TORONTO (Reuters) - Goldcorp Inc said on Wednesday it will consider implementing a series of recommendations made in an independent human rights assessment of its controversial Marlin mine in Guatemala.
The gold-silver mine in western Guatemala is operated by Montana Explorada de Guatemala, a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldcorp. It began production in 2005. The operation has been plagued by controversy since its inception, with continuing claims of human rights violations from locals in the region.
The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights is currently investigating complaints and has requested the Guatemalan government suspend operations. Last week, the government said it would take months to comply with the request.
The independent report, commissioned in 2008 at the urging of a group of Goldcorp shareholders, recommended the company increase transparency on environmental issues, expand its consultation process with all stakeholders and improve its human resources policies, among a range of other suggestions.
While the report said the company has made progress in a number of areas, it also urged Goldcorp to review its grievance process, halt land acquisition and expansion activities pending further consultation with local communities and toughen its monitoring of private security guards that it employs at the mine.
“The HRA report cites Goldcorp’s positive accomplishments in a number of areas, but we recognize that there are significant opportunities for improvement,” said Goldcorp Chief Executive Chuck Jeannes, in a statement.
“While the implementation of industry best practices at Marlin is the immediate objective, we are undertaking this process with the goal of creating a comprehensive framework that addresses our activities everywhere we operate,” he added.
The report, put together by Vancouver-based On Common Ground Consultants, calls on Goldcorp to “prepare a detailed response and action plan with clear objectives and timelines to address the findings and recommendations of the assessment.”
Goldcorp said it is carefully considering each of the recommendations in the report.
The company also said it would provide regular updates regarding the status and progress toward implementation of the recommendations.
A spokesperson for the Guatemalan government was not immediately reachable for comment.
Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Frank McGurty