Challenging a mining operation that generates about ten percent of GDP in a country and particularly doing so on environmental and social grounds is an intimidating task. But as the example of the Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan shows, indefatigability and scientific expertise can persuade decision-makers to defend the interests of a country and its people.
A $3.7 billion PPP oil refinery expansion in Cairo is accompanied by contradictory project documents, making a mockery of claims by the public banks involved to be committed to “good governance” or democracy. Despite being presented as merely translations of one document, the Arabic and English “versions” are entirely different – with the Arabic markedly cursory and superficial.
Following the publication of one official and one shadow report on the Kumtor gold mine, Kyrgyz authorities have responded to the calls of Bankwatch and other environmental groups to take a tougher stance on the Kumtor mining operations. The EBRD should follow their example.