Snake oil and the Myth of Corporate Social Responsibility [Canadian Mining Companies] – by JP LaPlante and Catherine Nolin (Canadian Dimension – Jan/Feb 2011)

Canadian Dimension is a Canadian leftist magazine founded in 1963 by Cy Gonick and published out of Winnipeg, Manitoba six times a year.

In March 2009, Canada released its long-awaited response to calls for regulatory oversight of the overseas operations of extractive industries such as mining and oil. The Conservative government’s Building the Canadian Advantage: A Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector was drafted in response to years of public, civil society, and parliamentary pressure to remove the impunity with which Canadian extractive companies operate overseas. A 2005 parliamentary report calling on legal reform, and subsequent government-industry-civil society National Roundtables – resulting in recommendations for an independent ombudsman’s office – did little to counter mining industry lobbying and a receptive Conservative government.

The resulting corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy is a tepid response that has no teeth, but we find it a useful starting point to understand just what is CSR and how the world of corporate public relations is appropriating the term for their own benefit.

Nearly every major extractive industry player has adopted voluntary CSR policies or social sustainability statements and a growing body of consultants, socially responsible investors, and NGOs are debating how to promote it. However, ongoing violations of human rights beg the question: is talking in terms of CSR useful to those trying to seek justice for harms committed by Canadian multinationals?

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Seven ‘intruders’ killed at African Barrick mine – Peter Koven (National Post – May 18, 2011)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper. Peter Koven is the Post’s mining reporter. This article was originally published in the Financial Post on May 18, 2011. pkoven@nationalpost.com

When Barrick Gold Corp. spun its African properties into a new company last year, investors knew they were being sold high-risk assets that had their share of problems.

But they didn’t imagine this.

On Tuesday, African Barrick Gold PLC reported details of a horrifying incident at its North Mara mine in Tanzania. According to the company, about 800 “criminal intruders” armed with machetes, rocks and hammers broke into the mine site and tried to steal gold ore. The Tanzanian police were called in and were forced to open fire after being attacked by the intruders. Seven people were killed and another 12 injured.

“The police are making an investigation, so more details will come from them in the days and weeks to come,” a spokesman for London-based African Barrick said.

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NEWS RELEASE: African Barrick Gold plc: Security incident at North Mara

17 May 2011

On 16 May 20011, a number of the Tanzanian Police (FFU) came under sustained attack by approximately 800 criminal intruders who illegally entered the North Mara mine site and attempted to remove ore from the run of mine (ROM) pad.

The FFU had been called to the area to respond and were set upon by the criminal intruders armed with machetes, rocks and hammers.

According to information received, a number of intruders sustained gunshot wounds, resulting in seven intruder fatalities and twelve injuries.

The police have begun an investigation into the incident. Additional police have been deployed to the area. African Barrick Gold has also initiated an internal company investigation. There have been no material impacts to the operation or production.

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Barrick Gold’s security kill 7 at Tanzania mine – by Lisa Wright/Jocelyn Edwards (Toronto Star – May 18, 2011)

Lisa Wright is a business reporter with the Toronto Star, which has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion. This article was originally published May 18, 2011.

Lisa Wright in Toronto and Jocelyn Edwards in Tanzania 

Security forces at African Barrick Gold’s North Mara mine in Tanzania killed seven “criminal intruders” and injured a dozen more after 800 people stormed the project armed with machetes, rocks and hammers in a bid to steal gold ore.

Police were called to the area on Monday and “came under sustained attack” by hundreds of people who illegally entered the mine site to try to remove ore from one of the crushers, said a statement released by the London-based company, which is a majority-owned subsidiary of Toronto’s Barrick Gold Corp.

“A number of intruders sustained gunshot wounds, resulting in seven intruder fatalities and 12 injuries,” said the release. The deadly clash is the latest in an ongoing battle between the giant Canadian miner and locals who scavenge for gold-laced rocks on the lucrative property, which Barrick acquired in 2006.

The price of gold has tripled in value since then, reaching a record high of $1,540.25 (U.S.) an ounce earlier this month and making it all the more attractive to villagers involved in illegal small-scale mining.

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Shooting Gold Diggers at [Barrick Gold] African Mine Seen Amid Record Prices – by Cam Simpson (Bloomberg Markets Magazine – April 2011)

Bloomberg Markets magazine brings the inside view of professional investing with unparalleled access to the most influential people in global business and finance.

