Artisanal Mining

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How my GRI reporting journey started in Venezuela’s jungles a decade ago

As I was updating Prizma's sustainability reporting experience on CorporateRegister.com (now clocking 28 assignments), I was reminded of how it all started about a decade ago while working on an ESIA in the jungles of Venezuela.  Shortlink: http://wp.me/p27qSt-RA Read More

Prizma Attending IFC’s Sustainability Exchange 2016

I am excited to be among the 200 global executives and practitioners from companies, NGOs, the public sector, international development agencies and academia who have been invited to attend IFC’s 10th annual flagship Sustainability Exchange 2016 event.

This invitation-only event, which will be hosted at the IFC from 25-26 May 2016 in Washington DC, is designed to generate frank dialogue on sharing value across business and society, and address sustainability challenges and opportunities faced by infrastructure and natural resource actors in emerging markets.

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Venezuela’s President hosts Gold Reserve’s Team at Miraflores Palace

As Gold Reserve Inc.’s progresses the development of the join Brisas-Cristinas project, the company’s most senior officers, and environmental and social consultants - including yours truly - involved in the original Brisas Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), were hosted by President Nicolás Maduro at the Miraflores Palace, the official workplace of the President of Venezuela.

The topics of discussions included the current conditions at the KM88/Las Claritas area of Venezuela (see YouTube documentary), which shows the scares of decades of artisanal and small-scale mining activities in the region, and opportunities for transformative changes using modern and responsible mining practices.

The Venezuelan government has been pursuing the diversification of its economy through the industrialization of the mining sector as its 14th economic growth engine about which I blogged here.

Venezuela MOU paving way for largest gold mine?

Last week (Feb 2016), I had the opportunity to travel to Caracas and witness a new chapter in the development of Gold Reserve Inc's Brisas Gold Project: the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Venezuela during an event hosted at Venezuela’s Central Bank (depicted below).   Shortlink: http://wp.me/p27qSt-Pa Read More

Gold Reserve ICSID Arbitration Update

On July 23, 2014, Gold Reserve Inc. announced that the arbitral tribunal in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) case has declared the proceedings closed. Gold Reserve claims damages of approximately $2.1 billion, including interest.

As part of this case, Mehrdad Nazari, Prizma’s Senior ESIA and Sustainability Advisor, was engaged by White & Case LLP to serve as an expert witness on ESIA aspects related to the IFC Performance Standards and Equator Principles.

You can access Gold Reserve recent media release here: Gold Reserve Announces Proceedings in ICSID Arbitration Case with Venezuela Closed by Tribunal. You can read about Prizma's other projects here.

22 Sep 2014 update: Gold Reserve Awarded $740.3 Million by ICSID for the Expropriation of the Brisas Project by Venezuela

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p27qSt-EL

Supporting Claimant at International Arbitration Hearing at ICSID

Prizma's Mehrdad Nazari was engaged by White & Case to serve as an Expert Witness for Claimant in the case of Gold Reserve Inc. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which is before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). According to its press release, Gold Reserve claims damages of approximately $2.1 billion arising from violations of provisions of the Canada-Venezuela bilateral investment treaty resulting in the effective expropriation of Gold Reserve's sizable investments in the Brisas gold/copper project and the Choco 5 property.

22 Sep 2014 update: Gold Reserve Awarded $740.3 Million by ICSID for the Expropriation of the Brisas Project by Venezuela

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US launched Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade

The Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade was launched in November 2011 to promote conflict-fee mineral supply chains in Eastern Congo and the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Will it help resolve conflict minerals related due diligence and reporting concerns of major brands? Will it be able to attract other governments and multilaterals?  Read More

IFC-owned Greystar/Angostura gold development in trouble

Greystar shareholders kicked out management and board as they did not secure permits and broad community support. Revisions of IFC Performance Standards and Equator Principles has a new case study to wrestle with. Read More

IFC Performance Standards:Lessons Learned

The IFC Performance Standards on Social & Environmental Sustainability have emerged as the de facto benchmark for developing and financing responsible extractive projects in emerging markets. The Canadian government’s March 2009 CSR Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector, Building the Canadian Advantage, also includes the IFC Performance Standards. In this article, I review the genesis, significance and key challenges associated with the IFC Performance Standards, using also input from participants of over 20 workshops and training courses delivered in Canada, China, Panama, Peru, UK and Venezuela since 2006. Read More

EBRD Mining Workshop & Artisanal Mining

The report of the European Bank's (EBRD) November 2009 workshop on Environmental and Social Responsibility in Mining in London is now available. The event helped inform EBRD's preparation of its planned Mining Strategy (expected in 2010) and touched also on Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM).  Read More