lease for them to harvest limestone for a paltry Sh4,000 per acre per year,” Katapa said.
One of the purported AGMs was held last month where the MP is said to have chaired the meeting while the area DC, David ole Shege, whom the residents accuse of silencing opposing voices in the project acted as the master of ceremonies.
The chairman of the cement company, Narendra Raval alias Guru, also attended the meeting where the ranch group members carried placards opposing the proposal for a lease. “Ole Metito (area MP) and the DC should realize that this is the era of a new constitution and the public interest comes first,” Katapa said.
He echoed sentiments by Environment and Mineral Resources Minister John Michuki who told a taskforce drafting legislation on land use, environment and natural resources that the mining industry was riddled with corruption.
“How can we be forced to lease an acre of land that will create millions for the investor at Sh4,000 a year for 99 years? Our MP Ole Metito, who should be at the forefront in protecting us, is at the forefront in auctioning his community,” quipped another ranch member Moses Marimber.
The Star has also learnt that the firm is in the process of detonating heavy explosives in the sensitive wildlife area.
Katapa added that the residents will oppose the project and also appealed to the Office of the President to recall the area DC.
The National Environmental Management Agency (NEMA) once warned him against disregarding a court order when an Environmental Impact Assessment had opposed a contractor from building a camp in wildlife grazing areas or migratory corridors.
This follows the commencement of building of a quarry and employee site camp by a Chinese company commissioned to build the Emali-Oloitokitok Road.
When reached for comment, Metito said those complaining are idlers who are always defeated on the ground on community issues and resort to cheap politics through the media. The assistant minister complained that those accusing him were just busybodies from Nairobi.
He, however, refused to confirm whether he was a member of the group ranch.
Efforts to get a comment from the investor were futile, as he did not return calls.
Trawling the Globe: The Hunt for Natural Resources
July 14, 2011 By Barbara Unmüßig
Where do the raw materials for our computers, flat-screen TVs, mobile phones, fluorescent lamps and the countless batteries found in our consumer goods come from? And what happens to them when we decide that it’s time for an upgrade? Where do they come from and where do they go? As a rule, we don’t concern ourselves with these questions. Information and communication technologies, renewable energies, car manufacturing, the high-tech defence industry – all these sectors are heavily dependent on “strategic” resources, as they are now called, with names like indium, tantalum, lithium, rare earths and coltan. These resources are not infinite, and their extraction and disposal are inextricably linked with major ecological, social and human rights problems. New efforts to introduce a governance regime, together with eco-social standards, are therefore required.
The rising resource demand from the industrialised countries and emerging economies is intensifying the competition over fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal and key traditional resources such as timber, gold, copper, iron ore and bauxite. No wonder, then, that resource governance is no longer a peripheral issue and is moving to the top of the international policy agenda. For a long time, attention was focused solely on the availability of energy resources, but today, these new strategic resources are in the spotlight as well. Securing the supply of raw materials is the top priority in government policy discourse – in Europe, Germany and China alike. Environmental and development challenges, on the other hand, are treated as secondary concerns.
Resource governance and ecological transformation
Some modern technologies which are regarded as offering a way out of the fossil fuel crisis or are seen as the driver of jobs and growth in a green economy – such as solar and wind energy, or electric and hybrid cars – need powerful batteries and magnets. Specific materials are essential for thin-film technologies, for instance. Compact fluorescent lamps depend on these strategic resources. Small and powerful lithium ion batteries are a key component of hybrid and electric cars. Thorough market penetration of these vehicles could lead to a 27-fold rise in demand for lithium by 2050 compared with the 2008 level – but this would result in the exhaustion of the world’s entire lithium reserves by 2045. And researchers in the US are already predicting that the world supply of indium – a vital component of touch screens – could be exhausted by 2020 at the latest.
In debating the green industrial revolution, we must consider what new dependencies on strategic resources these technologies are creating and what problems arise as a result for people and the environment in the regions where such resources are extracted. Resource efficiency, recycling and substitution must therefore become top priorities. The electronic waste recycling rate is low, and this itself points to policy failure. According to the United Nations, more than 40 million tonnes of electrical and electronic equipment end up in the bin every year – along with the precious resources that they contain. One tonne of mobile phone scrap yields 60 times more gold than a tonne of gold ore. The lack of investment in research and development in the field of resource efficiency and re-use is a political and corporate scandal.
Material and resource efficiency is a very important goal, but it is not enough. New trade and investment rules and eco-social standards are also required. Banning or foregoing the extraction of resources, for example in the Arctic or the tropical forests, are other important options – but these options will no longer be available once the world’s finite resources have been consumed.
