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The level of volcanic activity at New Zealand's White Island volcano has increased on September 13, 2016, with minor volcanic ash passively emitted from a vent on the 2012 lava dome. GNS has raised the Volcanic Alert Level from 1 to 3 (of 5). The Aviation Colour...... Read more »
from Conflictos Mineros
translated by Earth First! Journal
Today [September 18, 2016] at 9:30 AM, people hired by the Yanacocha mining firm entered into the Chaupe family’s land without permission and began altering the land using diverse tools. When Máxima and her husband tried to get close to denounce the invasion and ask that this destruction stop, the security forces stopped them from being able to dialogue. It was in this moment that they violently attacked Máxima and Jaime. With a gun they hit Máxima on her head and body and have left her gravely injured.
Jaime’s cellphone was not working, they were alone, and injured without being able to denounce the attack until noon when the Huasmín police saw them while doing a routine investigation. It was in that moment that they could communicate with their daughter Ysidora. They are in urgent need of medical attention.
If more information is needed please communicate directly with Ysidora’s cell phone.
[EF!J editor’s note: read Direct Action Against Largest Gold Mine in South America for background information.]
***ORIGINAL IN SPANISH***
Hoy día, a las 9.30 am., gente contratada por la empresa minera Yanacocha, entró en el terreno de la familia Chaupe sin ninguna autorización y empezaron a alterar su terreno con diversas herramientas. Cuando la señora Máxima y su esposo Jaime se acercaron a reclamar por la invasión y pidieron que se detenga esta irrupción en su terreno, el personal de seguridad de la minera impidió que la familia avanzara para dialogar. Fue en este momento que atacaron violentamente a Máxima y a Jaime. Con un arma han golpeado a Máxima en su cabeza y cuerpo y la han dejado gravemente herida.
El celular del señor Jaime no estaba funcionando, estaban solos y heridos sin poder denunciar el ataque, hasta las 12 pm. cuando llegó la delegación policial de Huasmín, que vino haciendo una inspección de rutina. En este momento pudieron comunicarse con su hija Ysidora para hacer la denuncia. Máxima y Jaime están en necesidad urgente de atención médica.
Si requirieran mayor información, por favor comunicarse directamente al celular de Ysidora.
This Monday’s endangered species (E.S.P.) article I’ve chosen to document on the New Zealand sea lion. Image: New Zealand Sea Lion. Credits: Tui De Roy.
Listed as (endangered) the species was identified by Dr Gray back in 1866. Dr Gray John Edward Gray, FRS (12 February 1800 – 7 March 1875) was a British zoologist. He was the elder brother of zoologist Dr George Robert Gray and son of the pharmacologist and botanist Dr Samuel Frederick Gray (1766–1828).
Dr Gray was Keeper of Zoology at the British Museum in London from 1840 until Christmas 1874, before the Natural History holdings were split off to the Natural History Museum published several catalogues of the museum collections that included comprehensive discussions of animal groups as well as descriptions of new species. He improved the zoological collections to make them amongst the best in the world.
Scientifically identified as the Phocarctos hookeri the species was listed as vulnerable from 1994-2008. Unfortunately due to continued population declines the New Zealand seal is now bordering complete extinction within the wild (and things really aren’t looking good neither) Endemic to Australia (Macquarie Is.); and New Zealand (South Is.), the species is also native to the Pacific North West.
To date there is estimated to be no fewer than 3,031 mature individuals remaining within the wild. New Zealand sea lions are one of the largest New Zealand animals. Like all otariids, they have marked sexual dimorphism; adult males are 240–350 cm long and weigh 320–450 kg and adult females are 180–200 cm long aMnd weigh 90–165 kg. At birth, pups are 70–100 cm long and weigh 7–8 kg; the natal pelage is a thick coat of dark brown hair that becomes dark gray with cream markings on the top of the head, nose, tail and at the base of the flippers.
Adult females’ coats vary from buff to creamy grey with darker pigmentation around the muzzle and the flippers. Adult males are blackish-brown with a well-developed black mane of coarse hair reaching the shoulders. New Zealand sea lions are strongly philopatric.
Image: New Zealand Sea Lion Pup. Credits: NZ Fur Seals.
