VIDEO - Guyana, mining project Gold Mountain threatens indigenous peoples

The project "Golden Mountain" in French GuianaSupported by local employers and some of the elected people, the environmental organizations and Indian organizations are fighting. The UN also expresses its concern and asks France to consult indigenous peoples on this issue.

On Thursday, January 10, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed its concern after receiving reports from "Lack of consultation as well as lack of prior, free and informed consent from the indigenous people of French Guiana regarding the mining project" of the Golden Mountain.

This project, led by a consortium of Russian Nordgold and Canadian Columbus, seeks to win deep gold in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. The Committee is also surprised that according to its information there is no consultation of these populations, "Despite the negative impact of the mining project on the control and use of indigenous peoples on their land, including threats to ecosystems, deforestation and archaeological sites".

"In a holy country"

"The usual chiefs called for a public debate that was refused, and in response, the Organization of the Indigenous Nations of Guyana (UNO) called on the United Nations"says Tiouka Alexis (1), councilor of Awala Yalimapo, a community in the north-west of French Guiana, mainly inhabited by Indians.

"The Montagne d & # 39; Or project is located in the west of Guyana, on a land sacred to the Indians, and we can not accept that it has been destroyed."he adds. In a letter to President Emmanuel Macron in November, six Amerindian organizations said: "If the Golden Mountain does not retreat, we immediately go to the confrontation".

46,500 tons of cyanide

This new challenge for the project contributes to the criticism it has raised since the beginning because of its impact on the environment. In order to win heavy gold during the planned twelve years of activity, 57,000 tons of explosives, 46,500 tons of cyanide and 195 million liters of fuel oil are needed. "The trees will fall and the birds stop singing.This sanctuary of biodiversity and the life around this mine site will disappear on several thousand hectares, Alexis Tiouka complains.

Montagne d & # 39; Or revises his project in French Guiana

"Cyanide will destroy the ecosystem that native Americans need to live beyond mines, and there is no guarantee that built dikes will retain this destructive substance, and the cyanide would then be dumped into the Maroni River, a vital element for the Amerindians. ", Alexis Tiouka adds.

The Guinea MP Gabriel Serville (GDR) is behind a motion for a resolution of 20 December to ban the use of cyanide by the mining industry. Approval could put an end to the project.

The French state has taken up residence

If the information received by the UN Committee was confirmed "This project would be contrary to the rights of the indigenous peoples of French Guiana, which are protected by the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination".

The UN Committee called on France to provide information on the measures taken to "Ensure the right" indigenous peoples to be consulted, in particular through "Social and environmental impact study" with them "Effective participation", ask for an answer before 9 April.

Frédérique Schneider