Security guards and federal police have allegedly shot and killed people scavenging the waste rock at Barrick Gold’s North Mara mine in Tanzania

(Bloomberg) — Barrick Gold Corp.’s North Mara mine near the Tanzanian border with Kenya disgorges millions of pounds of waste rock each week, piled high around communities where almost half the people live on less than 33 cents a day.

Children in school uniforms scurry across the rubble to reach their classes. Women with water pails atop their heads skirt past the heaps. The piles grow as the longest bull market for gold in at least 90 years pushes Barrick, the world’s largest miner of the precious metal, to increase production.

Villagers, too, are hunting the ore on the North Mara land that their ancestors worked for decades, sometimes paying with their lives.

Security guards and federal police allegedly have shot and killed people scavenging the gold-laced rocks to sell for small amounts of cash, according to interviews with 28 people, including victims’ relatives, witnesses, local officials and human-rights workers.

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The Chinese in Africa: Trying to pull together – (The Economist – April 23, 2011)

The Economist is one of the most globally respected English-language weekly news publications, focusing on international politics, business and opinion.

Africans are asking whether China is making their lunch or eating it

ZHU LIANGXIU gulps down Kenyan lager in a bar in Nairobi and recites a Chinese aphorism: “One cannot step into the same river twice.” Mr Zhu, a shoemaker from Foshan, near Hong Kong, is on his second trip to Africa. Though he says he has come to love the place, you can hear disappointment in his voice.

On his first trip three years ago Mr Zhu filled a whole notebook with orders and was surprised that Africans not only wanted to trade with him but also enjoyed his company. “I have been to many continents and nowhere was the welcome as warm,” he says. Strangers congratulated him on his homeland’s high-octane engagement with developing countries. China is Africa’s biggest trading partner and buys more than one-third of its oil from the continent. Its money has paid for countless new schools and hospitals. Locals proudly told Mr Zhu that China had done more to end poverty than any other country.

He still finds business is good, perhaps even better than last time. But African attitudes have changed. His partners say he is ripping them off. Chinese goods are held up as examples of shoddy work. Politics has crept into encounters. The word “colonial” is bandied about. Children jeer and their parents whisper about street dogs disappearing into cooking pots.

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Rumble in the jungle – Africa and China – (The Economist – April 23, 2011)

The Economist is one of the most globally respected English-language weekly news publications, focusing on international politics, business and opinion.

CHINA has a competitive advantage that is rare among economic powers investing in faraway developing countries: a lack of ancient hostility. In the past decade Chinese investors have been welcomed with open arms in places where Western colonial powers once misbehaved and their descendants sometimes still arouse suspicion.

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese have comfortably set up shop in Africa, bringing with them economic growth and useful technical skills. Their government, eager to loosen constraints on resources and industrial expansion at home, supports them with abundant loans. Africa now supplies 35% of China’s oil. Two-way trade grew by 39% last year.

China deserves credit for engaging a continent that desperately needs investment. Millions of Africans are using roads, schools and hospitals built by Chinese companies or financed with fees from resources they extracted. Not surprisingly, many African leaders have embraced the Chinese, especially when offered vast loans for infrastructure projects. By contrast, the leaders say, Western governments these days offer little more than lectures on good governance.

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Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll – Speech to the Mining Indaba, Cape Town, 8 February 2011 – “Partnership for Success”

Anglo American is one of the world’s largest mining companies focusing on platinum group metals, diamonds, copper, nickel, iron ore, metallurgical and thermal coal. www.angloamerican.com

Mining Indaba attracts mining analysts, fund managers, investment specialists and financiers from around the world. Corporate presentations on the newest and most successful projects provide the foundation for institutional portfolio growth and asset diversification. Government and agency presentations update policies and incentives for potential partners. (Mining Indaba LLC website)

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Partnership for Success

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen. It is a great pleasure to be with you at this year’s Mining Indaba. I’d like to thank Minister Shabangu for her welcome remarks, as well as her very positive announcement yesterday. Thank you also to Professor Ferguson for his extremely interesting speech, which had thought-provoking insights for all of us.

My theme this morning is partnership. I would like to share with you Anglo American’s belief in the crucial importance of partnership between all stakeholders in the mining sector – a belief reflected in our ambition to be The Partner of Choice.

I am extremely optimistic about the future of our industry. After the severe distress of the financial crisis and a painful recession, the global economy has rebounded, thanks to particularly strong growth in the emerging economies. Even in the turbulent markets of 2010, China delivered GDP growth of 10.3%. And the IMF’s latest forecasts for the years ahead suggest continued recovery in the mature economies and further robust growth in emerging markets, ranging from 9.5% in China to 8% in India to around 5% in Brazil.

