Monday, January 29, 2007

Western Investors like Continental Mineral Corporation encourage exploitation of Tibet

An article in stated that, "Chinese geologists have confirmed one of the Dalai Lama's worst fears -- [the] discovery of huge reserves of mineral resources in Tibet and possible wanton exploitation by China which could leave the fragile Himalayan ecology in shambles." I think this news is no surprise to Tibet supporters as we know that China has been exploiting Tibet since its invasion of Tibet in 1949. Timber, mineral resources, precious Tibetan Buddhist artifacts have all been taken from Tibet. What should be news however is how AGM Continental Minerals (Canada) is encourgaing the exploitation of Tibet in partnership with the Chinese government despite knowing that Tibet is an illegally occupied country. Continental Minerals website states:

"Continental has acquired the right to earn a 60% interest in the Xietongmen copper-gold property in Tibet, People’s Republic of China. Once Continental earns its interest, further work would proceed under a joint venture arrangement.

Continental has entered into agreements with holders of a majority of the common shares of Great China Mining, who have agreed to support a merger of Great China Mining with the Company on the basis disclosed in a joint news release issued April 13, 2006. Completion of the merger is subject to a number of conditions including the execution of definitive merger documentation, and shareholders and regulatory approvals and is likely to complete in the third quarter of 2006."

As Continental Minerals encourages exploitation of Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet protestors in Canada protested over their activities in Tibet calling on them to withdraw. Their blogsite for June 20th, 2006 states that an, "unnamed Reuters reporter [broke] the news that a group of Tibetan villagers held a demonstration outside of Continental Mineral Corp’s site at Shethongmon, near Shigatse, an action that resulted in Continental temporarily halting work on the project." These Tibetan villagers have taken a great risk by deomonstrating and temporarily halting the project, however the mining project and exploration continues.

The latest article released on the Continental website on January 23rd, 2006 states that:

"In conjunction with these [mining] activities, the community engagement program will be expanded with the long term objective to ensure that the project provides direct, tangible benefits for local residents and communities. Hence, active dialogue with the local residents in the Tibetan villages and the various authorities in the region will be ongoing in order that the project proceeds in a manner that respects local socio-economic priorities and incorporates a high standard of environmental management.

The Xietongmen project is well located for development. Available infrastructure is excellent, including a paved highway and electric transmission lines that pass near the southern end of the property. The highway provides direct access to the city of Rikaze (population 100,000), approximately 53 kilometres to the east, where fuel, food, lodging and office facilities are available. Other supplies, heavy equipment, equipment operators and vehicles are readily obtainable in Lhasa, a drive of less than four hours from Rikaze. A new railway has recently been completed to Lhasa which connects to multiple copper smelters and other industrial centres located throughout China. Construction of a railway extension from Lhasa to Rikaze (and possibly right past the property) has just been announced."

It is shameful that C. M. Corps is working with Great China Mining and exploiting Tibet's natural resources. We should not be fooled by this release of their community engagement program because local Tibetans do not have any political rights to voice against the exploitation of thier lands by foreign invaders. Please write to the CEO's of the two corporations to express your concerns and ask them to withdraw from Tibet. Their contact information is:

Continental Minerals Corporation
Gerald Panneton
President & CEO
(604) 684-6365 or Toll Free 1-800-667-2114
(604) 684-8092 (FAX)

Great China Mining Inc.
Anthony Garson
President & CEO
(604) 641-1366
(604) 641-1377 (FAX)

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