Peruvian community leaders challenge largest U.S. gold mining company to stop human rights violation
Earthworks et al
April 22, 2015
April 22, Wilmington, DE -- At Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM)’s annual general meeting today, shareholders and civil society groups joined a community leader from Cajamarca, Peru in calling on the Denver-based mining giant to live up to its human rights commitments and stop harassing indigenous Cajamarca residents who have blocked Newmont’s proposed Conga gold mine.
In a David v Goliath battle, Newmont has responded to community opposition to its mine by using police and private security to harass and intimidate local residents and landowners, including the families of Máxima Acuña de Chaupe and Elmer Campos.
IndustriALL, Earthworks, London Mining Network, LabourStart
February 5, 2015
London/Geneva/Washington, D.C., Feb 5th – This Valentine’s Day, IndustriALL Global Union, London Mining Network, Earthworks, and LabourStart are challenging the world’s biggest jewellery retailer Signet to demand that its major diamond and gold supplier, multinational mining company Rio Tinto, clean up its mining practices so that they respect worker rights, indigenous peoples and the environment.
With global sales of US $6 billion annually, Signet’s 1,400 Kay and Jared jewellery shops are in every US State, 1,600 Zales stores are throughout the US and Canada, and 500 H. Samuel and Ernest Jones shops are visible on UK high streets. The National Retail Federation anticipates that twenty-one per cent of US shoppers will gift jewellery to their loved ones on Valentine’s Day this year, fuelling US jewellery sales of nearly $5 billion.
The coalition is calling on Signet to abide both by its own Responsible Sourcing Policy, and its 2006 public endorsement of the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules for more responsible mining. Signet’s Responsible Sourcing Policy declares the company “committed to the responsible sourcing of our products and the respect of human rights, and we expect the same from our suppliers around the world.” Endorsement of the Golden Rules, endorsed by over 100 jewellery retailers around the world, commits signers to pressure their suppliers to come into compliance with the Rules -- which are drawn from broadly accepted international human rights laws and basic principles of sustainable development.
But Rio Tinto is a notorious violator of labour rights, communities, and the environment.
Mexican/International Coalition Urges Mexico’s Environment Ministry to Block Los Cardones Mine Proposal Within UNESCO Global Biosphere Reserve
Earthworks et. al.
December 16, 2014
La Paz, Mexico and Washington, D.C. –An international coalition of 34 civil society groups has urged Mexico’s central environment authority SEMARNAT to deny permits for the Los Cardones mine proposed by Mexican corporation Invecture. The groups demanded that SEMARNAT protect the Sierra la Laguna Mountains UNESCO Global Biosphere Reserve, its limited water resources, and the communities that depend on them. The coalition comprises of community organizations, and environmental and human rights groups based in Baja California Sur and around the world.
Earthworks and BJ's Wholesale Club
July 2, 2014
July 2nd – Today, BJ’s Wholesale Club, with 202 locations in 15 Eastern U.S. states, became America’s first independent wholesale club company to commit to responsible metals sourcing by endorsing the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules, a set of social, human rights, and environmental criteria set to improve metal mining practices around the world. BJ’s is also pledging to source their metals without harming Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed – the world’s largest wild salmon fishery.
Earthworks, Global Witness, et al
March 5, 2014
A law proposed by the European Commission on responsible sourcing of minerals is not strong enough to prevent European companies’ mineral purchases from financing conflict or human rights abuses, and falls far short of expectations, campaigners said today.
Instead of putting forward robust legislation that would require a wide range of EU-based companies to do checks on their supply chains – known as due diligence – the Commission today announced voluntary measures that will only apply to companies importing processed and unprocessed minerals into the European market. The proposal covers companies involved in the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold sectors. The campaigners warned that the Commission’s proposal – an opt-in self-certification scheme available to a limited number of companies – is likely to have minimal impact on the way that the majority of European companies source natural resources.
Earthworks' No Dirty Gold campaign
February 11, 2014
Feb 11, WASHINGTON, DC – Just in time for Valentine’s Day, over 100 of the world’s leading jewelry retailers– including 8 of the top 10 in the US– have committed to more responsible metals sourcing by signing the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules.
