Newmont Moves Annual MeetPublished by MAC on 2006-04-24
Source: Denver Post ()
Newmont moves annual meet
24th April 2006
Gold producer fears disruptive Denver protest. Peaceful demonstrations are nothing new to the firm, but one group could turn up the heat.
By Greg Griffin, Denver Post Staff Writer
Newmont Mining Corp. was nervous enough about security at its annual meeting Tuesday to move it from its downtown Denver headquarters to a hotel in the southern metro area.
Protest organizers say as many as 200 activists could show up for anti-Newmont events in Arapahoe County and downtown Tuesday. The downtown protest could involve "acts of civil disobedience," an organizer said.
Newmont decided a few weeks ago to move the meeting to the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center for "meeting logistics and security considerations," spokeswoman Heatheryn Higgins said. The meeting is at 1 p.m.
"We take security seriously," she said.
Protests at Newmont's annual meetings are routine - the world's No. 2 gold producer has encountered opposition from Peru to Indonesia to Ghana. But this year a new group called the Stop Newmont Alliance is trying to turn up the heat ... and the rhetoric. The group claims Newmont's gold mines damage the environment and disrupt native populations.
The Arapahoe County protest will be peaceful, organizer Glenn Spagnuolo said. But the downtown protest is likely to be more disruptive, he said.
"We put out a call for everyone to act within their conscience," Spagnuolo said. "We don't want people to act in violence to any other human beings. But besides that they should take as hard a stance as they feel is appropriate.
"We hope nobody destroys property, but if a couple windows get broken ... you have to remember that the real perpetrator of violence is Newmont," he said.
Protest organizers have met with officers from the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department and Denver Police Department, Spagnuolo said.
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said he will deploy plenty of officers. Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said the department will respond as needed.
Newmont agreed to meet with representatives of community groups from Peru, Ghana and elsewhere, Higgins said. But the company did not receive such a request from Stop Newmont, she said.
Newmont critics also are organizing an all-day seminar on the Auraria campus today about gold mining's impact.
Staff writer Greg Griffin can be reached at 303-820-1241 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.