Friday, October 9, 2009

Blood-stained gold: Brazilian Foundation urges Canadian Gold Corporation to comply to health and environmental sustainability

Blood-stained gold: Brazilian Foundation urges Canadian Gold Corporation to comply to health and environmental sustainability

Acangaú Foundation, a Brazilian not-for-profit organization, published an independent report on the environmental risks of Kinross Gold Corporation’s mine at Paracatu, a 75,000-people Brazilian city near the federal district of Brasilia.

The report brings attention to some worrying health, social and environmental impacts of Kinross’ large scale open pit mine located at the outskirts of Paracatu. “These impacts will potentially render the expansion project unsustainable, if not properly mitigated and compensated”, said Sergio Dani, a MD, PhD, president and CEO of the Acangaú Foundation.

“Blood-Stained Gold” demonstration in Paracatu

The Acangaú Foundation report was registered at the Minas Gerais State environmental protection agency, FEAM, and it has been published by two local newspapers, last month. The publication of the report triggered a campaign in Paracatu, aimed at informing the people on the issues tackled by the report.

At the 209 years anniversary party of the city, last Saturday, a demonstration dubbed “blood-stained gold” was carried out by citizens in Paracatu, who carried yellow flags stained with red ink and blowed whistles through the main city avenue. “The company kills streams, mountains and people”, said Dani. “There are many serious health and environmental issues that are not being properly dealt by the company”, he concluded.

Citizens inflicted by the health and environmental losses caused by the gold mine in Paracatu urge Kinross to take mitigatory and compensatory actions in order to make its expansion project environmentally sustainable, socially fair, and thus acceptable by the people of Paracatu. A copy of the Acangaú Foundation report was handed over to Kinross’ mine manager at Paracatu, Vitor Hugo Belo, on September 17, this year. There was no answer from the company, so far.

About Kinross

Kinross Gold Corporation, a Canadian-based gold mining company, is the world's eighth-largest primary gold producer and has the fifth-largest gold reserve base in the industry. With nine mines located in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Chile and Russia, Kinross employs approximately 4,500 people. Kinross maintains listings on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.

About Acangaú Foundation

The Acangau Foundation is a Brazilian not-for-profit organization, founded in 1991 by Brazilian scientists and entrepreneurs. The foundation supports local development of science, technology and culture for sustainability. The Acangaú Foundation has been hired by the Minas Gerais State Public Ministry to perform an independent evaluation of Kinross’ estimated US$470 million expansion projected at the Paracatu mine, which is expected to start up in 2008, through Kinross’ local subsidiary, Rio Paracatu Mineração (RPM).

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