• #NoDAPL National Day of Action – 200+ Stand with Standing Rock in Reno

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    200+ protectors outside Army Corps of Engineers field office in Reno, NV in solidarity with Standing Rock – #NoDAPL! (Photo: Autumn Harry)

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    Helen Filmore speaking about what she witnessed during her recent trip to Standing Rock. (Photo: Autumn Harry)

    Today over 200 people in Reno and thousands across the US and internationally mobilized to support the water protectors at Standing Rock in their efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. We gathered at the Army Corps of Engineers field office in Reno to demand the agency cancel the permits and halt the pipeline – now and in the future. Organizers attempted to deliver the below letter to Army Corps staff, but found the office unexpectedly closed.

    Follow Sacred Stone Camp on Facebook for information on the #NoDAPL national day of action and Stand with Standing Rock, Reno NV for updates on local solidarity efforts.

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    November 15, 2016

    Ms. Kristine Hansen
    Senior Project Manager, Nevada-Utah Branch
    Army Corps of Engineers field office
    300 Booth Street, Reno, NV 89509

    Dear Ms. Hansen,

    The “Dakota Access” Pipeline (DAPL) is a $3.8B, 1,100 mile fracked-oil pipeline currently under construction from the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota to Peoria, Illinois. DAPL is slated to carry about 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day across Lakota Treaty Territory at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation where it would be laid underneath the Missouri River, the longest river on the continent. Construction of DAPL threatens the water source that millions of people depend on. It is not a question of if a pipeline will rupture, it is a question of when.

    The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) fast-tracked the Dakota Access Pipeline without proper consultation or adequate assessment, determining that there will be “no direct or indirect impacts” on the 200 cultural and spiritual sites, the four states the pipeline crosses, or the Missouri River under which the pipeline is slated to run. This lack of due diligence was outlined in critical letters to the USACE from the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Interior, and the American Council on Historical Preservation.

    The Obama administration and the USACE must act now to reject this pipeline and cancel the permits. This disaster-waiting-to-happen cannot be passed along to the administration of President elect Donald Trump. We cannot and we will not allow our human rights, our Indigenous rights, our water or our climate to be sacrificed for the benefit of corporations.

    We are deeply concerned that the Army Corps granted permission for police and private security to arrest water protectors on USACE land. The militarization of the police and private security has escalated this conflict, putting the safety of the water protectors at risk. We demand the Army Corps retract this permission in order to deescalate the situation and ensure the safety of the water protectors.

    Similarly, we call on the USACE to discontinue stall tactics, like those described in yesterday’s press release, which stated, “The Army invites the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to engage in discussion regarding potential conditions on an easement for the pipeline crossing that would reduce the risk of a spill, hasten detection and response to any possible spill, or otherwise enhance the protection of Lake Oahe and the Tribe’s water supplies.” This statement, issued one day before massive mobilization against the agency, does not address our clear demand to reject outright the construction of the pipeline. No more stalling, no more rerouting. The USACE has the responsibility to respect indigenous sovereignty, cancel the permits, and halt this project now and in the future.

    Many individuals and organizations throughout the state of Nevada have carried out rallies, concerts, fundraisers, and teach ins. Others have traveled to Standing Rock to. In addition we have organized for the transfer of donations, and several members of our community have traveled to Standing Rock, North Dakota to participate in the prayerful resistance on the front-lines. We join this fight because federal regulations are supposed to protect everybody and not privilege corporate profits over basic civil rights of people, and the health and future of our environment. This is happening in collusion with our national government and the state of North Dakota. If it happened in North Dakota, it could happen in Nevada.

    Today we join tens of thousands of people at hundreds of events across the country to stand in solidarity with water protectors at Standing Rock. Nevadans are calling on the Army Corps, and stakeholders at every level – including the banks who are funding Dakota Access and the companies building the project – to ensure native sovereignty is honored, indigenous rights are protected, and our communities, water, and climate are valued over fossil fuel profits.

    This fight is grounded in the values expressed at the Oceti Sakowin Camp: respect, compassion, honesty, generosity, humility, and wisdom. The protectors have vowed that they will stay on the land indefinitely in order to stop the construction of the pipeline. We vow to continue to stand in solidarity with them. As such, we urge the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately halt the Dakota Access Pipeline and to cancel the permits in order to prevent any further desecration of sacred burial and archaeological sites and to protect the land and water we all depend on.

