Simon Handelsman of New York City read with interest what I wrote last week about Glamis’ troubles in Guatemala. He wrote that the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. did loan US$45 million toward development of the Marlin gold mine.
"Reportedly there have been formal complaints about this project to the World Bank IFC/CAO and to the ILO. An investigation was to have been fielded by the World Bank Ombudsman’s office during April 2005."
The complaint against the IFC was filed by Madre Selva, a Guatemalan non-governmental organization, accusing the IFC of failure to comply with its own social and environmental safeguard policies.
The Syndicated Union of Guatemalan Workers filed a complaint with the International Labor Organization accusing that the Guatemalan government by supporting the Marlin development is in violation of ILO convention 169. This convention prohibits taking actions in indigenous communities without their consent and enshrines the principles of public consultation.
Handelsman is an international minerals development engineer/advisor and a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia in its Department of Mining Engineering. He can be reached at email@example.com or 212-864-7339.
Interestingly, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) released its report titled "Mining and Indigenous People Issues Review" this week. This is an independent report that included a survey of a diverse range of industry representatives, many of whom were from ICMM member organizations.
The review identifies a high level of convergence in the issues identified by industry, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders and outlines a number of possible follow-up activities. ICMM will consider how the various issues and options raised can best be addressed and would welcome suggestions from readers of the review on priorities.
The full report (PDF, 895KB) may be downloaded from http://www.icmm.com/library_pub_detail.php?rcd=181.
Hard copies of the review can be requested by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org including all postal information.