NET NIT: Objections from Clinton Guistra Initative

I was taken aback to see that reputable industry publications such as The Northern Miner and Canadian Mining Journa...
I was taken aback to see that reputable industry publications such as The Northern Miner and Canadian Mining Journal would print an editorial so replete with errors of fact, suggestive language and innuendo (Commentary: Slick Willy, Shakira and Scientologists Party With Miners", March 12, 2008), that I had to double check to make sure I wasn't reading a tabloid newspaper that one would find at the grocery store checkout counter.

Had you been responsible and done your journalistic due diligence, rather than engaged in lazy journalism that regurgitated discredited past coverage, you would have known the facts:

- The specific causes in Colombia and Peru that the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative will be supporting, the local organizations we are partnering with, and the amounts of funding involved for these causes have already been widely disclosed in the public domain since early March 2008.

- Moreover, the dated allegations you have repeated about the mining agreements my company reached in Kazakhstan had nothing to do with my relationship with President Clinton. As I have clearly and publicly stated already, these mining agreements were concluded after many months of negotiations with private companies, not the Kazakhstan government, and involved market value payment for the assets involved. It perplexes me that an industry publication like yours lost sight of the well-known fact that mining transactions require extended periods of negotiation, and do not happen on a whim. And, it disappoints me that your publication would rehash such tired old allegations down to plagiarizing the verbiage from such stories, including suggestions that I was "awarded" the contracts in question.

At the end of the day, philanthropy, like business, must be globalized. I am proud that I and other leaders in the mining industry have demonstrated that we can do our part to promote worldwide sustainable economic growth and poverty alleviation. Likewise, I am proud of my relationship with former President Clinton, which is based solely on our shared global charitable causes - nothing more and nothing less. Demeaning the philanthropic efforts of Bill Clinton does a grave injustice to all of the good works he has undertaken, and in this instance, a disservice to our entire industry.

Frank Giustra, president and CEO
Fiore Financial Corp.
Vancouver, B.C.

For the record, readers can find details of the programs announced at the March 1 fundraiser in Toronto ("President Clinton Announces Projects of the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative") at www.clintonfoundation.org under Resources/Newsroom/Press Releases.

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