“Dirty gold just isn’t romantic,” said Payal Sampat of Earthworks’ No Dirty Gold campaign. “Retailers don’t want consumers to associate gold jewelry with polluted rivers and child labor, and they are joining us in calling on the mining industry to clean up its act.”
Earthworks, MiningWatch Canada, etal
December 5, 2013
(Ottawa) December 5, 2013. MiningWatch, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Council of Canadians and Earthworks join the call of Romanian and Canadian protesters to request the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Members of Parliament for:
Introduction of legislation to make Canadian corporations, particularly extractive industry corporations, accountable for proposed projects and actual operations abroad and
Withdrawal of Canadian Government support for Gabriel Resources' mining project in Romania at Rosia Montana.
Earthworks, Global Witness, Et al.
September 24, 2013
A coalition of 59 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is calling on the European Commission to pass a strong law to prevent European businesses fuelling conflict and human rights abuses through their purchases of natural resources, such as tin, gold and diamonds. The call comes ahead of draft legislation due to be published by the Commission by the end of 2013.
Industry controlled Responsible Jewellery Council fails to fulfill promise of preventing conflict diamonds and dirty gold
Earthworks, et al
May 22, 2013
Trade unions and environmental groups team up to expose deep flaws in jewelry certification system
Washington, D.C., Ottawa, Geneva, Sydney, May 22, 2013 – In a new report, More Shine Than Substance: How RJC certification fails to create responsible jewelry, an international coalition of labor and environmental groups indict the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC)’s certification system as misleading jewelry consumers. The RJC holds its annual meeting in Milan on May 23.
“Jewelry is meant to lift our spirits. But it loses its value if it’s made with gold or diamonds that are tarnished by human rights abuses or environmental destruction,” said Earthworks’ No Dirty Gold campaign director Payal Sampat. She continued, “Unfortunately, RJC’s certification cannot reassure consumers that the gems and precious metals that pass through its system did not come at the cost of community health or clean water.”
The groups releasing More Shine Than Substance include the trade union federation, IndustriALL, which represents 50 million workers globally, CFMEU Australia, United Steelworkers, and environmental advocacy groups Earthworks and MiningWatch Canada.
April 25, 2013
Shareholders, NGOs say company’s flawed community engagement poses risks to reputation and bottom line
April 25th -Washington, DC: At Newmont Mining Co.’s annual general meeting yesterday, faith-based shareholders and DC-based NGO Earthworks urged the company to improve the way it engages with communities, and to provide greater transparency to shareholders and the public. The groups noted that the company’s failure to adequately inform and consult with local communities has resulted in strong community opposition and the suspension of the Conga mine project in northern Peru, costing the company – by its own estimation – hundreds of millions dollars in losses so far.
At the Wilmington, Delaware meeting, the groups urged Newmont to seek the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of local communities in which it operates, to publish reports and updates more frequently, and to conduct human rights impact assessments of its operations.
February 13, 2013
Macy’s called out as industry laggard
February 13, 2013, WASHINGTON, DC: Over 90 of the world’s leading jewelry retailers, including 8 of the top 10 US retailers, have committed to more responsible metals sourcing by signing the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules. However, Macy’s Inc., the fifth largest jewelry seller in the US, lags behind and has yet to meaningfully commit to cleaning up its gold supply chain. The campaign’s Facebook-based Valentine’s Day card urges Macy’s to dump dirty gold, and has been widely viewed and shared.
“Dirty gold is no way to show your love on Valentine’s Day,” said Payal Sampat of Earthworks’ No Dirty Gold campaign. “Macy’s customers need to know that the gold jewelry they are buying is not produced at the cost of clean water or children’s health.”
August 23, 2012
Washington, DC: Earthworks and other civil society groups welcomed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval yesterday of its long-delayed rules for Section 1502 (conflict minerals) and Section 1504 (disclosure of payments) of the Dodd-Frank Act.
