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New solution aims to effectively monitor tailings facilities from space

Mining.Com - Wed, 01/18/2023 - 06:24

A new solution that uses satellites and earth observation coupled with ground sensors to monitor mine tailings facilities was recently launched by a Tokyo-based company and a London-based startup.

The strategic partnership brings together Japan’s Synspective, a SAR (synthetic aperture radar) satellite data and solutions provider, and England’s Insight Terra, a cloud-based environmental and infrastructure risk management platform.

The firms are working together to provide an integrated product offering combining Insight Terra’s cloud-based IoT Insight Platform with Synspective’s analytical models of SAR data for the mining and other related industries. The joint solution allows for the fusion of near real-time ground truth and earth observation data for proactive monitoring and alerting.

“The Tailings Insight solution including new InSAR capabilities will be a leap forward for mining operators, investors and regulators seeking to monitor and mitigate potential mine-related disasters affecting people, communities and the environment,” the companies said in a media statement.

According to the firms, Insight Terra’s mining product, Tailings Insight, is currently deployed with a number of global companies for tailings dam monitoring. 

On the other hand, Synspective develops and operates high-frequency, high-resolution SAR satellites called “StriX” to provide high-quality data sets and solution services. The company has already placed three satellites into targeted orbit while planning to establish a constellation of 30 satellites and an analytics platform by the late 2020s. 

The integration of SAR data gathered by Synspective’s growing family of StriX series satellites will provide powerful earth observation capabilities to the Tailings Insight application. This technology can be utilized to monitor ground movement and land deformation which are risk indicators for potential failures of tailings facilities, mine walls, and water dams, among others.

“Space has been an important part of Insight Terra’s heritage. Inmarsat, the leading global mobile satellite company, is one of our founding shareholders and key partners, and we have delivered a number of innovative environmental monitoring projects together with Inmarsat and the European Space Agency (ESA),” Insight Terra co-founder and CEO, Alastair Bovim, said in the release.

“Adding Synspective’s earth observation data bolsters our space-enabled data and monitoring capabilities and is integral to our mission of protecting people, and the environment, from potential disasters such as the mine tailings facilities collapse in South Africa just this September.”

Bovim also pointed out that the integrated mine monitoring solution that the companies will deliver should be an important step toward safety and conservation goals.

Use tech jobs to attract women to industry, Future Minerals forum panel says

Mining.Com - Wed, 01/18/2023 - 06:15

The industry needs to encourage mentors, adjust mindsets and offer technology jobs to boost the level of women from just 8% of the global mining workforce, according to a panel at the Future Minerals Forum in Saudi Arabia.  

New technologies allow women to sidestep the image of a soot-covered coal miner headed underground with a pickaxe and choose careers such as geo-chemistry, finance and artificial intelligence, Emily King, chief innovation officer of Mexico-focused Analog Gold, told the conference in Riyadh on Jan. 12. 

“The more we can integrate technology into all the different ways the sector works,” King said, “the more attractive it will be to young people in general and women specifically.”   

Companies are facing increasing pressure to increase the number of women as the industry and its watchdogs push environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.  

The second edition of the two-day conference focused on the oil superpower’s efforts to continue as an energy leader — in battery metals — after the world transitions away from fossil fuels. But it also allowed state-owned miner Ma’aden to declare women hold 20% of its positions, and Saudi energy minister Prince Adulaziz bin Salman Al Saud to say the majority of his team is female. They’re following reforms led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that has also allowed women drivers and reined in the religious police.   

Remote work

It’s important for the industry’s ESG goals to engage women in remote jobs so they can work without disrupting the traditional roles they hold as caregivers, Sheila Khama, former chief executive officer of De Beers Botswana, told the forum.

“We should consider how can we use remote and digital technologies to enable women to work without having to make a choice as to whether they contribute to mining or leave children unattended,” Khama said. “The problem that happens to women is not a women’s problem, it is society’s issue and it’s one we should tackle collectively.”  

Christine Gibbs-Stewart, CEO of Sydney-based Austmine, a mining equipment association, said Australia’s relatively well-developed industry needs more leaders and mentors to raise female participation from just 16%.  

“We need the best and brightest to join the mining industry,” Gibbs-Stewart said. “Leaders need to make sure people are treated fairly, to call out bad behaviour, to encourage and promote women and most importantly they need to listen for what is needed to really foster and grow women into the mining industry.”  

Systemic biases

 Mashael Al-Omair, a metallurgical engineer at Ma’aden, said the industry needs to address systemic biases that creep into areas such as personal protective equipment (PPE) that isn’t suitable for women, or awkward on-site rapport between the sexes.  

“It’s a bit of a challenge to get your work done or get your point across but in the end they’re mostly well-intentioned,” Al-Omair said. “It’s just getting over that barrier providing PPE for women, having the sensitivity training, amenities on site that are fit for women. Being in Saudi, which has started having women in mining, it’s not a question of if, it’s when and how much.”   

Amanda Van Dyke, a fund manager at Africa-focused private equity firm Arch Emerging Partners, said she was impressed with the Saudi energy minister’s staffing and cited Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) CEO Mark Bristow as another industry leader promoting women.  

“He was hiring junior geologists and engineers 30 years ago and those women are now senior in his organization,” Van Dyke said. “It is from that leadership that recognizes talent and encourages women to come to the top that you will get there.”  