Challenges and problems of the resource boom
Resource governance requires a “joined-up” approach that links economic and foreign policy, ecological concerns, and democratic and development policy, which are crying out for a coherent strategy. Here, environment and development, democracy and human rights must be regarded as equally important goals and should not be subordinated to the industrial and emerging countries’ economic interests. Price rises in the resource sector make investment in ever more risky, expensive and damaging extraction economically lucrative – from deep sea and Arctic drilling to oil extraction from tar sands or shale in ecologically sensitive regions. Unique ecosystems in previously pristine areas – whether in the Andes or the Congo Basin – are opened up and exposed to overexploitation. Direct effects on the people in the mining regions – from health risks to infringements of human rights and expulsion – are intensified.
The extractive industries and resource trade have long been a billion-dollar business which is dominated by a small number of global corporations. Many of the developing countries that currently have real prospects of ending extreme poverty base their economic growth mainly, or in some cases solely, on the export of resources. Paradoxically, a disproportionately high number of resource-rich countries are extremely poor or corrupt. The “paradox of plenty” – also known as the “resource curse” – is a well-known phenomenon. It means that the profits and “rents” from resource wealth are used solely for the enrichment of a small elite group, while also increasing corruption, fragile statehood and violent conflicts. It affects countries from Russia to the Congo.
Who benefits – and who makes the rules?
How can the people in the resource-rich countries benefit from their natural wealth? This is a key political question. Where resource strategies have already been agreed (e.g. by the German government, the European Union and some companies), they focus solely on safeguarding resources and are politically and ecologically one-dimensional.
Resource wealth can indeed contribute to development if usage rights, distributional issues and the management of resources are regulated by functioning institutions, value chains generate affluence at local level and revenues from the resource sector are invested in forward-looking development. However, global and national approaches to regulation and control are thin on the ground. In contrast to the situation with regard to climate change or biodiversity loss, there is no international convention for the resource sector at UN level and no global regime to which reference can be made. Some regulations do exist – e.g. on the conduct of transnational corporations (OECD Guidelines) and observance of human rights (Business and Human Rights) – but they are not binding and are therefore largely ineffective.
A similar situation applies to the voluntary standards and company codes of conduct aimed at tackling corruption, increasing transparency and improving observance of human rights and compliance with environmental and social standards. Various certification systems are in preparation for individual sectors. In general, however, it must be concluded that implementation of these voluntary standards is inadequate and that there are numerous loopholes that enable companies to improve their image while carrying on business as usual. Resource governance is still in its infancy. Until now, the supply of resources to industry has been a matter for companies themselves. Responsible, environmentally sound and socially equitable resource management that is compatible with human rights requires policy coherence, however, and this entails a very different approach towards standards and government regulation – an approach that creates incentives to conserve, re-use and, where appropriate, forego the consumption of resources. Natural resources are finite. Consumers should be clear about that when they upgrade their mobile phones, on average, every 18 months.
Sunday Nation, 14th August 2011 By Gitonga Marete email@example.com And Bozo Jenje firstname.lastname@example.org
The government has directed a mining company to stop prospecting for minerals in Kwale County until issues raised by the local community are sorted out.
Environment minister John Michuki said the community at Mrima Hill raised concerns on the prospecting activities and the fear of being displaced, exposure to radiation and interference to the sacred forests.
Cortec Mining-Kenya, a South African firm is prospecting for niobium and rare earth metals at the hill.
Residents had this week protested demanding that Cortec officials halt the project pending consultations.
Mr Ali Mnyenze, chairman of the 39 kaya’s (sacred forests) in Kwale said the community would not allow investors to tamper with the Mijikenda culture.
Mr Mnyenze said since the uniqueness of the Kaya’s had led to their recognition as World Heritage sites, interfering with them was disrespectful.
Last week, the minister visited the area and directed his assistant minister Ramadhan Kajembe and Msambweni MP Omar Dzonga to oversee dialogue between the parties.
“No prospecting will continue without the concerns about the project having been addressed,” Michuki said in a statement.
Elias Kimaru, project manager for World Widlife Fund said the firm needed to involve all stakeholders to understand the mining process and the benefits once the project is implemented.
“Everything is happening without transparency and even the environmental impact assessment is being done privately,” he said.
Mr Kimaru said the company did not regard the stakeholders concerns and were destroying the gazette natural reserve and national monument under the custody of the Kenya Forest Service and National Museums of Kenya respectively.
At the same time, the minister directed Base Titanium to put in place measures to restore the land after mining had been finalized.
He asked the company to collaborate with the KFS in identifying plant species and establish a tree nursery to replace uprooted trees after mining activities. “There are no outstanding issues in regard to titanium mining except compensation of the 97 families who will be relocated to pave way for construction of a dam,” he said.
Rethink foreign deals, African nations advised
Dakar, Monday Daily Nation, 25th May 2010
African states have been told to consider renegotiating unfavourable contracts with multinationals to ensure they get a fair return on their natural resources.
A joint OECD/African Development Bank study said the growing presence of companies from China and other emerging countries on the continent also gives governments the chance to reap higher rewards from mineral energy, and other resources by putting them to competitive bidding.
“Where multinational firms fail to abide by minimal corporate governance standards in terms of tax contributions, governments should consider renegotiating concessions,” the report to the bank’s annual meeting argued. “African states are entitled to receive a fair deal for the exploitation of their natural resources.”
The proposal was one of several made in a joint paper by the bank and the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development aimed at gradually weaning the continent off foreign aid by boosting tax and other domestic revenues.
The lack of transparency surrounding many resource contracts in Africa and the fact that many of its governments have little experience in negotiating production agreements and tax regimes mean their terms vary widely.
The report said some African governments were often hesitant to revisit unfavourable contracts and tax agreements. (Reuters)
kabui: from stumbling pray that your children will not walk in the steps of the wicked nor stand in the way of sinners but find wise and Godlly companions on life's journey.
Jun 6, 2015 4:21:12 GMT 3
kabui: i am not ashamed of who I am or whom my Father is. I work for the Republic of Kenya and I am Kenyan.
Jun 6, 2015 4:24:16 GMT 3
kabui: if you ask me why I am responding to a mail from 2009, castigating me, from someone I really don't know, if I am concerned, shouldn't I be?
Jun 6, 2015 4:28:13 GMT 3
jakaswanga: Amigo Mank, umepotea sana bwana! vipi.
Jun 21, 2015 15:53:18 GMT 3
jakaswanga: AHOY! DR PATRICK NJOROGE CBK! 30 minutes after fin-sec Rotich denied there is a cash crunch and stated monies to counties have been disbursed in full, the council of govenors called him A CHEAP LIAR! --WHAT IS THIS? FWAKA CLOWNS!?
Oct 15, 2015 20:08:53 GMT 3
ofrok: the forum is a nice place to argue out to communicate and make valid decisions
Dec 16, 2015 7:44:24 GMT 3
mashazack: [http://www.nairobigossips.com/]Mambo vipi[/http://www.nairobigossips.com], this is a nice place to share our views, great to be here
Jan 20, 2016 13:15:41 GMT 3
abdulmote: My dear Jukwanistas,
Oct 9, 2016 20:30:00 GMT 3
abdulmote: Its been a long time since I last posted here and I genuinely missed you guys.
Oct 9, 2016 20:30:36 GMT 3
abdulmote: However, I am pleased to see that Jukwaa is still thriving. Your effort, Jakaswanka, is not without being noticed. Saying that, I do pop in every now and again and get to enjoy and appreciate the many little gems Jukwaa membership has to offer.
Oct 9, 2016 20:33:45 GMT 3
abdulmote: My sincere and special regards to all my sisters and brothers in Jukwaa.
Oct 9, 2016 20:34:16 GMT 3
abdulmote: May God bless you all.
Oct 9, 2016 20:34:36 GMT 3
predictionkings: For free daily predictions, visit predictionkings.info for more...
Jun 17, 2017 21:55:50 GMT 3
guoma: for kenya today the entire community hass this in mind; raila had changed kenyan politics to where it is today, starting from new constitutional change to graft fight. had ex-president been a descent man he would have come out and campaign his ex-friend
Jul 20, 2017 12:13:19 GMT 3
bonfacemapesa: Especially with persistence that he is a one term wooer, there is no reason, in my view why Mr. Odinga should not be intrinsically and overwhelmingly voted in over and above the tribal cadres.
Jul 27, 2017 14:13:37 GMT 3
arara: Hello Good people. .any updates on Warebouts of Harrison Okongo Arara?
Sept 4, 2017 13:13:47 GMT 3
maath: Hello my good friends, I would be honored to receive information on Harris Okongo Arara, please help,thank you kindly!!
Jul 23, 2019 20:37:39 GMT 3
tnk: FYI Jakaswanga is currently suspended from posting on this forum. Adult/explicit content has not and will not be part of the discourse on this forum. If the old crew, or new members have no need to engage on this forum then it will eventually be retired.
Sept 25, 2019 18:46:10 GMT 3