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  • International Allies Against Mining in El SalvadorWe are a group of organisations from Australia Canada, Europe and the U.S. that support the Salvadoran people's demand for sovereignty, the right to water and healthy communities. We coordinate our work with the National Roundtable against Metallic Mining in El Salvador and with communities directly affected by mining projects.  

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Videos

(Washington/Ottawa/San Salvador/Melbourne) On November 21, Pacific Rim Mining shareholders are poised to approve sale of the company to Melbourne-based OceanaGold in order to continue suing El Salvador in a World Bank tribunal. Pacific Rim has been suing the small Central American nation for not having granted it a mine permit ever since a presidential pronouncement to suspend all mining activity in the country. The last-minute deal rescues a sinking Pacific Rim Mining, while promising to cost Salvadorans millions more in an unjust arbitration process and raising fears of political interference.
 
The deal, valued at a mere $10.2 million for a swap of company shares, is a pittance compared to what the company hopes to extract from El Salvador, either through the $301 million arbitration suit or through reaching a deal with the Salvadoran government to advance a gold project in the northern department of Cabañas. In a press release, OceanaGold said it would try to negotiate a deal with Salvadoran authorities.
 
The National Roundtable on Metal Mining, a diverse coalition of civil society organizations in El Salvador, responded with concern to OceanaGold’s intentions, fearing undue pressure on legislators during electoral season. The coalition is already worried that legislators have stalled consideration of proposed legislation to ban metal mining in the densely populated country, which has widespread support across the country, including from the highest ranks of the Catholic Church.
 
“Salvadorans ask that this project be stopped. Canada has so many good people. Ask those transnational companies to stop committing terrible injustices and exploiting the people of El Salvador. We are not very happy about this judicial dispute, they are asking us to pay them millions. But if it comes down to it, I think it is better to pay the money, than to pay the consequences,” Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas recently stated to a Canadian national radio reporter.


Pacific Rim Mining’s track record in El Salvador gave rise to broad opposition, starting when local communities saw the impacts of the company’s exploration work and as they learned about the dirty legacy of mining in neighboring countries.  
 
OceanaGold’s own track record is also disheartening. Despite Pacific Rim’s claims that OceanaGold is a good environmental and social steward, its gold and copper operation in the Philippines has been devastating for local communities. In 2011, the Philippine Human Rights Commission recommended the revocation of OceanaGold’s mining license, citing forcible and illegal demolitions, the harassment of residents, and the indigenous community’s right to culture.[1] Residents have complained of “dirty water” downstream from the open-pit mine operation and of dead fish washing up on the shore.


“The economic, social and environmental reality of OceanaGold’s Didipio mine confirms the worst fears of the Salvadoran people and government,” said Dr. Robin Broad of American University in Washington, D.C. after traveling to the Didipio mine in August 2013.
 
Concerned Australian citizens and social organizations have already started a public education campaign to denounce OceanaGold’s acquisition of Pacific Rim’s El Dorado project and to demand that Pacific Rim drop its suit against the government of El Salvador.
 
With headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, OceanaGold is owned by a holding company registered in British Colombia. It trades on the Australian, New Zealand and Toronto stock exchanges and has operations in the Philippines, New Zealand and Australia.

 
Contacts:
 
Canada

El Salvador

  • Pedro Cabezas, Coordinator for the International Allies Against Mining in El Salvador, 503-7755-1423, stopesmining@gmail.com

 United States

 Australia

Recent News

Looming threats to the mining prohibition in El Salvador

Mining prohibition El Salvador - Thursday, 8 February 2018 - 07:02 AM

P. Cabezas In March 2017, El Salvador became the first country in the world to ban metallic mining. But the huge victory of the antimining movement and the international recognition it has garnered may be overshadowed by a current electoral campaign...