Small business support

Wendy Tyrrell, executive director of the Chicago-based Development Partner Institute, an ESG consultancy, said inclusive-minded education from grade school onwards and support for small businesses would help more women enter the industry. 

“This opportunity for education must go all the way to senior executives and board level,” Tyrrell said. “There are fantastic opportunities to broaden the space for women through education, mentorship and sponsorship.” 

Panel moderator Dina Alnahdy, a member of the Saudi National Mining Board, conducted an informal raise-your-hands poll and found only about half of the audience of maybe 100 mostly men would hire a woman even to a junior-level post.  

“How can we adjust this mindset?” she asked. 

Al-Omair replied leaders must become aware of unconscious biases while King said men must get beyond fearing to say the wrong thing in front of women, perhaps by learning from diversification mentors.  

Khama, who has also worked for the World Bank and AngloGold Ashanti (JSE: ANG), said she benefited from the confidence gained by being raised like a boy in her Botswana village because she was an only child.  

“It isn’t that I’m more intelligent than anyone, it’s that I had an attitude and a belief that I was as good as a man,” she said. “I worked so hard that if I wasn’t in the room the men knew something was missing. There’s no substitute for that.”

Shell Prelude Fires

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com - Wed, 01/18/2023 - 03:05


Prelude FLNG Loads Out First Cargo Since Fire

by Bojan Lepic| Rigzone Staff| Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Even though Shell has not confirmed any restart on its massive Prelude FLNG, Reuters reported that the Methane Becki Anne LNG tanker has begun loading.

The Methane Becki Anne was the first LNG tanker to berth at Shell’s Prelude floating LNG site off Western Australia since it was shut down after a fire.

According to Reuters, the LNG carrier vessel berthed at the Prelude plant on January 17, Refinitiv ship-tracking data showed. Refinitiv’s data also showed that LNG has already begun loading.

The location of the Methane Becki Anne provided by VesselsValue also confirms that the vessel is at the Prelude FLNG site.

The facility can produce up to 3.6 million tons per annum of LNG, but issues have plagued its production since the start. Prelude FLNG initially faced start-up delays with the first LNG cargo departing the unit in June 2019, two years after it had arrived at the field from South Korea.

The first major outage occurred in February 2020 when an electrical trip caused Shell to shut down production. It was not brought back online until January 2021.

Prelude FLNG facility experienced an unplanned event that resulted in a complete loss of power at the facility on December 2, 2021, which subsequently led to unreliable and intermittent power availability over 3 days. It was shut down by Australia’s offshore regulator.

After the offshore regulator gave it the go-ahead, Shell completed the loading of the first vessel that left the Prelude FLNG site in early April 2022. Accidentally, the LNG carrier in question at the time was the same vessel as now – the 170,000-cbm GasLog Partners-owned Methane Becki Anne.

Good times on the Prelude didn’t last though as the facility was shut down again due to a union spat. The end of the year was no better. Prelude was hit by a fire in December 2022 and production had been temporarily suspended. At the time, Shell gave no timeline for when the plant would resume output.

Prelude FLNG has a production capacity of at least 5.3 million tons per annum (mtpa) of liquids – comprising 3.6 mtpa of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate, and 0.4 mtpa of liquefied petroleum gas. Shell holds a 67.5 percent interest in the facility, with Inpex holding a 17.5 percent stake, KOGAS holding a ten percent interest, and CPC holding a five percent stake.

To contact the author, email


Shell Prelude Fires was first posted on January 18, 2023 at 12:05 pm.
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One of the worst Internet connections I ever had

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com - Wed, 01/18/2023 - 02:50

One of the worst Internet connections I ever had. Service level is at the absolute minimum. Hope they go bankrupt!

Shell Energy Broadband Reviews recently posted on

Reviewer S.b: Location Scottish borders: Date 2022-12-30


Utterly useless. Worst internet provider I have ever experienced. And I use the term provider in the loosest sense of the term, as they provide very little. Signed up to 70mbps deal which promises a minimum of 40 at any time. Here’s what I get: download on Steam or blizzard servers, on an ethernet cable connected desktop, plugged directly to the router, 1mbps download speed. Absolute peak connection speed I have seen on anything, was on the PS4 speed test, max 3.5 Mbps. You can forget gaming with shell internet. I drop out completely at least once an hour. You can barely browse the internet. Forget online auctions, you wont stay connected long enough. What they are delivering isn’t even 5% of what was promised. Utter shambles. Do not use.

Reviewer K: Location Bewdley: Date 2022-12-28


I would give no stars but I’m being nice. it has been fine for a few months but al of a sudden it’s started being really poor. If it’s not disconnecting then the upload and download speeds is disappearing. I use it for Xbox and there is hardly any devices connected yet I still lag? I’m not wasting money on something that isn’t even worth it.

Reviewer Kalandro: Location Kingston: Date 2022-12-26


Avoid at all costs… They advertise a super fast fibre and let you sign up to a 70 Mbps connection. In the sign up process they will show you an estimated range, which will we much lower than the 70 Mbps. In the end I only ever achieved 30 Mbps on good days, when the connection was working without any interruptions, which is rare. And is it any wonder that 30 Mbps is the absolute minimum the guarantee in their contract?

