Will Nevsun Mining be Punished for Slavery Abroad?
On January 23 the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that will have major repercussions for Canadian companies with overseas operations.
Mining giant, Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources Ltd, is being sued by Eritrean refugees who claim the company allowed and benefitted from the use of slave labor at its zinc and copper mine in Bisha, Eritrea…
The Mining Association of Canada said this case could hurt their business abroad by creating uncertainty for Canadian companies, prompting them to withdraw from developing countries.
Joe Fiorante, a lawyer for the Eritrean refugees, said this is a landmark case in that no other human rights case against a Canadian company has made it this far through the court system.
“Every attempt prior to this case to bring a human-rights claim against a Canadian company for conduct at an overseas operation has failed to get past the first stage of the test,” he said.
“It’s been dismissed either for lack of jurisdiction, or the courts of Canada have said this is better dealt with in the foreign court. This is the real first test case. It’s gotten over both of those hurdles.”