MAC: Mines and Communities

Further press releases on Inco AGM 2004

Published by MAC on 2004-04-20

Further press releases on Inco AGM 2004

Inco Affected Communities to Protest Inco's Abusive Mining Practices at Annual Shareholders' Meeting

JATAM-Mining Advocacy Network

For Immediate Release - April 20, 2004

Jakarta, Indonesia - Inco’s deplorable environmental and social track record will be emphasized once again at the Canadian nickel mining company’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, April 21st. Representatives from New Caledonia, Guatemala, St. John's, Newfoundland and Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada impacted by Inco's operations will attend and take the opportunity to question Inco CEO, Scott Hand, about the company's poor environmental and human rights track record, and to demand real action and justice for their communities. A colourful demonstration is planned on the outside of the meeting location, the Design Exchange, 234 Bay Street, Toronto.

Protest participants will also be spreading the message of Inco's notorious track record in Indonesia. Due to logistics, no one from Indonesia could attend this year's AGM like in past years where community leaders have come to share their stories of ongoing struggle with the mining company.

PT Inco’s nickel mine and smelter operations on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia have degraded the air, water and soil in the area of their operations.

PT Inco employees play golf where the Karonsi’e Dongi indigenous community’s fruit tree plantations once stood. This community has never been compensated for the loss of their land and livelihood. "Our cultural assets that are located within Inco's concession area have been taken over unjustly. We have lost everything to defend and continue our generation," stated Naomi Mananta, a Karonsi'e Dongi indigenous woman in 2002.

Inco's Indonesian operations have also recently become more militarized with the presence of the notorious and brutal Indonesian military police force Brimob. Brimob has a long and dark history of shootings and beatings of community members at other mining, oil and gas sites throughout the country. In January 2004, Brimob shot and killed 30 year old Rusli Tungkapi, who was participating in a peaceful protest to stop an Australian gold mining venture in the Toguraci protected forest on the island of North Maluku.

Almost half, 47%, of PT Inco’s contract of work area lies in a protected forest area. Inco is part of an international mining lobbying group that is pressuring the government of Indonesia to reverse its forestry legislation that bans open-pit mining in protected forests. Deforestation in Indonesia is occurring at an alarming rate. The government of Indonesia has issued several laws that aim to protect forests and water catchments, including Forestry Act No. 41/1999, which prohibits open-pit mining in protected forest areas. However, the government is under severe pressure from mining companies like Inco and foreign governments like the Canadian government to override this environment protection law and grant mining permits. Forest conservation, biodiversity preservation and flood prevention in Indonesia rely heavily on the protected forest and conservation area system. In the beginning of April 2004, Inco announced that the company was preparing to take the Indonesian government to international arbitration if they were not granted access to mine in the part of their concession designated as protected forest.

Today, people in Port Colborne and Sudbury, Ontario, Canada are fighting a daily battle both in and out of the courts to get Inco to clean up their contaminated properties. Last year, demonstrators from Port Colborne handed out "Inco dirt bags" outside of Inco's meeting. The bags were filled with Inco's legacy, soil contaminated with nickel oxide, a carcinogen.

Media Contacts:
Siti Maimunah, Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM)
Indonesia, Tel: +62-(0)811 920462 /+62-21-791 81683, Email:
Tracy Glynn, JATAM (in Canada), Tel: 709-739-5120, Email:

For more informaton, please visit:

- Media Advisory -

Environmental Defence, MiningWatch Canada

Representatives from communities around the world impacted by Inco attend annual shareholders’ meeting

What: Representatives from New Caledonia, Guatemala, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Port Colborne, Ontario communities around the world impacted by Inco operations will attend the mining company’s annual shareholders’ meeting. They will take the opportunity to question Inco CEO, Scott Hand, about the company’s poor environmental and human rights track record, and to demand real action to improve community relations.

When: Wednesday, April 21, 2004The shareholders’ meeting begins at 10:00 a.m.

Who: Representatives from New Caledonia, Guatemala, St. John’s and Port Colborne NOTE: Representatives will be available for interviews after the meeting

Where: Design Exchange Trading Floor 234 Bay Street (west side of Bay between King and Wellington Streets)

About Environmental Defence: Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, safe food and thriving ecosystems. Nationwide.

About MiningWatch Canada: MiningWatch Canada responds to threats to public health, water and air quality, fish and wildlife habitat and community interests posed by irresponsible mining policies and practices in Canada, and by Canadian mining companies around the world.

Contact: Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence Canada, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232 or (647) 280-9521 (cell) Catherine Coumans, MiningWatch Canada, (613) 569-3439 or (613)-795-5710 (cell)

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