Death of 4 miners at Canadian-owned site in Burkina Faso prompts calls for accountability, oversight | CBC News

The deaths of 4 miners within the West African nation of Burkina Faso has advocates calling for higher oversight of Canadian-owned mining firms working abroad.

Staff on the Perkoa Mine, which is owned by Vancouver-based Trevali Mining Corp., had been trapped greater than 500 metres beneath the floor on April 16 after heavy rain brought on flash flooding, which breached two embankments outdoors the mine.

Final week, the corporate mentioned not one of the eight lacking employees had been capable of attain an underground refuge chamber. On Wednesday, Trevali reported the our bodies of 4 employees have been discovered. 4 extra employees stay lacking.

Trade watchdogs have been disenchanted with what they describe because the firm’s obvious lack of capability to reply to the flooding.

Trevali and the Burkina Faso authorities have mentioned water pumping tools needed to be imported from different nations, like Ghana and South Africa. (Info Service of the Authorities of Burkina Faso)

Heavy equipment and pumping tools needed to be imported from different nations like Ghana and South Africa, in line with each the firm and the Burkina Faso authorities. 

Jamie Kneen with MiningWatch Canada, an Ottawa-based NGO, questions how nicely the corporate was ready for a catastrophe.

“I feel in any context, within the growing world or in Canada, that’s simply an astonishingly poor response,” he mentioned.

Kneen says the federal authorities doesn’t regulate the actions of Canadian mining firms internationally. 

“They’re topic to regardless of the legal guidelines and rules which might be in a spot like Burkina Faso to the extent that they are truly being enforced,” he mentioned. 

In March, the federal New Democrats tabled a personal member’s invoice that may make Canadian firms extra accountable for environmental and human rights abuse at their worldwide operations.

“They would not have the ability to say, ‘Oh, we did not know what was happening,'” Kneen mentioned. “That may not be a defence anymore and there would truly be a authorized plan of action to sue them for not doing this.” 

One other NDP personal member’s invoice would give the Canadian Ombudsperson for Accountable Enterprise (CORE) powers to analyze human proper abuses by Canadian companies and to compel key witnesses and paperwork. Kneen says CORE presently doesn’t have the ability to examine, which renders it “basically ineffective.” 

Trevali has mentioned it’s working carefully with authorities because it investigates the reason for the flooding.

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