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Posts Tagged ‘NGO’

Soon after the fall of the Berlin wall, we descended on Wismut, East Germany with proposals to help them cleanup the old uranium mines, mills, and tailings impoundments that the Russians left behind.  The large American consulting firm that I was working for at the time, believed that with our UMTRA Project experience, we were well-suited for the work.  So too did a small Canadian consulting company.  (more…)

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Have NGOs taken a backseat to narco traders and terrorists in opposition to mining in South America?  This radical question arises as I read the following from a much longer report that I recommend you read in full–it is part of Wikileaks at work:  (more…)

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We will have to await the course of fighting lawyers to learn how this story plays out; but even now there is plenty to tell and plenty to cogitate.  It all relates to helping the democratically elected government of the DCR kill seventy of its own.  In short the story, as I pick it up from a number of sources, goes thus:  In 2004, rebels capture the town that controls the supply route to Anvil’s Congo mine.  Anvil provides transport for government troops (thugs) brought in to flush the rebels out.  The thugs move fast: they shoot upwards of seventy people and re-open supply lines.   Anvil says the government requisitioned such transport, and they had to obey.  Not so, say the NGOs, who claim Anvil sought government aid in flushing out the rebels.  (more…)

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Watching National Public Radio this evening induces weekend reflections on a week in mining.  The good news story is the final rescue of the Chilean miners–now back with family, wives, mistresses, and the press.   The bad-news story is rape of villagers in the Congo.  The endless story is the death toll in Chinese mines.  We skip the senatorial race in Florida, debates in Nevada (although they could affect mining), and the general silliness of USA politics which dominates the news. (more…)

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   As a blogger, I must tell the story, repeat the opinions, and record ideas.  I leave the deep analysis to the the journalist and academic.  What follows is a true record of today’s lunch conversation. (more…)

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Here is part of an e-mail I received this week.  It is ad for a job with MiningWatch Canada to keep an eye on mining in Guatemala.  The salary is $58,000 a year with four weeks leave.  If I were able to speak Spanish, I would apply.  Seems like a pure sinecure. Afterall there is only one mine in Guatemala, the Marlin Mines, and that has been written about to death.  Plus supposedly it is “closed” down because of NGOs.  OK there is a planned silver mine near Guatemala City and it will be much more fun to ply the entertainment districts of the city after work than to chug the long road to El Salitre while avoiding the traffic of the drug and coyote transporters.  

Conversely a few days later, I saw a job for $US 20,000 to do much the same working for a group called Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA).  This appears to be a USA group based in Oakland (presuambly California–not a nice place to be sure, but one where I would have thought there were many opportunities for home-focus social action.)  In what follows, I post both ads.  They are both fascinating to see.  But exhausting to comtemplate: just how many people are competing in the NGO community to outdo each other in attacking mines in Guatemala?

My theory is that there is a bigger conspiracy at work here.  Maybe somebody is trying to oust Goldcorp so they (this other shadow group) can take over the mine and its profits?  If you think this is far-fetched, read on.  (more…)

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   A brief note to note that Bill C-300 marches on.  At this link is another new exhortation to pass the bill and the news that: (more…)

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2006.04.19.01.24.15I seem to have spent a life-time seeking for the complete and definitive guide to the philosophy & practice of mining.  I have read and rejected volumes on sustainable mining. I have been almost persuaded by the tomes on responsible mining.  I have gotten drunk and frustrated talking to friends and acquantances on why people mine—it is obvious why we need to mine, but it is not obvious not why we do it with such gusto. 

Now in the most unlikely place I have discovered the answer.  I recommend this e-volume to you as a perfect piece of writing and a perfect insight into why we miners and people associated with mining do mining with vigor, enthusiasm, and gusto.  Here is the link to the volume that so excites and fascinates me. 

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My maternal grandmother was born in Windhoek in what was then German South West Africa.  She grew up speaking German on a dusty farm until the farm failed and she was orphaned and she went to an English-speaking refuge in South Africa.  She told me once of the time when South Africa invaded her land and Jannie Smuts encamped on the farm with his soldiers in full pursuit of the rebels. 

                                View from Kuiseb Pass  Namib Naukluft Park. Namibia.

Then some twenty years ago, with my son, I wondered around a military base in Pretoria where we were shown mangled tanks retrieved from the theater of war between South Africa and the Cuban-supported Angolans.  Ever mindful of the kindness of my host, I looked at the messed metal in silence.  My son, with typical American bluntness, blurted to our host, an army Colonel: “The Cubans sure whipped your butt in that fight.”  The silence was stunning. 

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Here is a terrifying thought:  agents of an NGO infiltrate your mining company, gain your confidence, learn your plans, penetrate your secrets, and then a year later put you in the same situation as ex-governor Eliot Spitzer. 

Hard to imagine this happening in the real world: NGOs generally look and act differently from hard-core miners.  (I refrain from specifics!)  But it can happen in the world of virtual reality.  Here is how. 

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