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Is This What We Stand For?

Reported by Melanie - January 7, 2005

Newmont Mining, a US corporation based in Denver, Colorado, was in the news of late after the government of Indonesia accused it of committing "corporate crimes" by dumping heavy metals there.

(January 7, 2005)

According to this article from the December 24, 2004 Seattle Post Intelligencer:

Dozens of people living close to the bay have complained of skin diseases, unexplained lumps and tumors that police and prosecutors say are the result of pollution from the mine. Villagers have filed a $543 million civil suit against the company.

Newmont has also faced pollution accusations in Turkey, Peru and Nevada.

Wayne Murdy, the CEO of Newmont Mining was a guest today on Your World w/Neil Cavuto. Mr. Murdy was on to partake in Fox's recent chest beating about the compassion and benevolence of US corporations (and by extention, the US itself) as evidenced by the contributions they're making to tsunami relief efforts.

Newmont Mining has donated $5 million. Murdy said that within three days of the tragedy Newmont donated $540,000 "to an agency of the Indonesian government," that they are matching employee donations 2 to 1 and that as the need unfolds they'll "make direct contributions, with an emphasis on Indonesia, to efforts there."

Cavuto (barely) hinted at Newmont's troubles but in doing so he misstated their nature:

"You know sir, there are a lot of people who are looking at your good efforts there and trying to balance that with the legal troubles you've had in this region, particularly Indonesia. A lot of people who don't like mining, activists, have been after you in court and what have you. How do you juggle that with this?"

Murdy's response was: "Again, we make long-term investments and mining gets its share of criticism, and we've had ours."

COMMENT: "People who don't like mining?" "Activists?" "Mining gets its share of criticism?" If Fox's viewers had actually been given "news" by the "fair and balanced news channel" they'd have known the serious nature of the allegations against Newmont Mining. They might have though it odd, to say the least, to see Fox News showcase Newmont as a compassionate and benevolent company doing our country proud. Not only that, but I'd love to know whether the money Murdy's company is donating is meant more to buy off the Indonesian government, than help tsunami victims.

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