“The SEC’s rules on conflict minerals and payment disclosure represent a turning point in global efforts to reduce corruption and human rights abuses fuelled by mineral extraction,” said Payal Sampat, International Program Director at Earthworks, a mining and energy industry watchdog group headquartered in Washington, DC. “Although industry groups lobbied hard and succeeded in winning delays and loopholes, the tide has clearly shifted in favor of greater transparency and accountability in the extractive industries. ”
Leading Human Rights and Environmental Groups Urge Peru to Halt Repression and Human Rights Abuses Against Mining Protesters
July 11, 2012
Washington, DC and Ottawa – The Peruvian government should immediately cease any violent repression of mining protesters, over 80 leading environmental and human rights organizations wrote today in a statement that will be delivered to Peruvian embassies and consulates in the United States and Canada. The statement condemns the recent brutal repression and human rights violations that have left five people dead, and dozens more injured, after police opened fire on protestors of US-based Newmont Mining Corporation’s proposed Conga gold mine in the country’s northern Andean province of Cajamarca.
Earthworks Stands in Solidarity with Alma Smelter Workers in Quebec: Calls on Rio Tinto to End Illegal Lock-out and Respect Workers’ Rights
June 25, 2012
Washington, DC: Earthworks, a US-based energy and mining reform organization that leads the No Dirty Gold campaign, announced today its support for the United Steelworkers’ campaign to seek justice for 780 workers who have been illegally locked out of Rio Tinto/Alcan’s aluminum smelter in Quebec, Canada for nearly 6 months.
Rio Tinto illegally locked out 780 workers from its aluminum smelter in Alma, Quebec on December 30, 2011 after workers refused to accept an agreement that allowed the company to replace retiring workers with non-union contract workers at half the wage and without benefits. Rio Tinto hired a security firm to forcibly remove the workers from the plant, including those who were exposed to beryllium, a highly toxic substance. Exposed workers were not permitted to decontaminate before leaving the plant and may have carried beryllium home to their families.
Shareholders, NGOs, raise questions about Newmont Mining's social and environmental risks at company's Annual General Meeting
Christian Brothers Investment Services, Earthworks, Maryknoll Sisters
April 24, 2012
April 24, 2012, Wilmington, DE: Shareholders and NGOs at the Newmont Mining annual meeting in Wilmington, DE today questioned company senior management and the Board of Directors about the operational and reputational risks Newmont faces in Peru, and emphasized the need for the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of local communities where Newmont operates. In addition, the group strongly encouraged additional disclosure by the company on its environmental and social guidelines and practices, including Board oversight of these issues.
In 2007, in response to a shareholder proposal filed by members of The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), Newmont agreed to conduct a global review of its policies and practices related to community opposition in its mining operations. At this year’s annual shareholder meeting, the lead proponent of that proposal, Julie Tanner, Assistant Director of Socially Responsible Investing at Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS), expressed frustration over Newmont’s lack of disclosure on the implementation its Community Relations Review (CRR).
April 16, 2012
Fr. Edwin Gariguez honored for halting Norwegian-owned nickel mine in Mindoro
SAN FRANCISCO, April 16, 2012 — Today, Fr. Edwin Gariguez, a Catholic priest and mining activist from the Philippines, was awarded the 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize for work to stop irresponsible mining on Mindoro Island in the Philippines. Six recipients from six different regions in the world were recognized by the Goldman Prize - the largest environmental award in the world - for their sustained efforts to protect the environment, often at great personal risk.
“For the indigenous Mangyan people living on Mindoro Island, the struggle to protect our threatened ecology is a matter of survival,” said Gariguez, 2012 Goldman Prize winner for Islands and Island Nations. We should not sacrifice people and the environment for the sake of short term profits by a few, " he added.
Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, Earthworks, Nunamta Aulukestai
April 15, 2012
Growing threat to future of Alaska’s Pebble Mine as opposition groups pile the pressure on Anglo American
London, April 15 -- The Board and shareholders of UK-based giant Anglo American are facing a growing barrage of opposition to its plans for a massive gold and copper mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The mine would jeopardise the world’s largest and most valuable wild salmon fishery and a delegation of Alaska native Yupik leaders and the director of Bristol Bay’s largest commercial fishing fleet, are travelling 4,500 miles to attend the company’s AGM on 19 April to meet Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll and inform shareholders the mine is not worth the risk.