If you try to get in touch, be prepared to wait 30 min+ and telephone calls suddenly dropped. They answer to emails sometimes, but not always. Multiple of my emails asking for support remained unanswered.

And what a suprise, if you want to cancel as a result, they insist on the full amount to be paid. One of the worst Internet connections I ever had. Service level is at the absolute minimum. Hope they go bankrupt!

One of the worst Internet connections I ever had was first posted on January 18, 2023 at 11:50 am.
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Goldshore drilling confirms high-grade Moss Lake gold core

Mining.Com - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 16:28
The core shack at the Moss Lake project in northwest Ontario. Credit: Goldshore Resources

Goldshore Resources (TSXV: GSHR) reported the assay results for seven infill holes drilled in the centre portion of the QES Zone in the current Moss Lake resource outline in Ontario.

The best intercept from hole MQD-22-072 highlighted a broad zone of mineralization grading 1.03 grams gold per tonne (cut) over 116.6 metres (true width). Within this intercept was a high-grade core of 1.76 grams gold per tonne (cut) over an actual width of 46.8 metres (86.4 grams x metres (g-m)). Other highlights included holes MQD-22-070, MQD-22-92 and MQD-22-94, which showed a higher-grade core of plus-20 g-m within a lower-grade envelope.

Of the reported results, all holes exceeded the 0.3 grams gold per tonne cut-off for a pit outline, and six holes had intercepts exceeding 1 gram gold. Five had a higher-grade core of at least 20 g-m.

Drilling supports and adds to the company’s claim of a high-grade shear domain highlighted in the recently updated resource estimate. All released holes were drilled within the newly defined pit outline.

Laurentian Bank Securities Equity Research mining analyst Barry Allan said the results were positive and consistent in a note to clients. He said it added to the recently updated inferred 4.2 million oz. resource that identified a high-grade shear domain of 2.2 million oz. grading 2 grams gold per tonne held in 34.7 million tonnes within a lower-grade intrusive domain of 2 million oz. grading 0.7 grams per tonne in 87 million tonnes.

The holes reported are part of a 52-hole data set that was not included in the recent resource update. Goldshore is currently undertaking a 100,000-metre drill campaign using five to seven drill rigs with more than 100 holes drilled since August 2021, and assays for 45 holes are still pending.

Skeena Resources signs Process Charter for Eskay Creek gold project in British Columbia

Mining.Com - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 12:42

Skeena Resources (TSX: SKE, NYSE: SKE) announced Tuesday the signing of the permitting Process Charter and other key milestones in the approval process for the Eskay Creek gold-silver project located in Tahltan Territory in the Golden Triangle of British Columbia.

The property hosts the former Eskay Creek mine that produced 3.3 million oz of gold and 160 million oz. of silver from 1994 to 2008. The Process Charter is a collaboration between Skeena, the Tahltan Central Government (TCG), and the Government of BC.

The signed document establishes a workplan for all parties to collaborate on an efficient Environmental Assessment (EA) and permitting process for Eskay Creek. The target timelines established in the Process Charter outline the EA Certificate being received in H2 2024 and final permits to be issued in H1 2025. These dates align with the development timeline anticipated for the project.  

BC First Nation, Skeena Resources reach mining partnership peak

“The TCG recently finalized the Process Charter for Eskay Creek,” Connor Pritty, TCG Lands Director said in a news release. “It is an example of how Skeena is continually working with the Tahltan Nation to redefine how project approval processes are carried out within our Territory.

“We are working together to effectively integrate Tahltan knowledge, process requirements and decision-making specific to Eskay Creek,” Pritty said. “The TCG Lands Department looks forward to continuing to work with the team at Skeena.”

“The Process Charter is a significant step forward in the approval process for Eskay Creek,” Skeena’s president and CEO Randy Reichert said in the statement.

“The signing of this document demonstrates the commitment from all parties on permitting the project in an efficient and timely matter. We appreciate the efforts and collaboration shown by both the TCG and the Province in achieving this major milestone.” 

Skeena has worked closely with the TCG, federal and provincial regulators, indigenous nations, and communities to advance the EA process for Eskay Creek. On November 18, 2022, both the EA Office and TCG provided a positive Readiness Decision for the project, which advanced it to the Process Planning stage. On November 29, 2022, the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change approved the substitution of the impact assessment to the BC Environmental Assessment Office.

The substitution decision means that instead of doing two separate assessments on Eskay Creek, the BCEAO conducts a single assessment that meets both provincial and federal requirements.

Probe Metals triples resource estimate at Monique deposit in Quebec 

Mining.Com - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 12:11

Analysts welcomed Probe Metals (TSXV: PRB) tripling the indicated gold resource at its Monique deposit in the Novador project near Val d’Or, Quebec.

The deposit now holds 41.8 million indicated tonnes grading 1.52 grams gold per tonne for 2 million oz. contained metal, Probe said in a news release on Tuesday. That’s up from 672,800 indicated oz. in the previous resource estimate from 2021.

“The updated resource was slightly better than we anticipated,” Barry Allan, a mining analyst for Laurentian Bank, wrote in a note on Tuesday. “We are very pleased with the size and quality of the resource at Novador, reflecting a very successful 2022 drill campaign.”

Toronto-based Probe is expected to follow Monique’s new figures with updates from the Courvan and Pascalis deposits showing 5.1 million oz. total at Novador. The project used to be called Val d’Or East and lies 25 km east of the Abitibi region town. An updated prefeasibility study may be released this year.

“We would expect the resource update to improve economics by adding scale to the project via increasing overall ounces as well as potentially facilitating a higher throughput level compared with the preliminary economic assessment (PEA),” Andrew Mikitchook, a mining analyst for BMO Capital Markets wrote in a note on Tuesday.

“The open pit resource has grown into one pit, combining three smaller pits in the previous resource, which we would expect to be a slight benefit to project economics due to higher efficiencies from mining a single pit.”

Monique’s pit-constrained resource grade improved to 1.42 grams gold per tonne from 1.38 grams gold at the same cut-off of 0.42 grams gold. Updates due within months on the historical resources for the Pascalis and Courvan deposits (1.1 million indicated oz. and 1.6 million inferred oz.) should show “significant improvement,” Probe said in the release.

“Our expansion and conversion programs were highly successful and confirmed the consistency and quality of the Monique deposit,” Probe president and chief executive officer David Palmer said in the release. “We also saw an increase in grade of the pit-constrained resources, reflecting the better-than-expected drill results throughout the year.”

Probe has four rigs drilling at Monique, which remains open for expansion in all directions, the company said. The drilling is part of a 50,000-metre expansion program this year across Novador.

Laurentian’s Allan said he is maintaining a buy recommendation and C$5 price target ahead of a prefeasibility study on Novador.

“After which we intend to revise our estimates to incorporate the significant increase in resources and expected higher capital costs,” Allan said. “We expect that the total resource increase at Novador may largely offset the anticipated increase in upfront capital costs and have a neutral impact on valuation.”

A 2021 PEA suggested an open-pit and underground project capable of producing more than 200,000 oz. gold a year for a 13-year mine life.

Since then, Probe completed 165,000 metres of drilling that has outlined a gold system 2.2 km long, 1 km wide and 600 metres deep. The property lies among three past-producing mines: Beliveau, Monique and Bussiere.

Probe also has with Midland Exploration (TSXV: MD) a copper-gold-silver-molybdenum deposit at the La Peltrie project near Detour Lake, Quebec, about 190 km north of Rouyn-Noranda in the Abitibi region.

Probe shares fell 0.6% on Tuesday afternoon to trade at C$1.78 each in Toronto, valuing the company at C$271 million.

FPX Nickel commences PFS on Baptiste project in British Columbia

Mining.Com - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 10:55

FPX Nickel (TSXV: FPX) has commenced a preliminary feasibility study (PFS) for its Baptiste nickel project located in central British Columbia.

The PFS marks the culmination of the extensive de-risking and optimization program that has been undertaken since the issuance of the 2020 preliminary economic assessment. It is expected to be completed in September 2023.

The PFS will present two strategic options, including the base case and a secondary option.

The base case entails the production of a high-grade awaruite concentrate (50-65% nickel) for direct feed to the stainless steel market, utilizing a simple and robust concentrator flowsheet that is only possible due to Baptiste’s awaruite mineralization.

The secondary option involves further upgrading of the high-grade awaruite concentrate to produce battery-grade nickel sulphate and cobalt-rich products for the electric vehicle battery supply chain, utilizing moderate leaching conditions and standard hydrometallurgical unit operations.

“Since completion of the 2020 PEA, we have consistently applied a major company-style mindset to project development, and believe the PFS will confirm Baptiste as a peer-leading development-stage nickel project, highlighting its potential for large-scale, low-cost and low-carbon nickel production spanning multiple decades,” CEO Martin Turenne said in a news release.

Fission announces economics for Patterson Lake South uranium

Mining.Com - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 10:44

Fission Uranium (TSX: FCU) has announced the results of a feasibility study conducted by Tetra Tech Canada for the Patterson Lake South property in the Athabasca Basin.

The company says these study results further enhance the economics outlined in the 2019 pre-feasibility study. Highlights include a longer mine life of 10 years, an increased after-tax net present value at 8% discount of C$1.2 billion and a higher after-tax internal rate of return of 27.2%, while still maintaining a very low operating cost of C$13.02 per pound.

Other important parameters from the study suggest a construction timeline of three years with an estimated initial capital cost of C$1.1 billion and life-of-mine production of over 90 million lb. of uranium oxide.

“Showing capex to be lower than in the 2019 prefeasibility report, particularly with the pressures of high global inflation, is a remarkable achievement and speaks volumes regarding the team’s design and planning abilities,” said CEO Ross McElroy in a news release. 

“Going forward, thanks to the strength of this feasibility study and the success of our ongoing social engagement, we will continue advancing through the environmental assessment and on towards a construction decision,” McElroy added.

Copper price retreats on weak economic data from China

Mining.Com - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 10:13

The copper price fell on Tuesday as weak economic data from China punctured a speculator-driven rally.

Copper for delivery in March fell 0.3% on the Comex market in New York, to $4.20 per pound, or $9,240 per tonne.

[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]

Prices of the metal have surged 9% this month after China’s decision to end the zero-covid policy.

In the short term, however, Chinese consumption is weak and likely to remain so as the country heads into the Lunar New Year holidays next week.

