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Columnist says Connell Company supplying equipment to mines accused of slave labour & environmental degradation
Author: Eduardo Garcia, The Guardian, Published on: 7 March 2017
"US has provided $315m in financing to supplier of mines accused of slave labor"
An obscure US government agency has provided $315m in taxpayer-supported financing over the past decade to a company that has supplied equipment to African mines accused of slave labor, human rights violations and environmental destruction. Between 2007 and 2015, the US Export-Import Bank provided 48 insurance policies to the New Jersey-headquartered Connell Company to pursue deals with at least 17 mining companies in seven sub-Saharan countries. These included a $20,000 policy to supply equipment to the Bisha copper mine in Eritrea, which is being investigated by a Canadian court amid accusations of slavery...
But Nevsun Resources, the Canadian mining company that controls Bisha, faces a lawsuit in which 30 plaintiffs allege that the mine engaged two Eritrean state-run contractors and the army to force hundreds of military conscripts to work there under abhorrent conditions. “The financing that Connell is getting is quite significant,” said Doug Norlen, director of economic policy for Friends of the Earth US. “Whether it’s loans or insurance, the same obligations exist to carry out human rights due diligence. Some of these projects are associated with some pretty serious human rights abuses.”