From Miningwatch Canada news that OceanaGold is trying a new strategy to establish its gold mine in El Salvador
(Ottawa/Washington/Melbourne) A new study finds that OceanaGold’s attempt to rebrand its proposed gold mine in El Salvador through the use of a company-sponsored foundation at the local level is deceitful, disrespectful and dangerous.
Mining, Corporate Social Responsiblity, and Conflict: OceanaGold and the El Dorado Foundation in El Salvador, published by the Institute for Policy Studies and MiningWatch Canada, will be presented at OceanaGold’s office in Melbourne on Thursday, the 36th anniversary of the murder of Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero.
“Designed to whitewash the company’s image and undermine opposition to a proposed gold mine in Cabañas, the activities of the El Dorado Foundation contradict the country’s decision not to permit metal mining and risk reawakening a conflict that has already cost several people their lives,” remarks Professor Stuart Kirsch, one of the authors and an anthropologist at the University of Michigan with two decades of experience studying mining conflicts.
Canadian-Australian mining company OceanaGold is suing El Salvador for US$250 million at a World Bank tribunal when the company failed to obtain a mining permit for which it never met regulatory requirements. Three successive Salvadoran presidents have committed not to issue new mining permits, while a 2015 opinion poll found that opposition to metal mining is nearly 79.5% nationwide and 83.9% in municipalities affected by the proposed project.
Between 2009 and 2011, four local environmental activists were murdered in Cabañas. Since then, several local organizations have also received threats These crimes have never been fully investigated.