MAC: Mines and Communities

Environmental and Social Problems Caused by Newmont's Mining Operations Worldwide

Published by MAC on 2004-10-02

Environmental and Social Problems Caused by Newmont's Mining Operations Worldwide

2nd October 2004

Friends of the Earth International resolution on Newmont

In Peru, the Yanacocha operation of Newmont and Buenaventura has levelled five mountains. The people of Cajamarca fiercely opposed and successfully halted the proposed exploitation of Mount Quilish, their main source of drinking water. However the mining operations, which use large quantities of cyanide in fragile environments, have contaminated water resources leading to the disappearance of fish and frogs. Cattle have become sick, the air has been polluted and medicinal plants have been lost. On June 2000, a truck of from the Yanacocha mine spilled 151 kilograms of liquid mercury along a 40-kilometer stretch of highway passing through Chorapampa and two neighbouring villages. Suffering from the effects of the mercury spill continues today.

In Indonesia, Newmont Minahasa Raya gold mine in North Sulawesi has caused irreversible environmental degradation, pollution and health problems among local communities. Hundreds of fisherfolk have lost their livelihoods from pollution in the bay. Buyat communities have suffered from a range of mysterious health problems including skin diseases, tumours, tremors and headaches, Recently a 4-month baby died due to a serious illness suspected to have resulted from the pollution. Newmont Minahasa Raya will close its mine site this year, leaving behind many environmental and social problems for the community and the environment. The community is facing a health crisis, with several people ill with tumours, severe headaches, and birth defects, all symptoms similar to those of heavy metal contamination. There are no permanent health services available for the community.

These are two of many Newmont's mining concessions worldwide which cause environmental and social problems.

Concerned at the devastating impacts of large scale mining on the environments, lives and livelihoods of millions of indigenous peoples resulting from the actions of multinational corporations putting profits before people and planet.

In solidarity with the brave people of the Buyat Community and Cajamarca, in the face of mining practices which undermine their fundamental rights. The Biannual General Meeting of Friends of the Earth International, meeting in Stubicke Toplice, Croatia, on 2nd October 2004 resolves that:

1. Newmont must respect the will of people which ask to halt permissions for exploration and exploitation in their respective area worldwide;

2. The national governments must establish a dialogue process between all the affected people with government and the company to address all the social and environmental problems caused mining operation for present and future generations;

3. Newmont must compensate the people for their land and economic loss, their health problems and to conduct environmental rehabilitation in the their mining concessions;

4. Newmont must provide free health rehabilitation services for the communities around the Mine;

5. Governments should ban Submarine Tailing Disposal in any mining operation and halt the expansion of mining operations in protected forests and Indigenous peoples territories;

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