China’s economy grew 3% last year, one of the weakest annual growth figures in nearly half a century, with factory output growing 1.3% year on year in December.

China’s population also fell for the first time in six decades, underlining its long-term economic challenges.

Economists expect China’s economy to pick up in the coming months.

“We are heading for higher (copper) prices this year, but this is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen, predicting a temporary pause or reversal of the rally.

(With files from Reuters)

Wealth Minerals delivers first resource estimate for Ollagüe lithium project in Chile

Mining.Com - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 09:16
Credit: Wealth Minerals

Lithium developer Wealth Minerals (TSXV: WML) reached a significant milestone on Tuesday with the release of the first resource estimate for its Ollagüe project in Chile.

This NI 43-101 resource estimate — prepared by independent consultants Montgomery & Associates — is based on the company’s geophysical survey and 2022 drill program, consisting of four vertical holes totalling 1,111 metres. It also includes drilling and geophysical data from previous operators on the Ollagüe project.

The initial resource, as estimated by Montgomery, contains 741,000 tonnes of LCE (lithium carbonate equivalent) grading 175 ml/L in the indicated category and 701,000 tonnes LCE grading 185 ml/L in the inferred category.

These estimates will likely change as more information becomes available, according to Wealth Minerals. The 2022 program has substantially increased the company’s understanding of the “evaporitic basins” that define the project area, which has allowed the estimation of this initial lithium resource, it says.

Wealth Minerals anticipates that additional drilling may encounter lithium brine in the deeper parts of the aquifer, potentially adding to the overall resource. Additional characterization in the northmost concessions of the project could also add additional resources in the measured and indicated category.

The company will now begin the next phase of development planning, engaging with its engineering partner FLSmidth to prepare a scoping study. Meanwhile, the geological team is planning how to best expand the resource and raise the category of the resource in the next drilling campaign.

“The Ollagüe project is well suited for lithium production because of its favorable permeability, resource size and expansion potential. Indeed, in terms of LCE resource size, the Ollagüe project now ranks among its peers in terms of a potential future operation,” CEO Henk van Alphen said in a news release.

The Ollagüe property consists of 6,400 hectares located in northern Chile, Region II, near the Chile-Bolivia border and approximately 200 km due north from Atacama. Recent drilling activity by a peer company in the area returned lithium grades up to 480 mg/L, while surface sampling has returned lithium grades as high as 1,140 mg/L.

Shares of Wealth Minerals were down 10% as of noon ET following the initial Ollagüe resource estimate. The company has a market capitalization of C$121.9 million ($91m).

Police use “shocking” level of violence to quash activists opposing Europe’s largest coal mine

Oil Change International - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 07:57
C: Andrew Bear via Tiwtter

We have been here before. When the state uses overwhelming force and brutality to defend fossil fuel interests from those defending the climate. And we are here again.

The history of grassroots activism against fossil fuels being met with force is long and painful. Think Ogoni in Nigeria, think Standing Rock Sioux and the fight to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline or the Wet’suwet’en First Nation defending their land against the Coastal Link pipeline in Canada. To name just a few examples.

And we are here again. In 2023. The years may change, but injustice stays the same. Over the weekend, some 35,000 climate activists and land defenders came together to protest against the expansion of the Garzweiler coal mine, Europe’s largest and dirtiest brown coal plant. RWE, which owns the mine, is Europe’s emitter of CO2.

The mine already spans a whopping 35 square kilometers, this vast industrial scar on the landscape reminiscent of the destruction and desecration of the tar sands in Canada.

The latest flash-point is around the village of Lützerath, which is twenty miles west of Dusseldorf. This small German hamlet is the latest community to be lost to our fossil fuel addiction, gobbled up by the ever-expanding coal mine. Lützerath is not alone, some thirteen villages have already been destroyed by the toxic mine.

Activists have been trying to defend the village for years, arguing that coal expansion is not compatible with Germany’s climate commitments. Not only is the lignite in the mine the dirtiest form of coal, but coal itself is the dirtiest fossil fuel. The mine makes no climate sense. It is indefensible.

But still, the German state defends the indefensible. And last week, and over the weekend, it used brute force to do so. The police used overwhelming force and violence against the protesters, with about 20 being injured and taken to hospital.

On Sunday, 350 Deutschland tweeted how:

There has been a shocking amount of police violence against people protesting for climate justice in #Luetzerath, Germany. #RWE’s profits and political deals obviously matter more to those in power than a liveable future on this planet ?.

— Deutschland (@350Deutschland) January 14, 2023

One of these being violently assaulted by the police was Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who had joined colleagues from across Europe. Thunberg called the expansion of the coal mine a “betrayal of present and future generations. Germany is one of the biggest polluters in the world.”

Thunberg also criticized the overwhelming force used by the one thousand-or-so riot police to clear a long-standing climate camp in the village, calling it “outrageous.”

The mine is owned by German giant energy company RWE, and its latest expansion was controversially and somewhat surprisingly allowed by the Greens, who are currently sharing power in Germany.

The deal that allowed the mine to expand was a trade-off between RWE agreeing to bring forward its coal phase-out from 2038 to 2030 and saving five more villages from destruction. But now RWE and others say the expansion of the mine is necessary due to the war in Ukraine.

This argument does not wash with climate campaigners. Fabian Huebner, from Europe Beyond Coal, told CNN: “I think the Greens, faced by very difficult decisions, took the wrong turn and de-prioritized climate policy.” He added: “You can’t solve the crisis with the energy source that basically created this crisis.”

The mine’s expansion has thrown up other contentious issues too. Firstly, the new coal may never be needed by Germany. Last August, a report by Coal Transitions found concluded that even if coal plants in the country operated at near capacity until 2030, they already had more than enough coal available from existing supplies.

HSBC is also in the spotlight too. A great investigation by the UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found that the bank “made a secretive multimillion-dollar loan” to RWE, just three months after the bank pledged to stop funding coal.

HSBC, which claims it is “helping to lead the transition to a more sustainable world”, approved the $340m deal with the energy giant after internal discussions in “which senior figures at the bank recommended that its involvement should not be publicised.”

The images from twitter are striking:

"Coal versus man". Germany in 2023 ?

— Dave Jones (@CoalFreeDave) January 15, 2023

Climate and social justice activists have understandably expressed solidarity and outrage on Twitter too:

Solidarity to all at #LUETZERATH preventing climate criminals opening a coal mine. & a reminder that people in the global South have faced centuries of extractivism of minerals & metals to fuel the economies of rich countries & are murdered for resisting

— asad rehman (@chilledasad100) January 15, 2023

Climate justice does not mean destroying nature – our life support system, peoples' livelihoods, or forcefully evicting defenders of #Luetzerath to allow the expansion of a coal mine. Expanding the Garzweiler coal mine means more harm to our planet and people at the frontline.

— Elizabeth Wathuti ?? (@lizwathuti) January 16, 2023

Standing in solidarity with #Lützerath, a German village threatened to be demolished for an expansion of a coal mine.

We demand that #Luetzerathbleibt!

— Nakabuye Hilda F. (@NakabuyeHildaF) January 14, 2023

The eviction of #LÜTZERATH is a total symbol of failure of the german and European leaders in the fight for climate Justice, We demand immediate coal exit,lutzerath must stay. #PeopleNotProfit

— PATIENCE NABUKALU (@patienceNabz) January 14, 2023

The Ecocide campaign, which is working to make the destruction of nature a crime, is circulating an image of the mine, asking people to sign the petition.

It states; “We call on all governments to declare support for making ecocide an international crime, in the knowledge that many countries must stand together to put this law in place for the long-term protection of all life on Earth. You can sign it here.” The mine is the perfect example of why Governments should be held to account for ecocide and the violence that so often is entwined with it.

We are working to make the widespread destruction of nature (#ecocide) an international crime.

?Join us?

Sign the international petition today:

Image credit: Sean Gallup / Getty#StopEcocide #EndEcocide

— Stop Ecocide International (@EcocideLaw) January 15, 2023

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How abandoned mines can become clean energy storage systems

Mining.Com - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 07:05

An international team of researchers has developed a novel way to store energy by transporting sand into abandoned underground mines. The new technique, called Underground Gravity Energy Storage (UGES), proposes an effective long-term energy storage solution while also making use of now-defunct mining sites.

In a paper published in the journal Energies, the scientists explain that UGES generates electricity when the price is high by lowering sand into an underground mine and converting the potential energy of the sand into electricity via regenerative braking and then lifting the sand from the mine to an upper reservoir using electric motors to store energy when electricity is cheap. 

Regenerative braking is an energy recovery mechanism that slows down a moving vehicle or object, such as an elevator, by converting its kinetic energy into a form that can be either used immediately or stored until needed. In other words, the electric traction motor uses the vehicle’s momentum to recover energy that would otherwise be lost to the brake discs as heat. Regenerative braking system lifts are already applied in newly highly energy-efficient buildings. 

Underground Gravity Energy Storage system: a schematic of different system sections. (Graph by Hunt et al.).

Based on this principle, the main components of UGES are a vertical shaft, a motor/generator, upper and lower storage sites, and mining equipment. Using the shaft and electric motor/generators, large volumes of sand are lifted and dumped. The deeper and broader the mineshaft, the more power can be extracted from the plant, and the larger the mine, the higher the plant’s energy storage capacity. 

“When a mine closes, it lays off thousands of workers. This devastates communities that rely only on the mine for their economic output. UGES would create a few vacancies as the mine would provide energy storage services after it stops operations,” Julian Hunt, lead author of the study and a researcher at the International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis, said in a media statement.

“Mines already have the basic infrastructure and are connected to the power grid, which significantly reduces the cost and facilitates the implementation of UGES plants.”

According to Hunt, other energy storage methods, like batteries, lose energy via self-discharge over long periods. The energy storage medium of UGES is sand, meaning that there is no energy lost to self-discharge, enabling ultra-long time energy storage ranging from weeks to several years.

The researcher noted that the investment costs of UGES are about 1 to 10 USD/kWh and power capacity costs of 2 USD/kW. The technology is estimated to have a global potential of 7 to 70 TWh, with most of this potential concentrated in China, India, Russia and the United States.

“To decarbonize the economy, we need to rethink the energy system based on innovative solutions using existing resources. Turning abandoned mines into energy storage is one example of many solutions that exist around us, and we only need to change the way we deploy them,” study co-author Behnam Zakeri said.