    Stand with Standing Rock, Reno NV 
    Water is Life!

  • Guatemalans appeal case against Tahoe Resources in Canadian court

    PRESS RELEASE

    Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) – Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) – Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN)

     Tuesday, November 1, 2016

    Today, the British Columbia Court of Appeals in Vancouver, Canada will revisit a procedural motion in the case of seven Guatemalans who have brought a civil suit for battery and negligence against Tahoe Resources. The suit concerns the mining company’s role in a violent attack in April 2013, when Tahoe’s private security opened fire on peaceful protesters outside the controversial Escobal silver mine in southeastern Guatemala. Video footage shows that the protestors were shot at close range while attempting to flee.

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    Victims of attack by Tahoe Resources’ private security. Luis Fernando (left) was shot in the face. His dad, Adolfo, was shot in the back. (Photo: Giles Clark)

    In November 2015, a BC Supreme Court judge refused jurisdiction and said the case should be heard in Guatemala. Lawyers for Tahoe Resources, which is registered in British Columbia and headquartered in Reno, Nevada, had argued that most of its business in done in the U.S., and Judge Gerow focused narrowly on the procedural costs and inconvenience of bringing the suit in Canada.

    “Under international law, companies have a responsibility to protect human rights – no matter where they occur,” says Kelsey Alford-Jones, Senior Campaigner at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL). “To the extent that human rights abuses occur, business enterprises have an affirmative duty to avoid complicity in those abuses. Canadian and U.S. courts must hold their companies accountable for violations, full stop.”

    Guatemala continues to be plagued by a high impunity rate, lack of judicial independence, and widespread corruption. The lead suspect in the criminal case filed in Guatemala and former head of security for Tahoe escaped police custody and fled the country just weeks after the BC Supreme Court decision was released in November 2015.

    “The April 2013 attack is just one of numerous troubling human rights incidents in connection with Tahoe’s operations in Guatemala,” says Ellen Moore of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. “The company’s argument that most of its business is conducted in Reno is preposterous – Escobal is its flagship project and was its only mine at the time of the attack. And while Tahoe desperately ties to outrun accountability first in Guatemala and now in Canada, it’s running out of places to hide.”

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    An organizer from a community near Tahoe’s mine describes repression and ongoing resistance. (Photo: NISGUA)

    Since receiving its exploration license in 2011 without the consent of local communities, the Escobal mine has been mired in conflict, and subsequent judicial proceedings related to its exploitation license and industrial contamination of water. A recent complaint filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission questions whether Tahoe Resources Inc. has met legal requirements for disclosing human rights abuses and lawsuits that impact the Escobal mine to its shareholders.

    “While Tahoe claims strong community support in Guatemala, by its own admission the local opposition is so intense that the mine cannot be connected to the main power grid,” says Becky Kaump from the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA). “This is only one example of clear community resistance to the mine, and the April 2013 violence is only one example of the backlash organizers have faced for their opposition.”

    Criticism of Tahoe’s operations spans the U.S., Canada, and Guatemala, and human rights defenders in all three countries have been calling on their governments to intervene to address ongoing repression and violence. Today, advocates in Vancouver, BC are outside the courthouse to show support for the Guatemalans bringing this suit forward.

    For more information and background about this lawsuit and the broader community struggle, please visit www.tahoeontrial.net.

    Contacts:

    Kelsey Alford-Jones, Center for International Environmental Law (202) 742-5854 kalford@ciel.org

    Ellen Moore, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (775) 348-7557 emoore@planevada.org

    Becky Kaump, Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (+502) 5575 2058 becky@nisgua.org

  • ‘Keep it in the Ground’ trial postponed, but we’ll be back!

    Today’s trial against PLAN Director, Bob Fulkerson for charges stemming from Nevada’s massive ‘Keep it in the Ground’ protest on June 14th was postponed. Fulkerson and fellow activist, Travis Fuller, were both tackled and detained by Siena Hotel security at the rally, becoming the first people arrested during a year of protest aimed at Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease sales across the country.

