Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Goldcorp faces shareholder resolution on mine closure

Goldcorp Inc. has been asked to commit to the full costs of closure of the Marlin mine in Guatemala. In a shareholder resolution, the Loretto Literary and Benevolent Institution, Kathryn Anderson and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee state that inadequate mine closure and post-closure of the mine risk long-term impacts on the water, food, housing and health of surrounding communities.

"The contamination of the land and water surrounding the Marlin mine will have lasting effects whose extent we cannot yet determine," says Sister Natalie Wing of the Loretto Literary and Benevolent Institution.

Goldcorp estimates closure costs for the Marlin mine to be $17 million US, the resolution notes. However, a recent study estimates those costs to be $49 million US.

A statement released by Amnesty International – a supporter of the resolution – says that indigenous peoples whose futures are at stake have not been meaningfully involved in the process to develop a closure and post-closure plan.

The mine is expected to close in 2018 when mineral reserves are exhausted. "It is likely that pollution from toxic heavy metals, erosion of infrastructure, sedimentation and disturbances to the landscape will prevent the land from returning to its pre-mine condition and uses," the press release states.

The shareholder resolution calls on the company to fully fund the closure and post closure of the mine, consult with local communities and to publicly disclose a comprehensive account of its planning and remediation processes.

Goldcorp has recommended a vote against the shareholder resolution. The company's AGM is scheduled for April 26.

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