In a story broadcast on Saturday, April 17, 2010, CTV current affairs program W5 reported a number of inaccuracies about Hudbay Minerals and the company’s operations in El Estor, Guatemala at its Fenix nickel project.
The following is a list of corrections to the inaccurate statements made during the W5 broadcast in an effort to set the record straight.
- INACCURATE: Hudbay Minerals is investing $1 billion to move forward with the Fenix nickel project.
FACTUAL: There is no nickel mining or processing activity occurring at the Fenix project at this time. Hudbay is still in the process of determining how to proceed with the Fenix project. Currently, we are working on an updated feasibility study which will help us improve the overall economics of the project.
- INACCURATE: In 2007 the company enlisted the help of the Guatemala government and police to carry out evictions.
FACTUAL: Hudbay has never carried out or been involved with any evictions in the El Estor region. The evictions shown during the W5 broadcast were carried out in January 2007. Hudbay acquired the project in June, 2008 and no evictions have ever been carried while we have owned the project.
Hudbay’s approach to resolving the illegal land occupations is founded on a process of peaceful engagement to help reach negotiated settlements with affected parties. We are encouraged by the results we have achieved to date through this constructive process and we remain confident that this will ultimately allow us to resolve illegal land occupations in an equitable and peaceful manner.
- INACCURATE: The broadcast characterized the governor’s visit to occupied lands near El Estor as an eviction attempt.
FACTUAL: On Sunday, September 27, 2009 discussions were occurring between authorities and illegal occupiers of CGN land known as area 217 in an effort to discuss, understand and resolve their failure to comply with their commitments under an agreement to relocate. A majority of local families had complied with the resettlement agreement but a few continue to illegally occupy CGN property at this location.
Hudbay wants to emphasize that no evictions were carried out and none were threatened or intended. The discussions were consistent with Hudbay's approach of peacefully resolving illegal land occupations through dialogue.
- INACCURATE: The portions of the interview with Mr. Bryson which were broadcast omitted his more fulsome description of our internal investigation into the events of September 27, 2009 and implied that HudBay was not responsive to the investigation.
FACTUAL: Hudbay and CGN have cooperated fully with all investigations conducted by Guatemalan authorities in connection with the incidents which occurred on September 27, 2009 in El Estor. In addition, CGN has carried out its own extensive internal investigation and determined that none of its employees or security personnel were involved in the death of Mr. Ich Chaman.
During our internal investigation we interviewed a broad cross section of people that included eye witnesses to the events. We also interviewed our own security personnel and enlisted the help of independent third-party investigators and experts to help us reach our conclusions.
The government’s investigation is still ongoing and it is not appropriate to provide more details at this time in order to ensure the legal process is not compromised. We look forward to continuing to cooperate with authorities to ensure all the facts are uncovered and the parties responsible for Mr. Ich Chaman’s death are apprehended.