Mining’s top ten ‘S’ trends in ESG for 2023

Mining.Com - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 06:35

To say 2022 was tumultuous is an understatement. War, inflation, climate disasters, market volatility: the past year was anything but business as usual for most. ESG, which had seemed firmly embedded in business, began to experience a backlash, facing criticism as a “woke capitalist” distraction. Yet, a recent Harvard study indicates 81% of institutional investors in the US and 83.6% in Europe plan to increase their ESG allocations over the next two years.

And while climate change continued to dominate, biodiversity and other topics entered global sustainability discourse, revealing widespread recognition that the challenges we face today are deeply interconnected economic, political, social, and environmental issues requiring holistic, collective action.

With so much upheaval, it can be difficult to spot the trends and anticipate what lies ahead for mining companies and their ESG journeys. With standards and regulations ensuring social topics become more firmly embedded in expected ESG practice this year, expect “S” to feature more prominently. What might that look like? Here are our top 10 “S” trends mining companies should take note of and take action on in 2023.

1: Global crises driving local risk

Last year saw a confluence of global challenges that had decidedly local impacts. Global energy prices, political unrest, extreme weather and climate disasters, food shortages, inflation, supply chain disruptions, diminished ecosystem services, and lingering pandemic impacts affected the resilience of countries, regions, and communities.

The UN reported that, by August 2022, cost of living increases had already pushed 71 million into poverty this past year, while the IMF forecasts that 2023 will feel like a recession for many. Socio-economic stress often leads to social unrest and can also drive resource nationalism. In 2023, contributions to local poverty relief, liveability, and economic development can build resilience in your company’s operating context, contributing to stronger relationships and helping manage asset-level social risk.

2: Investors expecting more robust community practices

Codification of social management practices is maturing, including ICMM’s 2022 Performance Expectations and a growing list of industry and commodity -specific standards, principles, and protocols. In 2023, tailings management will be a key area of action, as  ICMM members, responsible operators, and miners with particularly ESG-oriented investors implement the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM), which contains a robust set of expectations around community engagement, participation, and collaboration, as well as socio-economic assessment, that don’t reflect most companies’ current practices.

With strong investor endorsement, GISTM is raising the bar for operational community involvement across the industry in 2023, and companies will do well to review and/or upgrade their social management practices to avoid being caught flat-footed.

3: Mainstream operationalization of UNGPs

The UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) have rapidly become the global standard for corporate human rights, and particularly for asset-level community feedback (or grievance) mechanisms. Its Reporting Framework is backed by a coalition of 88 investors with US$5.3 trillion in assets under management. Multiple industry frameworks including the RGMPs, GISTM, IRMA, the Equator Principles, and ICMM’s Performance Expectations explicitly reference alignment with the UNGPs.

The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the IFC Performance Standards help to operationalize the principles, as does MAC TSM’s operational grievance mechanism design guide.  Even the new GRI Reporting Standards, effective January 1, 2023, include UNGP disclosure. The UNGPs are here to stay. As human rights legislation proliferates globally in 2023, and investors recognize the significance of human rights risk, companies can expect the UNGP “Effectiveness Criteria” to increasingly feature in mining ESG audits and due diligence.

4: Drive to improve DEI performance

Expectations of mining company action on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have grown rapidly in recent years. Several reports have now revealed widespread discrimination, harassment, racism, and sexual violence; findings that are symptomatic of industry-wide inadequate efforts to create safe and inclusive workplaces that attract and retain a variety of talent. And a range of stakeholders are taking note and taking action. While major proxy advisory firms update their proxy voting policies on DEI, asset managers seek disclosure on a broader range of DEI themes – mining CEOs have indicated to EY that DEI performance is the social topic on which they expect most investor scrutiny in 2023. Meanwhile, employees are voting with their feet. Workers leave mining more than other sectors, forecasted mining worker shortages are in the hundreds of thousands globally, and mining engineering degree enrolment is in decline in Canada, the US, and Australia. Mining companies will urgently need to understand and improve their DEI performance and worker experience to secure continued access to relevant talent in 2023.

5: Shifting materiality and ESG prioritization

As ESG matures, companies will need to shift away from outdated approaches to materiality and disclosure. Processes that focus excessively on opinions of select company and external stakeholders and communications that parlay one ESG success story into purported sustainability leadership fall short of what’s expected of companies today. No more cherry-picking only those areas of competitive advantage, strong performance, or trendy topics. Instead, meaningful materiality requires a robust understanding and analysis of your impacts (actual/potential and positive/negative) to prioritize ESG action and disclosure, even when it’s uncomfortable. While some continue to focus exclusively on financial materiality, this year will see “double materiality” (capturing both socio-environmental impacts and financial risk) emerge as a foundation for more effective enterprise risk management.

Social topics on which mining companies are likely to have impacts — such as human and Indigenous Peoples’ rights, DEI, cultural heritage, and community impacts — are likely to demand and receive more strategic ESG attention. And with ESG litigation on the rise as more stakeholders rely on sustainability information, any inaccurate analysis, action, and disclosure means risking great financial, relationship, and reputational costs.

