MAC: Mines and Communities

Media Advisory: Buyat Bay not an isolated case

Published by MAC on 2005-04-27

Media Advisory: Buyat Bay not an isolated case

Indonesian and other Communities Challenge Newmont Mining at Annual Shareholders Meeting in Denver; Company Faces Allegations of Intimidation, Water Pollution, Destruction of Traditional Livelihoods

Denver/Jakarta, 4/27/2005

Contact: Denver: Helen DaSilva, +1 617-331-2984 or Harlin Savage, +1 720-352-2246. Jakarta: Radja Siregar +62 811 53349

The anger of the Buyat, North Sulawesi community over pollution of Buyat Bay is not an isolated case of community accusations of Newmont malpractice. Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp., the world's largest gold producer, is under growing pressure to reform its global operations. Newmont is facing multi-million dollar lawsuits in Indonesia and Peru and community unrest in Ghana, Peru, and Romania. Community protests in Peru nearly forced closing of the company's most profitable mine last year for two weeks. The World Bank declined to finance a proposed mine in Romania in which Newmont recently invested -- a mine that the European Parliament has said could cost Romania entry into the European Union.


-- Stephanie Roth, Rosia Montana, Romania: Roth is a former editor of the London-based magazine The Ecologist who was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her work with Alburnus Maior, an association of Rosia, Montana's farmers and property-owners working to halt development of Europe's largest open-pit gold mine.

-- Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, Tema, Ghana: Owusu-Koranteng is executive director of the Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM), a Ghanaian community-based non-profit organization with a mission to protect the environment and the rights of communities affected by mining.

-- Nur Hidayati, Jakarta, Indonesia: Nur Hidayati is with Indonesian Forum for Environment (WALHI), one of the Indonesian environmental organizations calling for end to ocean dumping of mine waste.

-- Fr. Marco Arana, Cajamarca, Peru: Marco Antonia Arana Zegarra is a diocesan priest and executive director of GRUFIDES, an environmental and social justice organization based in Cajamarca, Peru.

-- Kristi Begay, Wells, Nev.: Begay, a member of the Western Shoshone Nation, is the Wells Band Council Chairwoman. Begay is working to protect Western Shoshone cultural and spiritual sites threatened by gold mining.

Stand by for news of the voice of community protest at Newmont's Shareholders Meeting, taking place in Denver this evening, Jakarta time. A press conference involveing the speakers listed above is being held ahead of the Newmont Shareholders Meeting on Wednesday, April 27, 9 a.m. (22:00 Jakarta time) at Brown Palace Hotel, 2nd floor, Central City Room, 321 17th Street, Denver, Colo.

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