Food Retail Industry Flexes Its Muscle for Alaska's Bristol Bay, World's Largest Wild Salmon Fishery
March 12, 2012
FMI Sends Letter to EPA Supporting Review of Risks of Pebble Mine & Large-Scale Development
Washington D.C., March 12th - For the first time ever, the nation’s largest group of food retail companies has spoken out on behalf of protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay fishery – the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon fishery. The Food Marketing Institute (FMI), which represents 26,000 retail food stores, and $680 billion in annual revenue -- three-quarters of US retail food store sales -- announced its support for the EPA study currently underway to determine the suitability of large-scale development in Bristol Bay, including the Pebble Mine.
Earthworks, MiningWatch Canada
February 28, 2012
Earthworks/MiningWatch Canada name endangered waters & companies responsible
WASHINGTON/OTTAWA, Feb. 28 – Each year, mining companies dump more than 180 million tonnes of hazardous mine waste into rivers, lakes, and oceans worldwide, threatening vital bodies of water with toxic heavy metals and other chemicals poisonous to humans and wildlife, according to report released today by two leading mining reform groups.
February 14, 2012
Macy’s and Costco continue dodge responsibility, falling behind industry standard
WASHINGTON, DC: Over 80 jewelry retailers from around the world, including 8 of the top 10 US retailers, have committed to cleaning up dirty metals by signing the No Dirty Gold campaign’s “Golden Rules” for more responsible metals sourcing. This is good news for consumers, the environment, and the communities who live with metals mining – the largest toxic polluter in the U.S. Unfortunately, two companies, Macy’s and Costco, among the top 10 US jewelry retailers, lag behind and have yet to meaningfully commit to cleaning up their gold supply chain.
“Dirty gold must become a thing of the past,” said No Dirty Gold campaign director Payal Sampat. She continued, “No one wants their Valentine’s Day jewelry tainted with human rights abuses or toxic pollution. But this can’t happen unless companies like Macy’s commit to cleaning up their supply chains and sign the Golden Rules. ”
December 1, 2011
WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 – This holiday season, Macy’s could give its customers a gift: the assurance that the jewelry they buy comes from responsible gold mining. Instead, Macy’s remains one of the last major retailers that has yet to sign the No Dirty Gold Campaign’s Golden Rules, a set of social, human rights and environmental criteria for mining gold and other precious metals.
The No Dirty Gold Campaign, led by Earthworks, an international mining reform group, says Macy’s is turning a blind eye toward the abuses associated with irresponsible gold mining, while potentially selling gold tainted with those abuses. The department store chain, which includes Bloomingdale’s, is the eighth-largest retailer of gold jewelry in the United States, and one of the last major jewelry retailers to fail to sign the Golden Rules. Thus far, 80 retailers, including Target, Tiffany, Sears and Helzberg, have committed to these criteria.
Statement by Jennifer Krill, Executive Director of Earthworks, regarding Newmont Mining’s Suspension of the Conga Mine development in Peru:
December 1, 2011
“Earthworks welcomes this week's decision by Newmont Mining Co. to suspend the development of its controversial Conga mine in northern Peru at the request of President Ollanta Humala. The Minas Conga development has been at the center of many weeks of protests by community members and elected officials who are concerned about the project’s impacts on the environment, water supplies, health and livelihoods. The project is a partnership between Newmont, Peruvian company Buenaventura, and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).
We urge the company, government and communities to open up a meaningful dialogue process that is undertaken in good faith. We also encourage all parties at the table to take the necessary time to build trust and address concerns.
November 22, 2011
WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 – Earthworks, an international organization that campaigns to protect communities from the impacts of mining and oil and gas extraction, announces the addition of three distinguished experts to its Board of Directors: Cathy Carlson, Paula Hawthorn, Ph.D., and Anthony Ingraffea, Ph.D., P.E.
