Canadian Consulting Engineer

Mining companies pledge to help world’s poor through Clinton-Guistra initiative

Mining companies have been given a huge opportunity to participate in development in the African and South Americ...

October 31, 2007   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Mining companies have been given a huge opportunity to participate in development in the African and South American countries they work in, through the high profile Clinton-Guistra Sustainable Growth Initiative, says Paul Conibear, P.Eng, president and chief executive officer of the Lundin Group in Vancouver.<br>
The Clinton-Guistra initiative was launched in the summer of 2007 when well-known Vancouver mining financier Frank Guistra joined forces with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, donating $100 million, and pledging half of his future resource investment earnings to the venture. Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim also contributed $100 million.<br>
The Lundin Group immediately followed with a $100-million pledge to the Clinton-Guistra initiative over 10 years. The Lundin for Africa Foundation currently supports 16 projects, focusing on helping women and children, and providing freshwater. The projects are in Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Cameroon, Conibear explains. <br>
More than 20 resource and financing companies, including five mining companies, have joined the Clinton-Guistra program with financial and in-kind donations.<br>
Having Frank Guistra take the lead and Lukas coming in certainly prompted others: Teck Cominco and Newmont Mining Corporation were already part of the dialogue and sometimes it takes a critical mass to make things happen. says Conibear. What we are hoping to do is use the same business skills that we use on our mining projects to decide on what aid projects to invest in and how we manage them. We can leverage a lot of money into these initiatives through our business common sense. <br>
The initiative will definitely influence the way in which junior mining companies operate in developing countries, says Conibear. And for mining companies that are not North American that havent had to be transparent in the past, we will be setting a higher standard. So when the Koreans or Chinese come into Zambia or somewhere, the standard will have already been set for a level of social investment. The bar will be raised for everybody.<br>
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