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    Supporters gathered outside the Reno Municipal Court

    The Reno Municipal Judge ordered a continuum in order to allow time to access video footage from the Siena Hotel. The judge also recused himself due to his history of relationship with the Fulkerson family. A new trial date will be set within the week. Travis Fuller will stand trial on September 21st.

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    Autumn Harry, member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

    PLAN is incredibly inspired and grateful to the dozens of people who came out to support Bob and stand up for Nevada’s water and our country’s climate future. A special thank you to student activist, Sierra Jickling and Autumn Harry, member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, whose words put the struggle to defend land and water into a national context marked by unprecedented climate catastrophe, but also unprecedented resistance from frontline communities.

    Together, we reaffirmed our commitment to stand together. From the prayer camp against a dangerous oil pipeline at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to the inspiring movement to halt new leases in the flood ravaged Gulf of Mexico and the KING national convergence in Washington D.C. on September 15th – we will continue to fight back against a system that persecutes the people who are protecting life and supports the industries and fossil fuel corporations that are causing irreparable harm.

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    Sierra Jickling, UNR student activist

    We continue to call on President Obama to do what’s right by communities and climate by ending new fossil fuel leases on our public lands and waters.

    Check out videos from today’s press conference and rally here and here.

  • New report: Effect of open-pit gold mines on groundwater lingers long after production, profits and jobs are gone

    Growing concerns over the medium and long term impacts of open-pit gold mining on Nevada’s water were validated earlier this month when Dr. Tom Myers presented his third report on the effects of mine dewatering and pit lake formation on Humboldt River flows. PLAN traveled to Elko and Lovelock to share the findings of the most recent study with residents and impacted farmers. Read local news report from the meetings in the Elko Daily Free Press and Lovelock Review-Miner.

    Read Dr. Myers’ full report and presentation on what happens to ground water after mining ends and the pit lake fills with water, or check out our summary below.

    Open-pit gold mining impacts our water –
    even after production, profits and jobs are gone

    While the mine is in operation:

    • Over the course of a decade, companies carrying out open pit mining drain the aquifer of groundwater that took hundreds or thousands of years to accumulate. This quick suck significantly lowers the water table.
    • Mining companies claim they put more than half of the water back into the basin, but this is not the same as leaving water underground, in storage. Dewatering forces us to use the water now, instead of planning for the future.

    FACT: Since 1991, 3.9 million acre feet of water was pumped from open pits in the Humboldt River Basin. One acre foot, or 326,000 gallons, is enough water for a family of four for one year. That means mines have pumped enough water to support 3.9 million Nevada families.

    Immediately after mining ends:

    • Water pumping ends and the giant pits begin to fill up with ground water. This causes a slow suck of the water table over the course of decades. The slow suck results in a decrease in the water table and less water in the river. Increased flows while a mine is in production is due to water being pumped from the pit and discharged to the river.
    • Data from Newmont’s Lone Tree pit lake shows significant water loss in the Humboldt river since the company stopped dewatering the mine in 2007.

    FACT: Since 2007, the water being wasted to fill up the Lone Tree pit could have supplied nearly 9,000 families for 20 years (176,00 af between 2007 – 2016).

    For the foreseeable future:

    • A pit lake lasts forever, so that means water lost to evaporation off the pit lake will also be eternal.
    • 10,000 acre feet a year are lost to evaporation – the mining industry might say this number is insignificant, but we believe mining companies should not be allowed to waste any water, no matter the amount.

    FACT: In 18 years, we will have lost 180,000 acre feet of water to evaporation – the same amount Las Vegas wants to pump from Northern Nevada.

    Now consider the medium to long-term impact of dozens of open pit mines scattered across the state. Is open-pit gold mining the most sustainable and responsible use of our precious water?

    Recommendations to protect our future:

    • Require that pit lakes are reclaimed for post-mining beneficial use.
    • Demand enforceable water quality regulations on pit lake water.
    • Require the mining industry apply for water rights on evaporative losses from pit lakes.
    • Reform “temporary” water permits for mine dewatering to require companies to regularly justify water use as compared to other demands. Currently, these “temporary” permits for mining are valid for decades, but are not even calculated in overall water allocations.
  • My first protest – a reflection by PLAN intern, Brendan Gault

    My name is Brendan. I am a 23 year old student at the University of Nevada Reno. On June 14th, 2016, I was privileged to attend my first peaceful demonstration. The BLM was attempting to auction off public land for oil and gas, including fracking, in the Smoky Valley region of central Nevada. As an intern at PLAN focusing on renewable energy and climate justice issues, and a concerned citizen, this egregious use of public lands is in direct contrast to the goal of %100 renewable energy for Nevada.

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    Flag made during the art build on June 13th (Photo: Bucky Harjo)

    They held this “public” auction on the private property of the Siena Hotel. So PLAN and it’s partners formed a coalition with the goal of stopping this auction and letting the BLM know our loathing of this heinous proposition.
    My experience started the day before during the prep for the demonstration. The organizers wanted to use art of all types to help communicate our message to the BLM and the oil and gas companies. So we gathered to make visual pieces of art for the event and spent the afternoon creating and connecting. This was a very big part of the process for me personally because it helped to show we weren’t alone while, building a strong sense of community and investment toward our common goal of stopping fracking operations in Nevada. We were united.

    On the day of the demonstration we gathered together early and moved our people and art pieces into position a couple of blocks away from the scheduled auction. The performances began as more people arrived. Before I knew it I was surrounded by 150 like-minded people with the singular goal of protecting our beautiful state. The energy and sense of community amongst the crowd was powerful! There is something magical about a group of people gathering for a singular purpose. Before we began the march we had a moment of silence. The crowd silenced in solidarity ever building the feeling that we were here united.

    Then we began to march towards the Siena. I took up position in the middle of lead banner, which I didn’t plan, but felt compelled by the energy of the crowd. So we started off toward the auction the power of our message grew as 150 people all chanted our message together. The cries of people echoed through the streets as we approached the hotel where the auction was being held. As we approached the Siena we were met by their security guards. The security isolated who they believed was our leader and violently slammed him into the ground drawing blood. The treatment of our fellow angered the crowd but we turned our anger into motivation. It seems that they thought that by taking down “the leader” they could take away our momentum, but this was a movement of the people and could not be silenced.

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    At the Siena, inside the abandoned BLM auction room (Photo: Bucky Harjo)

    We took the energy of the assault and used it to enter the hotel. The lobby filled up behind me as we made our way to the stairs leading up to the auction, but we were again halted by two security guards. But the movement would not stop. Someone maneuvered around the line of security and we flooded up the stairs and into the auction room. We were met with an empty room and news that the people attending the auction had fled. They refused to hear our message. We occupied the room for about 20 minutes in case they came back, but eventually we moved back outside to avoid further arrest and harm to our  people.

    When we came outside the scene on the streets had changed dramatically. A large police presence had showed up, including a helicopter circling above. One thing that amazed me was how well the police treated us. They blocked off the street and allowed us to speak our peace – and speak it we did. Along with our message we demanded the release by the Siena security team of our fellow protesters. We achieved the release of two out of the three. After they were returned to us we begin our march down the street back to our starting point. The police were very considerate and blocked off our path for us.

    As I look back on my first demonstration I have this new sense of empowerment. The political process is often so noisy that it seems too busy to make anything out and too loud for the people to be heard. However, despite the chaos, we can be heard when we are united. United we can make a difference. Together we can stand up against those who take advantage of those less fortunate. We can stand up against the wasteful and destructive use of our precious resources. We can stand up for our rights. And most importantly we can win – or at least that is how I feel after my first demonstration. I just have one question for you. Will you stand up too?
    By Brendan Gault

  • Nevada Students Speak Out to Defend Water

    PLAN recently sponsored a Water over Gold essay contest in which students engaged in a conversation about the impacts of mining on our water and communities. A three-judge panel awarded top prizes to Katie Sitton from Nevada State College and Jade Utterback from West Career and Technical Academy.

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    Barrick Gold’s Pipeline mine as seen from the Cortez Hills mine (Photo PLAN)

    “We could not be happier with the thoughtful and well-researched essays we received from all the participants and want to thank community leaders and teachers for encouraging students to get involved” said PLAN Las Vegas organizer, Erika Castro.

    In their essays, students expressed their disappointment in the failure of the government to act in the best interest of regular Nevadans, instead offering tax breaks to transnational corporations. Currently, Nevada is the top gold producer in the US and one of the largest in the world all while enjoying rock bottom tax rates.

    Students were also critical of mining’s impact on their communities’ water and expressed concern about the generations to come. Contest winner Jade Utterback wrote, “Nevada, possessing a warm, dry, desert climate, is already facing serious problems in terms of water accessibility due to the severe drought. We can’t risk polluting our already-limited water resources from mining gold.” Read Jade’s full essay here.

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    The mighty Reese River (Photo PLAN)

    While the essay contest focused on the importance of water over gold, many students dug deeper to address other negative impacts from mining including erosion, ecosystem disruptions, and health hazards. They offered ways to raise awareness about irresponsible mining among their peers and community, and the need to become responsible consumers.

    Nevada students showed they care about their community and its future. College student and contest winner Katie Sitton ended her essay with a question. “Most people may argue in favor of the mining industry, saying that they are great for the economy and create jobs, but is it really worth it to leave this planet in declining conditions for our future generations?” Read Katie’s full essay here.

    Here at PLAN we echo essay judge and former Senator Sheila Leslie who stated, “I enjoyed reading the student essays about the impact mining has on Nevada’s lands and people. These students already understand that our future depends on doing a better job protecting our natural resources and balancing the need for jobs with the negative and sometimes hidden costs of mining in our state.”

  • Hundreds rally to defend Nevada’s ground water, demand an end to leasing of public lands for oil and gas

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    Outside the Siena (Photo Rainforest Action Network)

     

    Hundreds of people rallied yesterday to demand an end to the leasing of Nevada’s public lands for oil and gas. Armed with hand-made flags, banners,  a 12 foot mock oil rig, and a human oil spill,  13417701_10207960025530850_5305568705520863607_nwe used the power of our voices and the strength of our bodies to protect our ground water, communities and wildlife from dirty extraction.13419176_1291468420882899_5915694811776997587_n-1 We called for a just transition to renewable energy – not 450 billion tons of potential carbon pollution. Our protest disrupted the sale and sent a clear message that we will not sit back and allow our land and water to be destroyed. Read the press release here.
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    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held the lease auction – a public hearing – on private property. As a result, Siena Hotel management was allowed to keep us out, something they wouldn’t have been able to do if the hearing were at a public venue. 27392105040_d98e0f054f_zWhen the hundreds of concerned citizens tried to enter the Siena, PLAN state director was abruptly taken down by hotel security guards using excessive force, causing minor injuries to his knee, jaw, chin, and ribs. A student was also tackled by hotel security and arrested as he tried to enter the auction room. Both were charged with trespassing.

     

    The BLM used taxpayer funds to pay a private hotel to bar the people from an auction of public lands and public resources. 27060311113_2235a961f3_zA leader asked police why  private corporate rights trumped the right of the people to access a public meeting. He couldn’t answer. The public still doesn’t know where the BLM auction took place as the room where it was scheduled to occur was empty. What we do know is that the BLM and their industry buddies conduct their climate-killing business in secret.

    Prior to yesterday, we focused our ire on the fossil fuel industry, but now it’s clear the BLM is in cahoots with the fossil fuel industry to ensure fracking and other dirty fossil fuel extraction continues unimpeded from public participation or transparency. And while the BLM still managed to give away 3,764 acres of our land to the fossil fuel industry, we will not back down!

    The threat to our 27670685065_8550009746_zplanet is real and the fight for climate justice must continue. Thanks for standing with us. We’ll see you on July 29th at the Governors’s energy committee hearing in Carson City, and at the next BLM lease auction in Reno, December 13th!

     

     

    Photos thanks to Rainforest Action Network and Bucky Harjo.

    Check out the links below for more photos and video from the protest and art build.

    Photos and Video from the Potentialist Workshop – organizers of the human oil spill

    Arts Organizing Workshop and Art build by Monique Andrea

  • Why we fight to “Keep it in the Ground”

    In May PLAN and Great Basin Resource Watch traveled to central Nevada to visit lands slated for auction at the upcoming Bureau of Land Management oil and gas auction on June 14th.

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    View of Big Smoky Valley (Photo PLAN)

    The 42 parcels on the auction block cover over 74,000 acres in the majestic Big Smokey Valley. The land was nominated for the BLM lease sale by a Texas real estate developer without the knowledge of most of the residents living and farming near the potential fracking sites.

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    Reese River Valley (Photo PLAN)

    Fracking is environmentally risky and has the potential to contaminate drinking water. In Nevada, water is especially precious – it is the lifeblood of farmers and ranchers across the state.

    By keeping fossil fuels in the ground we are protecting our ground water and aquifers. To avoid catastrophic warming, scientists estimate that approximately 80% of proven fossil fuel resources need to stay in the ground. Here in Nevada, serious challenges to water users and wildlife are already being felt as a result of our changing climate. For more information about official protests filed against the BLM lease sale in the Reese River and Big Smokey Valleys, click here.

    Join us next week to send the message that our public lands are not for sale! Rally to Keep it in the Ground on Tuesday June 14th at 8am. Meet us at the Virginia Street Bridge in downtown Reno before we head to the BLM live auction at the Siena Hotel on South Lake Street. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

    We also traveled to Crescent Valley where Barrick’s Cortez Complex is located, which includes the Pipeline and Mt. Tenabo open pit gold mines.

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    PLAN staff Ellen Moore and Erika Castro, and Great Basin Resource Watch director, John Hadder get a birds eye view of the Cortez Complex. (Photo PLAN)

    Destruction to the Mt. Tenabo Western Shoshone spiritual and cultural region has proceeded at an alarming rate, although not unexpected rate. Barrick reported nearly 500 million dollars in net proceeds from the Cortez Complex in 2014.

    Mt Tenabo June 2016

    Mt. Tenabo – the wall of Barrick’s open pit mining operation extend up the sacred mountain. (Photo PLAN)

  • MEDIA ADVISORY: The legacy of open pit mine dewatering and pit lake development

    RENO, NV — On Friday June 3rd in Reno, hydrologic consultant, Dr. Tom Myers will present his latest research on the long-term effects of dewatering and the formation of pit lakes on the flow of the Humboldt River entitled “Effect of Open Pit Mine Dewatering and Cessation on a Semi-arid River Flows”. The report expands on Dr. Myers’ June 2015 study, “Hydrogeology of the Humboldt River Basin, Impacts of Open-Pit Mine Dewatering and Pit Lake Formation,” which sought to deepen understanding regarding the long-term consequences of open pit mining on the Humboldt River watershed and aquifers, and the impacts on communities and ranchers living in the region.

    An executive summary of the report can be found here.

    Dr. Myers will also present the report in Elko on June 8th from 4:30 – 6:30 pm at Great Basin College, Room GMCML 219, and in Lovelock on June 9th from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at the Pershing County Community Center. The 2015 and 2016 report was commissioned by the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

    WHEN:
    Friday, June 3rd
    12:00 pm

    WHERE:
    Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
    203 S. Arlington Ave.
    Reno, NV 89501

    CONTACT:
    Ellen Moore, emoore@planevada.org, 775-348-7557

  • Demanding accountability for abuses in Guatemala and the Comstock

    On Thursday, April 21, PLAN and the Comstock Residents Association (CRA) held a press conference in front of the Nevada Mining Association to denounce Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA) illegal operations at its Progreso VII Derivada gold mine in Guatemala. KCA’s exploitation license was suspended by Guatemalan Courts in July and November 2015 and the Ministry of Energy and Mines in March 2016, but mining continues. Read the press release here.

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    PLAN also visited KCA’s office to personally deliver the Court rulings and the Ministry of Energy and Mines order to suspend exploitation activities.

    President and founder, Daniel Kappes was not in, and unfortunatly his staff refused to receive our letter requesting he clarify the state of operations in Guatemala and respect the rule of law. Mr. Kappes did provide a statement to the Reno Gazette-Journal claiming that the mine was both operating legally and suspended due to lack of consultation with impacted communities.

    Members of the peaceful opposition who have camped outside the mine entrance in protest for four years report that clandestine operations – clearly not those of a legally operating mine – continue.

    Daniel Kappes, is also on the board of directors for Comstock Mining Inc. Comstock operates the highly controversial open pit mine near Gold Hill and Silver City and is a member of the Nevada Mining Association. PLAN and CRA also delivered a letter to the Nevada Mining Association calling on it to do the right thing and demand Kappes to respect the law and suspend operations in Guatemala.