November 14, 2011
DILLINGHAM, Alaska, Nov. 14 -- In the weeks leading up to Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, Alaskans are asking Signet, the world's largest jewelry corporation, to promise not to use gold from the proposed Pebble Mine -- a massive copper gold mine that threatens the world's most valuable wild salmon fishery.
Alaska Natives, commercial fishermen, and mining reform group Earthworks have turned the spotlight on to the world's largest jeweler: Signet, parent company of the retail chains Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria, with a full-page ad (PDF) in the Western edition of The New York Times.
October 20, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 20 – No Dirty Gold, a campaign by Earthworks to get jewelry retailers to reject irresponsibly mined precious metals, took top honors at the 2011 BENNY Awards, given for outstanding achievement in advancing corporate ethics.
The awards were announced this week by the Business Ethics Network, which since 1995 has honored victories in corporate campaigns by non-profit activist groups. No Dirty Gold not only won the 2011 BENNY from Business Ethics Network’s judges, but also the People’s Choice Award, determined by popular vote conducted online.
March 24, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 24 -- Target, the third-largest retail chain in the U.S., has joined 72 other jewelry retailers worldwide in pledging to shun gold from irresponsible mining and seek cleaner sources of gold and precious metals.
Minneapolis-based Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) becomes the 73rd signer of the Golden Rules, a set of social, human rights, and environmental criteria for more responsible mining of precious metals from the No Dirty Gold campaign. Target ranks No. 10 among U.S. jewelry retailers with 2009 sales of about $450 million. The Golden Rules have now been signed by eight of the top 10 jewelry sellers in the country, with combined annual sales of more than $13.5 billion, about a quarter of the total U.S. jewelry market.
November 18, 2009
Washington, D.C, 11/18 -- Three major jewelry retailers today announced their decision to shun irresponsible gold mining and seek cleaner sources of gold and precious metals. Sears Holdings (parent company of Sears and Kmart), Ultra Stores, and Blue Nile all signed the No Dirty Gold campaign's Golden Rules for responsible sourcing of precious metals, bringing the total number of jewelry retail signatories up to 60. These jewelry retailers include 7 of the top 10 jewelry retail firms in the United States, and represent over $14 billion in annual US jewelry sales, or nearly a quarter of total sales.
"The No Dirty Gold campaign is a great initiative that pushes for sustainability and ethnical sourcing on gold. We are proud to be a part of it and to offer our customers gold that was obtained in a responsible manner", said Michelle Pearlman, Senior Vice President and President of Jewelry at Sears Holdings. "Sears strives to be a green company and we will continue to work to build lifetime relationships with our customers starting from the mines up."
No Dirty Gold campaign
July 21, 2008
February 8, 2007
WASHINGTON, DC --- This Valentine's season, 11 jewelry retailers are announcing their support for the No Dirty Gold campaign's Golden Rules criteria for more socially and environmentally responsible mining, bringing the total number of jewelry retailers supporting the Golden Rules up to 19. The list includes 7 of the 10 largest U.S. retailers of jewelry, and represents about 22 percent of the country's total jewelry market. The companies added to the list this year are: Fred Meyer and Littman Jewelers, Ben Bridge Jeweler, Wal-Mart, QVC, Birks & Mayors, Commemorative Brands (parent company of Balfour, ArtCarved, and Keystone class rings brands), Brilliant Earth, Leber Jeweler, TurningPoint, Boscov's and Michaels Jewelers.
BIRKS & MAYORS * CANADIAN BOREAL INITIATIVE * NO DIRTY GOLD
February 8, 2007
MONTREAL, Feb 8 --- Birks & Mayors Inc. (Amex: BMJ), a leading operator of luxury jewellery stores, today announced its support for the protection of Canada's Boreal Forest, the largest unspoiled ecosystem left on the planet and one of the last lines of defence against global warming, from expanding industrial development. With this announcement, Birks became the first Canadian jeweller to call for more socially and environmentally responsible production of gold and diamonds.