Back in 2012 populations of New Zealand sea lions “were estimated to be standing at a population count of 12,000 mature individuals”. However since that count took place, from (2014) populations have ‘allegedly plummeted’ to all new levels although there doesn’t appear to be any evidence as to why the species suddenly declined – fish trawling and disease have been noted though!.
Like the Maui’s dolphin, the sea lion has come under intense scrutiny this year after research showed its numbers had halved since 1998. It has been cla...
Peter Wells | Financial Times | 19 September 2016
Harmony Gold will take full control of the Hidden Valley mine in Papua New Guinea after Newcrest Mining, the Australian gold producer, said it was selling its half of the joint venture.
Newcrest said in a statement to the ASX today it was selling its share in the 50/50 Hidden Valley joint venture to its South African partner. Harmony will now assume all liabilities and expenses related to the JV and mine, including rehabilitation costs and remediation obligations with effect from August 31 this year.
As a result of the exit, Newcrest will recognise a loss on the sale of approximately $10m. The miner also said that as part of the transaction and to help cover a one-off contribution towards Hidden Valley’s future closure liability it was funding its subsidiary which held the stake in the JV with $22.5m
Sandeep Biswas, Newcrest’s CEO, said:
Having completed the strategic review of Hidden Valley, Newcrest determined that the best outcome was to exit the operation and focus our attention on safe profitable growth at our other assets.
Located 300km north-west of Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, Hidden Valley is an open pit gold and silver mine. Production commenced in September 2010 and in the 12 months to June 30 the mine produced 145,132 ounces of gold (on a 100 per cent basis).
Media Release from The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF):
19 September 2016
ACF appeals Federal Court decision on Adani’s Carmichael coal mine
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has lodged an appeal to the Federal Court’s decision which found the approval of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine to be lawful.
ACF disputes the Environment Minister’s argument in court that the burning of coal from Carmichael mine will not have an impact on global warming and the Great Barrier Reef.
“This is a profound moment in the history of protecting Australia’s environment, as we attempt to stop a coal mine that would create 4.6 billion tonnes of climate pollution if it is allowed to proceed,” said ACF’s President Geoff Cousins.
“Australia’s system of environment laws is broken if it allows the Federal Environment Minister to approve a mega-polluting coal mine – the biggest in Australia’s history – and claim it will have no impact on the global warming and the reef.
“If our environment laws are too weak to actually protect Australia’s unique species and places, they effectively give companies like Adani a licence to kill.
“Be in no doubt, Adani’s Carmichael proposal is massive and will lock in decades of damaging climate pollution if it goes ahead, further wrecking the reef.
“The science is clear that we can have coal or the reef – but we can’t have both.
“In our original legal challenge, Justice Griffiths recognised that there was considerable public interest in ACF’s case and we are in no doubt that we represent the concerns of the majority of Australians.
“In a ReachTel survey of 2,600 Australians at the end of August, 81 per cent said they would support stronger federal environment laws to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
“And 75 per cent support environment groups’ right to use legal avenues to uphold existing environmental laws.
“It comes down to this. The planet warming pollution from Adani’s coal mine threatens the reef and all living things. The Australian Conservation Foundation does not accept this future – and we will take all reasonable steps we can to stop this mine.”
ACT NOW! | 15 September 2016
As much as half of the whole of Papua New Guinea could be impacted by potentially destructive experimental seabed mining operations.
While a lot of attention has been focused on the small area between East New Britain and New Ireland, known as Solwara 1, where Nautilus Minerals intends to start mining the seafloor in 2018, the Canadian company has far grander plans for experimental seabed mining and has recently been joined by the Chinese government in searching large areas of our sea floor.
Nautilus’ exploration activities include the whole of the Bismarck Sea and parts of the Solomon Sea, as shown in the map above (credit: Nautilus Minerals). Areas indicated in red are where the company already holds exploration licences. Areas in green show exploration licences being transferred to Nautilus and areas in yellow are where Nautilus has applied for an exploration licence.
In addition, the Chinese government is currently surveying the New Britain Trench looking for potential seabed mining sites. The Trench is situated in the Solomon Sea between New Britain and Bougainville as shown in the map below (credit: Geological Society of America).
