We, Mongolian CSOs, demand the government to call to account ‘Boroo Gold’ mining company and develop responsible mining in Mongolia
Mongolian CSOs state with full responsibility to the Government of Mongolia and public that mining in Mongolia is irresponsible and legal rights and interests of the people: miners and local communities have been violated continuously without proper legal redress.
‘Boroo Gold’, a Canadian mining company, has breached its contractual duty to use a mineral deposit for 15 years that was included in its ‘Sustainability agreement for 15 years’ concluded with the Government of Mongolia and which granted taxation relief for the first 5 years of the gold deposit’s exploitation. However Boroo Gold extracted in total 41 tonnes of gold (the whole deposit) for the first 5 years of taxation relief with a profit of 963 billion tugrug (875.5 million USD approx) and enjoyed the taxation relief of 220 billion tugrug (200 million USD approx). This is an example of the activities of Boroo Gold that have damaged the rights and interests of the country and its people to the value of 220 billion tugrug.
In addition, the company made its hundreds of miners jobless even though they expected to have job places ensured for 15 years and has disregarded their strike, including a hunger strike, to protect their violated rights. Finally, the company distributed a small amount of compensation to them and was able to stop the strike action of the miners. This activity of the company is a grave violation of the legal interests of Mongolian people by ‘ceasing fire’ temporarily.
We consider that this critical situation occurred due to improper control by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Minerals and Energy, Minerals Authority, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, State Professional Inspection Agency and their officials who have a duty to control the exploitation of the deposit according to the term of the agreement on the exploitation process.
Thus, we call for the State Great Khural (Parliament of Mongolia) and the Government of Mongolia to hold accountable Boroo Gold and guilty officials who breached the law, examine other mineral licenses of the company and undertake measures required canceling the licenses and solving the problem of redundant miners immediately.
Furthermore, the State Great Khural and the Government of Mongolia are advised to take lessons from this situation to make future agreements on mineral deposits of strategic importance including the agreements on mineral deposits of ‘Oyu tolgoi’ and ‘Tavan tolgoi’, with full guarantee of holding responsible mining companies to protect the legal rights and interests of local citizens and miners and to develop responsible mining in Mongolia.
CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEVELOPMENT (CHRD)
Other 65 NGOs that support the statement
22 June 2009