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First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining (FNWARM) supports letter to Credit Suisse re new Prosperity Mine bid.

FNWARM supports letter to Credit Suisse re new Prosperity Mine bid

March 7, 2011: Toronto: As delegates around the world mingle here this week at the planet’s largest mining conference, BC’s First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining is calling on the investment community to play its role in weeding out unacceptable projects.
FNWARM, which has delegates at the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto, today welcomed efforts by the international organization EARTHWORKS and MiningWatch Canada to help BC’s Tsilhqot’in Nation reach out to the global investment community.

The two organizations have written on behalf of the Tsilhqot’in to Credit Suisse, which has extended lines of credit in the past to Taseko Mines Ltd, to inform it of the history and issues involved in this company’s efforts to revive its rejected Prosperity Mine project in BC.

The letter asks Credit Suisse to consider its own policies against bad mining practices and the importance of defending its own reputation should it be asked to back Taseko’s new Prosperity bid. (Letter, and EARTHWORKS/ MiningWatch news release: Backgrounder:

“Reputable banks and other financial institutions have, or are in the process of establishing investment policies that lay down clear environmental requirements and rules for the free prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples,” said FNWARM member Chief Bev Sellars, of the Soda Creek First Nation.“These institutions have enormous power to reward good mining practices and reforms, and to discourage companies that seek to get around environmental safeguards and indigenous rights. But to make a difference, these policies have to be enforced,” said Chief Sellars.

Xeni Gwet’in First Nation Chief Marilyn Baptiste, whose Tsilhqot’in community would be most directly hit by an approved project, said: “Prosperity was approved by a BC government that was too willing to ignore and deny the devastating impacts on the environment and our culture and rights.

“Fortunately it was ultimately rejected by a federal government that recognized it simply was not defensible, but if investors and investment houses been more prudent with their dollars, perhaps Taseko wouldn’t have had the resources to waste $100 million over 17 years on this bad idea,” said Chief Baptiste.“Now that Taseko has submitted a revised bid – even though it is on record admitting that any alternative plans for the mine would cause even more damage – we hope the investment community will take a stand and say enough is enough.”

Chief Sellars. Chief Baptiste and other FNWARM members are at PDAC to encourage mining reform and good practices with the mining industry and the need for relations building with First Nations.

“We can keep fighting and stopping unacceptable projects that should not have been developed, in which case nobody wins. Or we can try to create a fair mining system in which we can work together on sustainable environmentally and culturally sound projects, in which case everyone wins,” said Chief Sellars. “We would prefer the latter.”

Posted by: Wolfgang Zilker Monday Mar 07, 2011 15:39
Categories: Fish Lake | Tags: FNWARM, Mining

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