Unions show solidarity against OceanaGold


Unionists and community activists protested outside the Melbourne headquarters of Australian-based mining company OceanaGold on November 15, in solidarity with the people of El Salvador and the Philippines.

The protest took place in support of a tour by an anti-mining activist from El Salvador, Vidalina Morales. A grassroots environmental advocate, Morales has been a leader in her local area in the struggle to oppose mining in El Salvador's Cabañas province since 2006.

On October 8, OceanaGold Corporation announced that it would be buying Canadian based Pacific Rim Mining. Pacific Rim owns the El Dorado mining project in Cabanas.

There has been controversy surrounding the mining project. Since 2009 seven people have died as a direct result of conflicts caused by the presence of Pacific Rim.

OceanaGold has also been causing conflict in the Philippines.

According to an article in The Philippine Star in July this year, after an alleged failure of OceanaGold to comply with local government requirements on their Nueva Vizcaya operations, local officials ordered a shutdown of mining operations.

OceanaGold reportedly failed to seek and renew its business permit, failed to pay local taxes and failed to address a complaint about human rights violations filed against its security personnel.