No Dirty Gold campaign, SEACC
July 13, 2006
Juneau and Washington, DC: More than 1,500 consumers sent letters to the World Gold Council (WGC) and Idaho-based Coeur D'Alene Mines Corporation this week urging them to protect clean water and not use rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans as dumps for mine waste.
No Dirty Gold campaign
June 1, 2006
Washington, DC -- The No Dirty Gold campaign applauded the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) for adopting a resolution that calls upon the mining industry to produce gold in an ethical way that respects environmental, social, and human rights standards.
"We're pleased that this prestigious organization of metalsmiths and jewelry artists has lent its voice in support of an alternative to irresponsibly mined gold," said Radhika Sarin, international campaign coordinator with EARTHWORKS.
No Dirty Gold campaign
October 11, 2005
WASHINGTON, DC -- This week, the No Dirty Gold campaign took out the first in a series of ads to be published in national publications. The ads call on jewelry firms, and other businesses that use gold, to insist the gold they buy--and sell--is produced in ways that do not harm communities, workers, and the environment. The first ad is running in National Jeweler magazine, a leading U.S. jewelry publication.
"Jewelry CEOs may not be driving the bulldozers at mines, but as the leading end-users of gold, they're in a unique position to help clean up irresponsible mining practices,' said Payal Sampat, EARTHWORKS' No Dirty Gold campaign director. Jewelry accounts for more than 80 percent of gold use each year.
No Dirty Gold campaign
April 27, 2005
Denver - Representatives from Ghana, Indonesia, Peru, Romania, and Nevada today called on Newmont Mining, the world's largest gold producer, to urgently reform its human rights and environmental practices at its global operations. Speaking at the company's annual shareholder meeting, representatives demanded that Newmont fully respect human rights, stop intimidation of farmers, community members and individuals critical of its operations, and stop dumping mine wastes into the ocean. They also called on the company to permanently cancel plans for new, open-pit mines on densely populated farmland in Romania, in a Ghanaian forest reserve, and on a mountain in Peru that is a source of community drinking water.
No Dirty Gold campaign
February 11, 2005
WASHINGTON, DC --- Valentine's sales of gold jewelry in the U.S. will leave in their wake more than 34 million metric tons of waste worldwide, according to estimates from EARTHWORKS and Oxfam America, leaders of a major consumer campaign aimed at changing the way gold is produced and sold. (The estimates are based on gold sales in the first two weeks of February.) The "No Dirty Gold" campaign, which is celebrating its first anniversary this week, has targeted gold sales because gold mining is arguably the dirtiest industry in the world---and most of the gold mined worldwide is used for jewelry.
"Gold loses its luster when it is produced at the expense of healthy communities, clean water and human rights," said Payal Sampat, International Campaign Director with EARTHWORKS. "Retailers and consumers are saying this price is too high."
YALE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS LOBBY CLASS RING RETAILERS, CAMPAIGN AROUND ANNUAL SALES, CITING GOLD INDUSTRY'S EGREGIOUS PRACTICES
No Dirty Gold campaign
October 22, 2004
Starting this week, university students on a number of college campuses will take action against class ring retail giants Jostens, American Achievement Corporation (AAC) and Herff-Jones.
For years, college students have raised America's public consciousness through social activism: anti-war marches, apartheid sit-ins, sweatshop protests. Now, students have embraced a new cause. Yale students are part of a larger campaign called No Dirty Gold, an international effort to educate consumers about the harmful impacts of gold mining and to build consumer support for industry reforms.
No Dirty Gold campaign, WACAM, Western Shoshone Defense Project
May 5, 2004
Washington, DC -- This Mother's Day, leaders of the No Dirty Gold consumer campaign are calling on husbands, sons, and daughters to protect mothers around the world from being harmed by destructive gold mining practices. Mother's Day is the second largest gold jewelry- giving holiday of the year after the Christmas season.
"Many of our mothers have been impoverished and can no longer feed their children because mining operations have taken over their farmland and contaminated their drinking water supplies," said Hannah Owusu-Koranteng of the Wassa region in Ghana, where families have suffered in the wake of a cyanide spill from a gold mine in 2001. "The human cost of gold mining is simply too high."