Top 10 Most Controversial Mining Companies – Newmont No. 2!
This report, published in March 2012 rates the most controversial mining companies of 2011. Newmont, not surprisingly, comes in at number two.
Here is what they say about Newmont:
2. NEWMONT MINING CORP
US-based gold and copper producer Newmont Mining received significant criticism during the course of 2011, in particular for the impact of its mining projects in Peru, Indonesia, Ghana and the US. The company is said to have a poor international record on human rights and has been accused of masterminding numerous abductions of activists.
In Peru, Newmont Mining is involved in the highly controversial Conga gold and copper mine project. The project is owned jointly with Peruvian company Compania de Minas Buenaventura. At the end of November, Newmont announced a suspension of the USD 4.8 billion Conga mining project after days of increasingly violent protests, in which several people were reportedly injured.
(NOTE FROM CONGA CONFLICT: this report was written before 5 people were killed by the national police and army in subsequent protests in July 2012)
In Ghana, local communities refused to relocate for Newmont Ghana Gold’s Akyem Project resulting in violent clashes with police forces. Community members claimed they were being illegally relocated to an inadequate camp. Furthermore, Newmont Ghana Gold was accused of poisoning the Subri River in the Brong Ahafo Region where the company operates its Ahafo Gold Mine. Moreover, documents published by Wikileaks in September showed that Newmont was allegedly responsible for a 2009 leak of highly toxic cyanide from the same mine.
In Indonesia, environmentalists put pressure on the government not to allow Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT) to continue dumping tailings from its Batu Hijau copper and gold mine into the sea. The practice has allegedly led to a reduction of the fish population and polluted water. In October, environmentalists objected to the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Resource’s decision to present environment management awards to NNT. The activists claimed that the company continues to dump around 140,000 tons of tailings into the sea, allegedly 21 times the amount of Jakarta city’s waste.
The US Justice Department and the US Environmental Protection Agency came to an agreement in September with Newmont and Dawn Mining concerning the payment for the cleanup of the Midnite Superfund Site. Midnite Mine is a former open-pit uranium mine that was closed in 1981. The cleanup has an estimated cost of USD 193 million.
To see the full report click here.