Human rights and Goldcorp, shareholder engagement in action

By November 17, 2008News

In February 2008, an international coalition of investors and research organizations (including SHARE) travelled to Guatemala to observe Goldcorp Inc.’s operations at its Marlin Mine first-hand. The mine, situated in the western highlands of the country, has been a site for controversy and concern for investors, human rights organizations and the local community. The investor-led group spent ten days meeting with non-governmental organizations, communities, Goldcorp officials and government representatives gathering information and feedback about the mine and its local impact.

As a result of this initiative, a coalition of investors filed a shareholder proposal with Goldcorp requesting an independent Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) of the Marlin Mine. The objective of the proposed assessment is to examine the human rights impacts of the mine on the local community, particularly in relation to the impact of the company’s policies, procedures and practices on the rights to personal security, water, safety and housing

The HRIA represents a relatively new concept for promoting human rights, which it is hoped will set a precedent for the mining industry. The HRIA will be overseen by a steering committee comprised of representatives from a local Guatemalan NGO, the shareholders and the company.

As part of a commitment to independence, inclusivity and transparency, a public website has been created to document the HRIA process and serve as a repository for relevant assessment documents. Visitors to the website will find various background documents, meeting minutes and community updates.

The Steering Committee recently announced the selection of the HRIA Assessor and Peer Reviewer. From a pool of more than 30 submissions to their request for proposal, On Common Ground Consultants has been selected to conduct the assessment, while International Alert has been tasked to serve as peer reviewer.   As part of our Shareholder Engagement service for institutional investors, SHARE will continue to monitor the progress of the Marlin Mine HRIA and Goldcorp’s environmental and social management.