In combination, experimental seabed mining could potentially directly impact the lives of over 3 million people living in East Sepik. Madang, Manus, East and West New Britain, New Ireland, Morobe, Oro and Milne Bay Provinces and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
Nautilus is struggling financially, has been forced to stop machine development, lay off staff and close offices, but the threat of experimental seabed mining, whether by Nautilus, another mining company or the Chinese is still very real.
The potential impacts of seabed mining are still not fully known but they could be devastating for PNG with people’s lives and livelihoods potentially impacted across ten Provinces and untold damage to our economically important tuna stocks and marine ecosystems.
Mining Weekly | 16 September 2016
Cash-strapped marine mining pioneer Nautilus Minerals has pushed out the start of production from the offshore Papua New Guinea (PNG) Solwara 1 project by about 12 months from the original schedule, citing a cash crunch.
In providing an update on company activities Friday, CEO Mike Johnston outlined the company’s revised plans, pending the company successfully raising the required capital by June 2017.
The revised work programme entails a more staged approach, moving the Nautilus equipment integration phase of vessel construction out until after the vessel has been delivered by Marine Assets Corporation and Fujian Mawei shipyard, in the fourth quarter of 2018. This will result in a 12-month delay to the original schedule, pushing first production out to the first quarter of 2019.
Johnston advised that the vessel, which keel-laying ceremony was held on June 10, continues under a revised schedule that splits funding requirement into three or four “more manageable” chunks. Current estimates valued the first chunk of the financing required for the dewatering plant and derrick structure at about $50-million.
Meanwhile, all ‘below-waterline’ production equipment has been completed in January and shipped to Oman, where it remains in storage. The company has received additional opportunities for the equipment’s wet testing phase, that management is looking at.
The subsea slurry and lift pump has recently completed factory acceptance testing and will be delivered in November by GE Hydril. The riser system is now complete and in storage, also located in the US.
Johnston said key minor contracts are continuing and all major outstanding contracts will probably be awarded to Chinese companies, including the derrick structure, the dewatering and flotation plants, as well as flexible hoses.
Work is also progressing on the production simulator and control systems, while the environmental monitoring and management plan and associated baseline data collection activities are ongoing, to provide a detailed base data set to compare the impact of marine mining with.
Johnston advised that Nautilus has about $51.4-million in cash at the moment. It has recently signed a subscripti...
Isaac Davison | NZ Herald | September 18, 2016
Iwi members will arrive in their busloads on Parliament’s front steps tomorrow to protest a mining company’s latest bid to scour the seabed off the coast of the North Island for iron ore.
A hikoi led by Taranaki iwi Ngati Ruanui and environmental advocates will deliver a 6000-signature petition to MPs, calling for a moratorium on all seabed mining in New Zealand.
The petition comes as mining company Trans Tasman Resources makes its second attempt to get approval to mine ironsands on the South Taranaki Bight, around 30km off the west coast of the North Island.
The company’s application was notified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday, meaning the public has 20 days to make submissions.
No application to mine on New Zealand’s seabed has succeeded. Trans Tasman’s first bid failed in 2014 after the EPA raised concerns about the impact on the environment, iwi and fishing interests, and its economic benefits.
The EPA also said the company’s proposal was “premature” and that it should have done further work on understanding the environment and engaging with local residents.
Trans Tasman now believes it has addressed those gaps.
Executive chairman Alan Eggers said the company had carried out additional research to refine the environmental aspects of its application, and had met with “a wide range of stakeholders”.
The group travelling to Parliament tomorrow believes little has changed.
Kiwis Against Seabed Mining spokesman Phil McCabe said the method of mining was still experimental and damaging.
“It’s inherently a destructive activity. If you’re looking at deep-sea oil, you’re poking a needle through the bottom of the ocean.
“But in this one, the moment they start, they’re breaking stuff. There’s sensitive habitats out there.”
It was frustrating and exhausting to have to fight the company a second time, McCabe said.
Hikoi leader Debbie Ngawera-Packer said her iwi and residents of Patea, near the proposed mining site, did did not protest lightly.
“This is a real humble community that doesn’t mobilise like that.
“They live off an average of $17,000 a year. They are used to going without and things not going their way.
“So when they mobilise it’s because they feel there’s a real injustice.”
Trans Tasman is seeking approval to extract 50 million tonnes of seabed material a year, of which 45 tonnes would be returned after the iron ore was extracted.
