TORONTO, Feb. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) is again criticizing Excellon Resources management for refusing to engage in constructive dialogue to end a host of problems plaguing their only operating mine in Mexico. The latest example is breaking off discussions with a group of small landowners from whom Excellon had leased land for exploration, the USW says.
In the original contract signed with landowners over three years ago, Excellon agreed to social benefit clauses, such as ensuring water from the mine would not contaminate the leased land and providing jobs and worker training in the local community, but numerous problems arising from Excellon's operations have emerged.
After many delays Excellon finally agreed to meet with landowners on January 30 to discuss the problems. However, the Project for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which has been assisting the landowners, stated in a letter to CEO Jeremy Wyeth that "Excellon broke off the discussions, which were supposed to be a respectful negotiation of the contract by both parties, after less than an hour in an extremely rude, offhand manner."
"Excellon is fast becoming a poster child for bad behaviour by Canadian mining companies given the negative publicity over the past few months," said USW National Director Ken Neumann. "Its behaviour is giving rise to further demands that the Government of Canada must do more to ensure that mining companies operating in the Global South do not tarnish the reputation of our country throughout the world."
Excellon received widespread notoriety for refusing any further participation in the first case handled by Dr. Marketa Evans, the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor for the Government of Canada.
"Excellon's decision to withdraw prior to dialogue represents a significant missed opportunity to build deeper understanding of the issues and enhance reputation and risk management," Evans wrote in her report.
The USW has repeatedly cited the failure by Excellon management to resolve labour and other problems at its Platosa mine as a principal reason for the lack of investor confidence in the company.
Excellon's share price still hovers near its 52-week low despite the company announcing a possible share buyback and efforts to publicize assay results of so-called new discoveries.
For further information:
Joe Drexler, USW Education and Strategic Campaigns, 416-544-6009, 416-434-7907, [email protected].