Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oxfam issues report on mining in Central America

Oxfam America issued a report today titled Metals, mining, and sustainable development in Central America. From Oxfam's press release announcing the publication of the report:

[H]igh gold and minerals prices in recent years have renewed mining companies' interest in Central American metals. The Oxfam report pays special attention to Pacific Rim Mining Corporation's El Dorado Mine in El Salvador, Goldcorp Inc.'s Marlin Mine in Guatemala, and Goldcorp's San Martin Mine in Honduras.

While mining companies and the governments that support new mining proposals have emphasized the benefits of mining, organized sectors of civil society are more concerned with the long-term costs. And there is a growing awareness of the decision-making role of communities near these projects.

"Mining companies must respect local communities' right to free, prior, and informed consent," said Offenheiser. "If they do not, a mining' project's costs will likely outweigh its benefits for local people."

While mining may create great net value, most of that value flows out of the country to the foreign owners of the mining company. Minerals commodity markets are highly volatile, modern open-air pit mining creates relatively few jobs, and the life cycles of open-pit mines are short, offering a small window of opportunity for integration with local economies.

The report is sure to draw howls of criticism from supporters of Pacific Rim in El Salvador. Despite the frequent mention of Pacific Rim in the report, there is actually little concrete analysis of the arguments made by Pacific Rim in support of its bid to begin exploiting its El Dorado mine property. The report comes shortly before the date when Pacific Rim may commence an international arbitration under DR-CAFTA against El Salvador for the refusal to issue a mining permit, and days after the new archbishop of San Salvador reiterated the Roman Catholic bishops' stance against gold mining in the country.


Anonymous said...

This report is bullshit. I read one paragraph. Enough bullshit and lies for me. PMU has no intention of building an open pit mine.

Senor Pescado said...

another anonymous irrelevant fool
yo, just back from el sal, and all pacific rim leave now,m b4 I return
or fish bait you will be

and the Canadian consul, ambassador is up to some corrupt crap with for this mine he will guarantee work and asylum for any Salvadoran

my fishermen are being told whatz up

cyanide and arsenic, deliveries are stopped
and really all rude Barbadians leave Salvador also
your money is NOT welcome
new dawn
any and all anonymous are marked ignorant irrelevant rants
I am back in 3 weeks, leave before then
PR we have your home addresses in USA and Canada
May 1 pals

Otto Rock said...


Thanks for linking this report. I picked it up on my blog and reviewed it.


(Not fishing for hits...if you don't like having a link there take the comment down and I'll re-post without)

I'm pro-responsible mining and anti-destructive mining. This report is a good one and should be read by the industry.

humble.pie said...

Let's nip this complaint about open-pit mining in the bud.

The Oxfam report treats 3 separate mine sites in 3 separate countries.

The 2 operating mines in Guatemala and Honduras utilize open-pit processing.

The Pacific Rim plan for El Salvador calls for underground mining.

In the overall context, references to open-pit extraction are therefore legitimate.

humble.pie said...

correction: let's nip the above complaint from Anonymous about open-pit mining in the bud.

fencesitternomore said...

Humble Pies comments have already been seen to be way off the mark and therefore have no cerrelation with reality. Any well run mine is more environmentaly friendly than all but a few of El Salvador's industries. Read about the environmental controls used by modern mining and cyanide is a non-issue. What happens to the open pits after the mine shuts down? Gee, in most places the pit becomes a reservoir to store water for whatever use. The number of mines

What do you call local support? PacRim has seen almost 90%+ support in the area of the mine. Those people known the value of the jobs created by a project like
El Dorado. Many have living relatives that worked in the mine in the 40's and 50's. It is mostly the people purchased by the NGO's that don't support the project and the majority come from outside the immediate local area. The NGO's might as well preach Marxist-Leninism since they try to rule by fear and intimidation and not by truth and rule of law. Even Hugo Chavez, dictator in training, knows the value of mining, and all the anti-mining cretins think his style of government is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Once again Humble shows his ignorance of basic economics. The truth is that 85%+ of the revenues generated stay in El Salvador in taxes, salaries, and operating costs. Wise up.

As for pescador, hunt me down in the states you ignorant cretin. we will see what happens in a country where people have the right to defend themselves and mareros get what they deserve. What goes around comes around fool. Why don't you publish your name and address so you can be added to the list of terrorists and then can be allowed to live permanently where you deserve. El Salvador doesn't need any more violent cretins like yourself.

john said...

Las Venas Abiertas de America Latina by Eduardo Galeano, required reading for apologists for Empire deluding themselves that mining since the Conquest has brought more than a crumbs-worth of benefit to indigenous/mestizo peoples. From the hell of the silver of Potosi to the gold at El Dorado, the historical record speaks for itself.