MAC: Mines and Communities

Sino Gold: Hands off Tibet!

Published by MAC on 2003-05-21

Sino Gold: Hands off Tibet! Email Action Alert on Tibet

From: Liam Phelan

Please act now to support Tibet and send an email to Sino Gold Ltd. Sino Gold is an Australian mining company with plans to build and operate the first foreign owned mine - a gold mine - in Tibet. Sino is currently exploring at Jinkang in eastern Tibet. If the mine goes ahead Sino will have opened the floodgates for other foreign miners to come to Tibet and strip the country and its people of their resources. We are campaigning to stop Sino in its tracks and we ask you to join us:

* Tibetans have a right to determine how their resources are used;
* In Chinese-occupied Tibet Tibetans are unable to speak freely and determine how their resources will be used;
* Mining will be of little benefit to local Tibetan people and instead it will attract significant numbers of Chinese to this Tibetan area, consolidating China's colonisation of Tibet.

Sino Gold's proposed mining operation fits neatly with the political aims of the Chinese Governmentís Western Development Plan. This plan aims to consolidate China's colonial stranglehold over Tibet by building infrastructure and extracting resources as well as facilitating immigration of ethnic Chinese into Tibetan areas.

International Campaign Launch

ATC believes that it is irresponsible to extract non-renewable resources while Tibetans have no say over if and how that might happen. An international coalition of human rights and environment groups has launched a campaign to oppose Sino's plans for Tibet. Simultaneous protest actions occurred outside Sino's AGM in Sydney as well as in Brisbane and Melbourne in Australia and in New York and London over Monday 19 & Tuesday 20 May. The message was clear Sino Gold: Hands off Tibet! ATC has joined with The Wilderness Society, Mineral Policy Institute and AID/WATCH in Australia as well as Students for a Free Tibet in the US and Free Tibet Campaign in the UK to push this campaign forward and we need your support.

What can you do?: Email Sino now!

Email Nick Curtis, Chairman of Sino Gold Ltd and register your opposition to the company's plans for Tibet.

Use the sample letter below or write your own:

Dear Mr Curtis,

re: Sino Gold's plans for Tibet

I am appalled that Sino Gold is considering mining in Tibet while Tibet remains under Chinese occupation. Tibetans have no opportunity to freely express their wishes about whether such a development should go ahead and there is little likelihood that they will benefit from the proposed mine. Further, this mine would set a precedent for other foreign miners to strip Tibet of its resources.

Please halt all work at the Jinkang site until the political situation in Tibet has changed and the Tibetan people are able to freely offer you an invitation to do business in Tibet.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name Here]

More information?

The recently released report "Who Own's Tibet's Gold?" (available in html or PDF) outlines in detail the concerns about stripping Tibetan resources while Tibet remains under Chinese occupation.

Sino's major shareholders include the International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank Group), Refco in the US, Standard Bank in the UK, Colonial First State in Australia and Gold Fields in South Africa.

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