Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 14, 2007
Mining exec salutes watchdog group
Development and Peace helps change corporate culture – Goldcorp VP
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
"It shows our approach can be effective."
- Michael Casey
Now, companies like Goldcorp strive to become involved in the local community, he said. Goldcorp acquired the Honduran mine when it bought Glamis Gold, where Miller worked since 2000.
"It's very encouraging to hear this reaction from them," said the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace's (CCODP) executive director Michael Casey. "It shows our approach can be effective, because at least it results in thoughtful dialogue and that's the first step.
Recently, Development and Peace joined its sister organizations CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) based in the United Kingdom and Caritas Tegucigalpa of Honduras in sending Goldcorp a May 2 open letter, coinciding with the Vancouver-based company's annual general meeting.
Casey said the letter supported a local environmental group seeking to make sure the Goldcorp "cleaned up" before it closes its San Martin mine.
Miller said he is "in full agreement" with the requests called for in the open letter. Caritas Honduras has not taken that approach, and has been in dialogue with Goldcorp, he said. He welcomes the pressure from groups like Caritas Honduras and Development and Peace. "I think it's part of their job."
Miller said Goldcorp is already implementing a socio-economic plan, one that started with identifying local entrepreneurs who have been supplying the mine. The goal is to have these local businesses become increasingly self-sufficient to avoid a boom and bust cycle.
Goldcorp also plans a land reclamation project that already includes operating cattle, hog and chicken farms. If the community decides to develop a local hot spring into a spa, Goldcorp will help make it a viable tourist attraction.
Cyanide is an expensive reagent the company reclaims from water before discharging it into a pond. "We make sure it meets all international standards."
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