Mining Firms, Fearful of Prosecution, Taking Social Responsibility More Seriously [Canada]

Author: Lee Berthiaume, Embassy [Canada], Published on: 22 November 2006

As the world's mining powerhouse, Canada has a great deal riding on the results of a public consultation reviewing the social responsibilities of the country's mining companies to communities in the developing world. That was the message [of] John Ruggie, UN special representative of human rights and transnational corporations...Jacques Saramin Boengkih, an indigenous activist in...New Caledonia...[said that in] his country...Falconbridge was a model citizen, having consulted with local communities and building in environmental plans...On the other end of the spectrum is nickel giant Inco, which Mr. Boengkih said has ignored the lessons the company learned when dealing with First Nations people in Canada, grabbing traditional land...Steve Mitchell, spokesman for Inco CVRD...described the handling of indigenous rights in New Caledonia as "tricky because France doesn't recognize indigenous rights." Mr. Mitchell referred to a report published last year by Inco which highlights efforts the company has made to engage the local community and environmental groups...

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Related companies: Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (now Vale) Falconbridge (now part of Glencore) Inco (part of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce)