Pacific Rim Mining’s track record in El Salvador gave rise to broad opposition, starting when local communities saw the impacts of the company’s exploration work and as they learned about the dirty legacy of mining in neighboring countries.
OceanaGold’s own track record is also disheartening. Despite Pacific Rim’s claims that OceanaGold is a good environmental and social steward, its gold and copper operation in the Philippines has been devastating for local communities. In 2011, the Philippine Human Rights Commission recommended the revocation of OceanaGold’s mining license, citing forcible and illegal demolitions, the harassment of residents, and the indigenous community’s right to culture. Residents have complained of “dirty water” downstream from the open-pit mine operation and of dead fish washing up on the shore.
“The economic, social and environmental reality of OceanaGold’s Didipio mine confirms the worst fears of the Salvadoran people and government,” said Dr. Robin Broad of American University in Washington, D.C. after traveling to the Didipio mine in August 2013.
Concerned Australian citizens and social organizations have already started a public education campaign to denounce OceanaGold’s acquisition of Pacific Rim’s El Dorado project and to demand that Pacific Rim drop its suit against the government of El Salvador.
With headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, OceanaGold is owned by a holding company registered in British Colombia. It trades on the Australian, New Zealand and Toronto stock exchanges and has operations in the Philippines, New Zealand and Australia.
Jen Moore, MiningWatch Canada, 613-569-3439, email@example.com
Meera Karunananthan, Council of Canadians, 613-355-2100, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pedro Cabezas, Coordinator for the International Allies Against Mining in El Salvador, 503-7755-1423, email@example.com
Manuel Pérez Rocha, Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), 240-838-6623, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sofia Vergara, Oxfam America, 617-849-2916, email@example.com