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Susan Shabangu – South African Minister of Mineral Resources – 2011 African Mining Indaba Conference Speech

Mining Indaba attracts mining analysts, fund managers, investment specialists and financiers from around the world. Corporate presentations on the newest and most successful projects provide the foundation for institutional portfolio growth and asset diversification. Government and agency presentations update policies and incentives for potential partners.  (Mining Indaba LLC website)

South African Minister of Mineral Resources – Susan Shabangu – 2011 African Mining Indaba Conference Speech – Cape Town, South Africa (February 8, 2011)

Honourable Ministers present
Captains of industry

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and gentlemen

Programme director

This forum continues to grow every year and brings together the best and the biggest in the mining industry. This year is no exception. Most of you have come from far and wide in search not only of opportunities but also for clarity. I hope I will do justice to your expectations this morning.

When I delivered this address last year, the world was just emerging from a deep recession. The resultant recession cut deep into the mining industry, however the economic recovery seems to have begun in earnest, with growth forecasts being constantly revised upward in the past few quarters. It is expected that the global GDP will grow at levels in excess of 4% by next year, with emerging economies being the fulcrum of this growth.

The expected economic growth is essentially driven by fiscal spending plans, mainly on infrastructure programmes in emerging economies, as well as increased household consumption, both of which are demand drivers for minerals.

It is for this reason that the mining industry is expected to grow at an average 4-7% in volumes terms during 2011, recovering to the levels preceding the crisis. The mining industry’s absorptive capacity of jobs to meet the demand and availability of expertise to respond to the emerging growth in mineral demand is currently in place, as a result of which it is expected that the 40 000 jobs that were lost during the crisis will be created during the course of this year.

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Mining Corporate Social Responsibility, Barrick Gold and Bill C-300 – by Stan Sudol

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant, who writes extensively about mining issues.(stan.sudol@republicofmining.com)

As a child of Polish immigrants who came to Canada after the Second World War and settled in the nickel mining centre of Sudbury, Ontario, I witnessed the stable and prosperous life my parents had due to my father’s life-long employment at Inco Limited. In the mid-seventies, I also had the good fortune to work at Inco’s Clarabell Mill for one year before going to college and spent one summer underground at their Frood-Stobie Mine which help pay for my college education.

So I am always surprised about the bad press and demonization major mining companies receive about their activities in lesser-developed countries and am very concerned about Bill C-300, the proposed federal anti-mining legislation introduced by a Liberal backbencher.

Take for example Barrick Gold’s annual meeting to shareholders in Toronto last April where many protesters gathered to denounce the company’s activities in their home countries. Chairman Peter Munk, is a Hungarian-Jew who escaped his Nazi-occupied homeland in 1944 and immigrated to Canada after the Second World War where he founded Barrick in 1983. During his presentation to shareholders, he had a few choice comments about the anti-mining NGOs.

“By moving into these countries and developing their mines, we provide – way beyond the importance of money – we provide human dignity,” Peter Munk said. “We provide an opportunity for these people to earn their money, rather than hold out their hands and depend on charity.”

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Anglo American Chairman Sir Mark Moody-Stuart Speech to the Leadership Conference on Global Corporate Citizenship in New York (January, 29, 2009)

This speech by Anglo American Chairman Sir Mark Moody-Stuart is an excellent example of the mining sector’s corporate social responsibility initiatives throughout Africa – Stan Sudol

Anglo American is one of the world’s largest mining companies focusing on platinum group metals, diamonds, copper, nickel, iron ore, metallurgical and thermal coal. For more info about their corporate social responsibility initiatives, go to: http://www.angloamerican.co.uk/aal/siteware/docs/sd-report-2009.pdf

Anglo American Chairman Sir Mark Moody-Stuart

Mining companies don’t normally get much publicity and when we do, it tends not to be particularly positive. Nor are our products well-known
brands – for good reason. We don’t sell at JC Penney or Wal-Mart. Unlike our colleagues in the oil and gas sector, we don’t sell at the gas station. We produce commodities that are vital for modern society in a whole host of ways. But I confess I’ve never heard a dinner-table conversation revolve around whether someone’s home electrics are built with Anglo American copper, or their car’s catalytic converter with Anglo American platinum.

Both are possible: indeed the latter is quite likely, since Anglo American is the world’s leading primary producer of platinum, and platinum is a key element in cleaning exhaust emissions. Our other core businesses include base metals – copper, nickel, zinc; iron ore; coal; and diamonds – we are the largest shareholder in De Beers.