Samantha Cole | All Africa | 15 September 2016
Today is exactly one year since public reports of the UN 2015 Geneva “criticism” of Canadian Mining Companies.
On September 15, 2015, online media reports exposed the UN Human Rights Committee discussions in Geneva, Switzerland in which there was much focus on the activities of mining companies from Canada.
In the usual non-committal manner in which the UN does everything, the Human Rights Committee “addressed a series of concerns” about the problems caused by Canadian mining companies who operate mines around the world.
Was that was the best they could do?
Only to address concerns?
Women are being raped, men are being killed, village homes are being destroyed, environments are being poisoned, in certain areas in the world, these Canadian mining companies are causing devastation and misery beyond description and the most these UN officials were able to come up with, was that they “addressed a series of concerns”.
An article published by “The Diplomat” on September 15, 2015, reported:
It is undisputed that the Canadian Government has ignored the complaints about mining companies operating overseas. The Government is perfectly aware of the public scandals of mining companies involving illegal activities such as corruption, bribery and fraud, not to mention murder, violence, rape, environmental disasters, etc – but they take no notice.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have a special unit to investigate Canadian companies operating overseas who are reported to be involved in corruption or fraud or other illegal activities. The RCMP will bring these Canadian mining giants such as Barrick Gold to account for their corruption and fraud activities overseas.
Similarly, in the UK, the Serious Fraud Unit (SFO) have been very successful in the past year cracking down on British companies who are guilty of corruption, fraud and other such crimes in Africa.
Acacia Mining, Barrick’s daughter company, has had a shocking run over the past 14 months in Tanzania since Bloomberg...
As human settlements convert increasingly more natural vegetation to farms and occupy traditional wildlife migration routes, people and wild animals come into more frequent contact, and much of this interaction is negative. In Africa, when wild animals, especially large, dangerous species like lions or elephants, disperse from protected areas and raid livestock corrals or crop fields, they can devastate subsistence farmers, who may retaliate by killing the next unlucky lion or elephant passing by (Osborn & Parker 2002, Parker et al. 2007). [caption id="attachment_189431" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Lucky so far, these elephants in Tarangire National Park have sufficient food. Photo credit: Sue Palminteri[/caption] Research provides increasing evidence that non-lethal means may be more effective at reducing livestock predation than lethal methods; we are presenting a series of posts that highlight such techniques and technologies used to reduce human-wildlife conflict (HWC). Wildtech spoke with Alex Chang’a, field director of RESOLVE’s Elephant-Chili project in northern Tanzania. Chang’a has worked with farming communities outside some of the country’s famous national parks, including Tarangire and Mikumi, to test and promote the installment of chili fences around crops and financial support for building and maintaining them. As we discussed in this series’ first post on the use of chili to reduce human-elephant conflict (HEC), elephants have super sensitive noses and dislike the smell of chili, so these fences consist of ropes and pieces of cloth coated with a mixture of ground chili and engine oil. [caption id="attachment_189434" align="aligncenter" width="620"] A chili fence with sisal rope and…
Cecilia Jamasmie | Mining.com | 16 September 2016
Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp confirmed Thursday a new spill at its Veladero mine in the San Juan province of Argentina and said it has temporarily suspended operations pending further inspections of the mine’s heap leach area.
The fresh spill happened on Sep. 8, when a pipe carrying process solution in the heap leach area was struck by a large block of ice that had rolled down the heap leach valley slope, Barrick said in the statement. A small quantity of solution left the leach pad as a result.
While the gold giant, the world’s largest by output, did not mention cyanide in its press release, local newspaper El Clarín reports (in Spanish) that Barrick authorities in Argentina have confirmed that was the case.
“The incident did not pose any threat to the health of employees, communities or the environment,” Barrick said in the statement.
Earlier this year, the Toronto-based miner was ordered to pay a 145.7m pesos or $9.8m fine over a cyanide spill at the same mine, which happened almost exactly a year ago.
When Barrick announced the fine in March, it said it had undertaken a plan to strengthen controls and safeguards at the mine, including increased water monitoring.
Regarding the new incident, the company noted it would work with provincial authorities to confirm the integrity and safety of the heap leach facility as quickly as possible, beginning today.
