Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Overwhelming thumbs-down given to UK mining project

London Mining Network

In August 2006, protestors against the Phulbari coal project were mown down by paramilitaries in Northern Bangladesh. This week, the UK company backing the project faces detailed expert criticisms, claiming the mine is both environmentally and socially unacceptable.

This morning, members of the Bangladeshi community in Britain, together with representatives of London Mining Network and World Development Movement, were present outside the AGM of the Phulbari project’s proponent, GCM Resources plc, to make clear to shareholders and the media the damage which the project would do if it were to go ahead. Bangladesh community in UK attended the AGM together with a representative of WDM. They told the company that if it attempts to construct a mine at Phulbari it will be faced with massive resistance by thousands of local people, some of whom have said that they would rather die than allow the project to go ahead. The company’s directors attempted unsuccessfully to convince them of the alleged advantages of the project and assured him that, despite the belief that the Government of Bangladesh had cancelled GCM Resources’ contract, the contract is still valid. Representatives of the Bangladeshi community to be allowed to inspect the contract at the company’s offices. If it is still valid, Bangladeshi organisations and community members will pressure the Government of Bangladesh to cancel it. Directors leaving the AGM will have been left in no doubt about the strength of feeling against the project within the Bangldeshi community.

For a summary of concerns about the project, see London Mining Network.

Nostromo Research’s critique of the project’s Environment and Social Impact Assessment.

For the International Accountability Project’s critique of the project’s draft Resettlement Programme.

Contact London Mining Network for further details. E-mails: