CSR News - October 2012

Sherpa withdraws agreements with Areva on nuclear Program in Gabon and Niger


The jurists and lawyers association Sherpa, specialized in the fight against economic crimes, announced that it was withdrawing from the agreements it had concluded in 2009 with the company Areva.  

These agreements should have promoted the establishment of health observatories in mining areas in Niger and Gabon to prevent health risks associated with uranium exploitation. But they should have also helped to compensate former employees African of Areva Group who contracted diseases related to their professional activity.

See more at http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20121221-association-sherpa-retire-accords-passes-areva-le-nucleaire-gabon-niger



HEALTH: Mercury poisoning and the gold curse

High gold prices are driving up the use of toxic mercury in small-scale mining in developing nations, spreading a poison that can cause brain damage in children, a UN study showed recently. A round of talks in Geneva meant to agree a treaty to reduce the use of mercury mainly emitted by gold mining, where it helps separate gold from ore, and by coal-fired power plants.

A leap in gold prices has spurred a surge in small-scale gold mining in Africa. Workers risk acute poisoning and, released to the air or washed into rivers and the oceans, mercury emissions spread worldwide.

The U.N. plan is to hold an international conference in late 2013, to approve a new convention to restrict mercury based on texts to be agreed in Geneva.

A U.N. convention would spur innovation by companies to cut mercury use. Technologies include filters for coal-fired power plants or substitutes in products such as thermometers, lightbulbs and dental fillings.


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