Veladero, one of the largest gold mines in Argentina, produced 602,000 ounces last year. Proven and probable mineral reserves as of December 31, 2015, were 7.5 million ounces of gold. Gold production in 2016 is expected to be 630,000-690,000 ounces at all-in sustaining costs of $830-$900 per ounce according to the company’s website.
Barrick said it didn’t expect the incident to have a material effect on its 2016 operating guidance for the mine.
The Nature Conservancy, one of the world’s largest ‘conservation’ organistions, is supporting the expansion of large-scale mining in the Solomon Islands, and perpetuating the myth of ‘sustainable mining’
“With good planning and management and meaningful inputs from communities and women, the Solomon Islands has a fantastic opportunity to pave the way for a more sustainable minerals sector”
Of course TNC can’t point to anywhere in the world where this utopian dream exists, international mining companies respecting indigenous communities and caring for the environment, but lets just keep selling the dream…
Mining a Better Future for the Solomon Islands
The Nature Conservancy | National Geographic | 15 September 2015
The Solomon Islands are facing dramatic and imminent changes from large-scale mining across the country. Without proper planning and access to information, developments like mining will jeopardize the natural resources upon which most Solomon Islanders depend. With 85 percent of Solomon Islanders living in rural areas, they rely on their natural resources for food, shelter and income. The negative impacts of mining could change their lives forever.
Large deposits of gold, copper, nickel and bauxite have been identified across the country. Despite strong interest and intense prospecting, there has only ever been one fully operational mine in the country, which means communities and government agencies have little experience working with the mining sector. In addition, the Solomon Islands government has highlighted their limited capacity to manage the complex demands of regulating, managing and overseeing the mining development process. While mining offers opportunities for economic development, without adequate management, it also poses direct and urgent threats to livelihoods, culture and social well-being.
The Nature Conservancy is working with community groups to hold workshops and provide information through a program called “What Is Mining?”. This has been designed to help Solomon Islanders understand the impact mining could have on their lives and their natural resources. We partnered with community-based women’s groups in particular to both ensure that women were a part of the conversation and to empower women to make their voices heard.
In collaboration with the Isabel Mothers’ Union, we have trained 40 community facilitators who are raising awareness about the importance of well-informed and inclusive decisions around big issues such as mining. To date, this work has reached over 12,000 people in remote communities, and their input is informing the national mining policy reform process.
The mining awareness work led to the first-ever national mining forum. The Conservancy facilitated the event that inspired the...
by Rick Kearns / Indian Country Today Media Network
Flood gates from a reservoir were opened and washed homes away in August and, according to Indigenous Ngabe protesters in Panama, they were then harassed, shot by police, and now attack dogs have been used at recent protests. Despite these challenges, the protestors are not backing down from their 10-year struggle to prevent a massive hydroelectric dam on their land.
The Ngabe activists and allies are fighting against the controversial Barrio Blanco Hydroelectric Dam project which has again been halted due to multiple protests around the country.
Indigenous activists have been fighting against the project since 2011 but on August 22 both Ngabe-Bugle Chief Silvia Carrera and Panama President Juan Carlos Varela signed an accord that supposedly put the conflict to rest.
Protests against the contract started the next day, when Ngabe activists asserted that the Ngabe communities directly affected by the project, such as the people in Kiad, were not consulted and were against the plan which would displace hundreds of families and cause environmental damage.
In a radio interview on August 23, Ricardo Miranda a spokesman for the National Youth Council of Panama stated that, “…we do not agree with the accord and we want the president to know that we will not back down.”
Miranda also asserted that the President was “behind the violence” against the protestors and noted that they had started to bring attack dogs to the demonstrations.
“We reject this plan and we say that Mrs. Carrera did not have the legal right to sign that accord,” he said.
By early September, Ngabe protesters had staged several demonstrations around Panama. One of the larger protests occurred in the town of Gualaquita between August 25 and 26 when according to various sources, close to 20 Indigenous and several National Police officers were wounded and five arrested in the conflict.
Protests continued at the University of Panama in Panama City and other sites. Miranda also noted that as of September 7, police were still holding Kiel activist Clementina Gonzalez without cause. Gonzalez’ community had already faced displacement from the initial flooding of the Tabasara River basin.
In the meantime the Human Rights Network of Panama (HRNP), representing 25 environmental, legal, ethnic and religious advocacy groups, has requested that the Panamanian government suspend the Barr...
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