He has now posted Part 2 and Part 3. In Part 2, Steve says:
"I will go all Erin Brockovich and tackle the question of corporate responsibility – in a word, blame... There is no use crying over spilled milk, but spilled cyanide is worth crying, tweeting, blogging and if necessary shouting from the rooftops about – if it means it doesn’t happen again."Steve picks up on the claims of the mining company Avocet/SMB/Inata that they are "in no way contractually responsible for the delivery of cyanide" and that this was the responsability of Samsung, the delivery company. Steve acknowledges the contractual limitations but rightly claims that "Avocet Mining do have wider moral obligations to the people who live in the Djibo region", and that this includes taking responsibility for the Samsung trucks that are serving their mining business.
In a time when Avocet has reported it has tripled its pre-tax profits to $33.4 million in 2010, and now that gold has hit a record high of $1,900/oz, it is indeed worth calling Avocet to take responsibility for the impact of its highly profitable business on one of the poorest communities in the world:
- Avocet are not signatories to the "Cyanide Code", which would make them responsible for how they acquire the cyanide. Joining the code, or even considering alternatives to cyanide would be a necessary step.
- Samsung inexplicably blame "unexpected road conditions" for the spill. As Steve points out, these conditions are not unexpected - they have been like that for years! In addition, Inata acknowledge there have been "two earlier incidents where cyanide trucks turned over due to driver error with SAMSUNG". Given this appalling history, the investment in tarmacking the road to Djibo, and in improving Inata's supply transport would seem to be a priority.