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As corporations lobby for "Blood Gold" disclosure loopholes, will the SEC stand strong?

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By Scott Cardiff

March 9, 2011

UPDATED with EARTHWORKS' comments to the SEC

Yesterday was the deadline for comments on the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that would require companies to disclose their use of probable "Blood Gold" from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Additional rules stemming from last year's Dodd-Frank Act will also require mining, oil, and gas companies to report on their payments to governments, and require mining companies to report on health and safety violations in annual reports.

Earthworks has requested the SEC to fully implement the law passed by Congress last year and finalize strong rules on these topics. A broad array of groups are supporting efforts to ensure that the rules are up to the task. These include Earthworks, the Electronics Take Back Coalition, the Extractive Industries Working Group, Global Witness, the Enough Project, Catholic Relief Services, the Publish What You Pay Coalition, World Resources Institute, the United Mine Workers, Calvert Asset Management and other investor groups, George Soros, and many others. A number of jewelers like the Ethical Metalsmiths, Fair Jewelry Action, and Toby Pomeroy weighed in in favor of strong rules on "Blood Gold" as well.

Meanwhile, dozens of companies and industry associations are weighing in to push for various loopholes in the rules. These range from mining companies (Anglogold Ashanti, Barrick Gold, Freeport McMoran, Newmont, Rio Tinto, and Vale) to gold miner associations (the National Mining Association and the World Gold Council), from oil companies (Anadarko, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell) and associations (American Petroleum Institute) to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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Tagged with: rio tinto, sec, dodd-frank, anglogold ashanti, drc, blood gold, freeport mcmoran, ethical metalsmiths


New lawsuit filed against Newmont in Peru over land rights

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By Scott Cardiff

March 9, 2011

GRUFIDES, a sustainable development group in Cajamarca, announced yesterday the filing of a new lawsuit against Newmont Mining for taking people's lands when the company and its partner started up the Yanacocha mine in Peru in the mid-1990s. The community of San Andres de Negritos filed the suit yesterday against Newmont and the government of Peru for having taken more than 600 ha of their communal lands to build the mine.

This new lawsuit comes during recent and ongoing formal complaints and protests over a spill of acidic effluent contaminating communities' water supplies. The regional government of Cajamarca even issued a statement condemning the spill and taking note of protests.

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Tagged with: newmont, peru, water, community consent, yanacocha, displacement


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