Lack of proposals from political candidates on the Environmental Crisis in El Sa…

Media Releases - Thursday, 8 February 2018 - 06:02 AM

PRESS RELEASE: National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining  For many years El Salvador has faced serious environmental degradation provoked in its majority by industrial processes of big corporations.  In 2018 the panorama would have been even worse, if El Salvador had given...

Long-Fought-For Ombudsperson Announced to Investigate International Complaints a…

Mining and Human Rights - Thursday, 8 February 2018 - 06:02 AM

NEWS RELEASE : January 17, 2018 (Ottawa) Today, Canada’s International Trade Minister announced the creation of a Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise to investigate human rights complaints about the overseas operations of Canadian companies and recommend remedy for harm done. The ombudsperson’s recommendations...

A year with a bitter taste in environmental matters in El Salvador

Mining prohibition El Salvador - Thursday, 1 February 2018 - 15:02 PM

Alfredo Carias: Vanguardia In the midst of an important victory in El Salvador, an evaluation of the social and environmental conditions in the country contrasts to the achievements obtained with the prohibition of mining. According to the Salvadoran authorities, progress has been...

National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining demands justice in the case of murde…

Pacific Rim/OceanaGold - Thursday, 1 February 2018 - 14:02 PM

Marisol Miranda: CoLatino Although there is a law against mining, fear is always present. “OceanaGold still owns the El Dorado miming project, and they are only waiting for a change of government for it to be installed again", said Domingo Miranda, at...

Can Victory Over Irresponsible Mining in Central America Spur a Win in the Phili…

Pacific Rim/OceanaGold - Thursday, 1 February 2018 - 13:02 PM

John Cavanagh, Robin Broad : RAPPLER OceanaGold was stunningly defeated in El Salvador last March. Can it be defeated in the Philippines by 2019? In March 2017, the small nation of El Salvador took a huge step towards protecting its environment for present and future generations...

Latin American Women Weaving Territories

Media Releases - Thursday, 1 February 2018 - 13:02 PM

PRESS RELEASE WOMEN OF GUATEMALA, HONDURAS AND EL SALVADOR DENOUNCE THE IMPACTS OF THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES The women of the Peaceful Resistance La Puya and the Municipality of Mataquescuintla, in Guatemala; RENACAMIH and COPINH, Honduras, ADES Santa Marta in El Salvador, and...

ICSID on the bench of the accused

Pacific Rim/OceanaGold - Wednesday, 15 November 2017 - 05:11 AM

Rufo Valencia - Radio Canada International Manuel Perez Rocha interviewed by Radio Canada International. Click here to hear the interview.  One year ago, an international coalition of civil society organizations, where Mining Watch Canada participated, released a press statement entitled: “There are no...

Mining company continues lobbying efforts to repeal Anti-Mining Law

Pacific Rim/OceanaGold - Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - 19:11 PM

Mario Beltrán - Contrapunto Environmental NGOs fear that the approaching electoral season might advance the company´s goals at the expense of the environment. Environmental organizations are worried about the promotion and education on mining that the El Dorado Foundation (face of "Corporate Social...

Collective reflections towards the UN Binding Treaty on Transnational Corporatio…

Pacific Rim/OceanaGold - Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - 19:11 PM

  CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO VIDEO: On the occasion of the third session of the UN Human Rights Council open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIGWG), the Transnational Institute, Europe-Third World...

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NOTEWORTHY

El Salvador – When The Seeds Of Resistance Bloom

Friday, June 23, 2017 - 19:06 PM

Mining prohibition El Salvador

Thomas Mc Donagh and Aldo Orellana López : The Democracy Center On 29th March 2017 legislators in El Salvador approved a blanket ban on all metal mining activities in the country – the first...

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Historic Wins for Democracy and Rights in El Salvador

Monday, June 26, 2017 - 17:06 PM

Mining prohibition El Salvador

Robin Broad and John Cavanagh : Ethics and International Affairs   Recently there have been two giant wins for democracy, human rights, and the environment in an unlikely spot: the small, embattled nation...

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