We are present in about 45 countries around the world, and employ some 190,000 people. Speaking here in New York, I guess I owe you a word of explanation about our name. We do not have major operations in America. But the United States did play a vital part in our history, alongside the United Kingdom, as these two countries were the source of the original capital that was raised by our founder Sir Ernest Oppenheimer to establish the company, over 90 years ago now, in 1917 in South Africa.

Despite being one of the largest mining companies in the world, with operations in so many countries, the reality of our business is that we sell
into bulk commodity markets. Commodity markets care a great deal about quality of the product; but quality aside, they don’t really care who
produces the metals. The result? We are not known as a brand by the general public.

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Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll – Speech to the Mining Indaba Cape Town, 2 February 2010 – “Making a Real Difference”

Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carrol

Mining Indaba is the world’s largest gathering of mining’s most influential stakeholders and decision-makers vested in African mining.

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“Making a Real Difference”

Minister Shabangu, fellow delegates… Good morning, everybody. Once again, it’s a great pleasure to address the Mining Indaba……one of the foremost events in the mining calendar.

This morning I’d like to talk to you on three main topics:

•First Anglo American itself and how we’ve restructured the business to drive sustainable long-term performance and how we’re positioned optimally for economic recovery.
•Second some of the great challenges our industry is facing energy, water, sustainability and climate change.
•Third the continued good progress that Africa is making on both the political and economic fronts.
•And, finally, a few words on the outlook for the mining industry.

Let me start with the excellent progress we have made at Anglo American. Anglo American is a leading global mining company, and the biggest mining company on the African continent. Our roots were planted here in South Africa more than 90 years ago, and we have grown now to market capitalisation of around 370 billion rand or $50 billion.

Anglo American’s mining focus is on those commodities with the most attractive longterm through-the-cycle returns.

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Canadian Women In Mining Townships Project Offers Choice of Three Mining Moguls – by Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. She is one of Canada’s most senior mining commentators. What do Eric Sprott, Rob McEwen and Frank Guistra have in common? They have volunteered to be the prizes in a draw of people who donate to The Townships Project, a …

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Honourable Buyelwa Sonjica – South Africa Minister of Minerals & Energy – 10th China Mining Conference, Beijing, China

Honourable Buyelwa Sonjica – South African Minister of Minerals & Energy10 November 2008

Programme director,
Minister of Land and Resources of the People’s Republic of China, Minister Xu Shaoshi,
Captains of the mining industry from South Africa, People’s Republic of China and elsewhere in the world,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honour for me to extend a warm welcome to you this morning to the South African Mining Seminar here in China. As South Africa celebrates the 10th successive year of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, depicting the political will of the respective countries to co-operate on various areas on common interest, we deemed it appropriate to assemble a multi-stakeholder platform, with particular emphasis on reciprocal investment prospects between the two countries.

The seminar is intended to focus on existing opportunities for Chinese and other foreign companies here present to partner with South African companies and communities in the mining industry. Notwithstanding the current financial challenge, which we project will have a limited shelf life, I believe that the relationships envisaged between our respective companies are intended for long-term periods.

One of the oldest Chinese proverbs has never been more applicable than today, namely: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. We all should remember that when former President Mandela announced South Africa’s intention to recognise the People’s Republic of China ten years ago, that was indeed a small step. In this context I believe South Africa’s journey with the People’s Republic of China has progressed remarkably towards its intended objective of increasing bi-national trade.

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Is China Buying Africa? – by Paul Stothart

Paul Stothart - Mining Association of CanadaPaul Stothart is vice president, economic affairs of the Mining Association of Canada. He is responsible for advancing the industry’s interests regarding federal tax, trade, investment, transport and energy issues.

In a recent column, I noted that China remains the prime driver of world mineral prices. In building a domestic infrastructure for 1.3 billion people, while expanding its role as the world’s factory, China simply cannot meet its burgeoning demand for copper, zinc, nickel, and other raw materials. In response to this growing gap, China now imports $100 billion worth of base metals annually, buying 25 per cent of the world’s supply today versus a 5 per cent share in the 1980s. As a specific example, China’s share of world consumption of zinc has tripled from 10 to 28 per cent in a mere decade, while the US share has fallen from 16 to 10 per cent.

This dramatic growth in raw material demand is one of the central factors leading to a second, equally significant development; namely that China is becoming an important catalyst to the growth of Africa—a continent that offers untapped raw material supply and market demand potential. In decades past, few observers of global economic development would have envisioned the emergence of such a linkage. Few thought beyond the traditional model, where aid flows from the west would supposedly some day pull Africa to a more advanced state of development.

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