Film on Kyrgyz gold mining Kumtor
Today at the One World international documentary film festival in Prague, the film ‘All that glitters’ picked up the Czech Radio Award for creative use of music and sound in a documentary film.
The film focuses on the lives of the villagers of Barskon, a remote settlement in the west of Kyrgyzstan that, since 1997, has also been home to a controversial gold mine. In 1998, nearly two tons of cyanide spilled from the gold mine operations, poisoning the nearby river and leaving several people dead and hundreds seeking medical treatment.
The EBRD and the IFC may have been involved in the Kyrgyz gold mine’s development and funding, but the film shows that the project failed to bring tangible development benefits for local people or for Kyrgyzstan. It’s staggering that in spite of the tragic accidents that have blighted this gold mine already, the project’s used cyanide is being stored on permafrost which is threatened by climate change.
“The EBRD has recently ended its involvement in the project, alleging that it has shown the viability of mining projects in Kyrgyzstan. The evidence from the ground is that development bank involvement in extractive industries like mining is beneficial for the multinational firms leading these projects, but that good intentions are powerless to prevent major, often lethal, impacts on the communities that live next door.”
More info on the movie http://www.oneworld.cz/2010/films-a-z/16975#
More info on Kumtor: http://bankwatch.org/project/kumtor