6: ESG standardization and harmonization advances

Broad criticism of the vast inconsistencies among ESG disclosure standards, requirements, and related rating and ranking frameworks are prompting continued efforts to standardize and harmonize. This year will see the much-anticipated completion of the ISSB’s institutional and technical efforts to set the global standard for (investor-focused) sustainability-related disclosure. Meanwhile, recent and imminent ESG rating regulation, especially in the EU, suggests a trend of pushing from pure “enterprise value” ESG towards double materiality. Additionally, a systems lens is emerging across all ESG disclosure and assessment, which acknowledges the interconnected nature and deep complexity of sustainability issues such as climate change, persistent inequality, and loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. As a result, companies can expect calls to pay closer attention to social impacts and community collaboration requirements in scenario and emergency response planning — whether for tailings management, climate change, nature loss, or operational emergencies – so that stakeholders can assess and compare the level of embeddedness and success of ESG practices. 

7: Radical transparency

To help build credibility within an often-distrusted sector, both voluntary and mandatory disclosures are promoting radical transparency on impacts, risks, and performance. The GISTM, GRI, EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), and other initiatives will set a new tone in 2023 for disclosure on a broader range of topics to a broader range of stakeholders. Transparency, including for co-design and collaborative risk management, will result in better-informed stakeholders. While companies may initially feel vulnerable about disclosure of, perhaps, imperfect practices or not-yet-good-enough performance, especially at a local community level, operators should prepare for these standards to usher in an era of enhanced transparency and new levels of community co-development in operational decision-making and risk management.

8: Lens on value chains

Value chains and their often hidden social and environmental risks and impacts are shifting into focus. Mandatory due diligence and disclosure requirements are emerging in jurisdictions and standards globally. Climate disclosure rules are expected in 35 jurisdictions and several, such as the US SEC’s regulations, cover Scope 3 (value chain) emissions. The ISSB plans to adopt the same scope. Meanwhile, human rights legislation, including the EU’s Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, has been enacted or tabled in at least 15 countries (hosting over half of all ESG raters), many with a growing focus on modern slavery.

Mining companies, with their products being early in the value chain, can expect an increase in information requests and demands to demonstrate or improve their human rights performance. Downstream value chain partners and investors who, themselves, are under regulatory pressure to conduct human rights due diligence across supply chains and investment portfolios, may be compelled to divest from miners who cannot, in a timely manner, demonstrate good human rights practices and performance.

9: Growth of “green-hushing”

Last year, we anticipated a significant rejection of greenwashing by companies without the sustainability credentials to back up their commitments. Well, that happened, and then some… Companies rushing to put out vague and lofty commitments for the sake of having, say, a climate goal to point to, faced a backlash from critical stakeholders questioning the substance behind their objectives. We now see a growing new trend of “green-hushing.”

A recent South Pole report found that 25% of companies now don’t plan to talk about their science-aligned climate targets at all, usually to avoid scrutiny. This is detrimental to companies and the broader industry, hampering crucial industry knowledge-sharing on decarbonization, while possibly eroding stakeholder trust and social acceptability. In 2023, companies are advised to take a thoughtful, credible approach rather than opting for silence, such as by setting public objectives to deepen their understanding of issues like climate change before setting science-based emissions reduction targets.

10: Taking a stance on social issues

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, more than anything before, demonstrated that not only consumer brands but mining companies, too, are expected to “care.” Several mining investors and operators opted to divest from or sell Russia-based assets and many more were compelled to issue position statements on the topic to clarify their rejection of Russia’s actions. The 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer suggested that “societal leadership” is now seen as a “core function of business” and forecasted that calls for business to take a stand on and engage even more in societal issues are growing.

But while stakeholders increasingly expect corporate action and positions on economic inequality, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, and other issues with social implications, PWC’s 2022 Corporate Director Survey suggests that most Boards are not substantially discussing social issues as part of their governance responsibilities and may be missing a key blind spot.

Overall, we have seen ESG become more deeply entrenched in global business and investment practice in 2022, a trend which shows no signs of abating in the year ahead, to the chagrin of some. Polarization and politicization of ESG are on the rise in the US and beyond. And, as a global recession looms, companies will need to balance the need to manage longer-term ESG risk while continuing to meet immediate financial performance objectives, even as development and operating costs continue to rise for many.

However, the underpinning principles of managing business risk and reducing adverse impacts through responsible governance and sustainable operations remain valid as ever, as interconnected challenges continue to pose familiar and unprecedented risks to companies globally. The number of consumers and investors who care about environmental and social issues only continues to grow, with a lens to the future and undeterred by the politics of the day. So, mining companies will do well to ensure their leadership and boards are equipped to manage and govern their businesses responsibly in a world of volatility and increasingly interconnected impacts; they may find 2023 is the year to cultivate that crucial social performance skillset.

Elizabeth Freele and Rachel Dekker are the co-founders and managing partners of mining sustainability think tank and ESG consultancy Sympact. Sympact supports companies in ensuring their social performance meets growing expectations through advisory services, training, and thought leadership products.

Pan American Silver offers to acquire Yamana Gold shares for $1 billion

Mining.Com - Mon, 01/16/2023 - 13:01

Two proxy firms are recommending that Yamana Gold (TSX:YRI; NYSE:AUY) accept a $1 billion takeover offer from Vancouver’s Pan American Silver (TSX,NYSE:PAAS).

Yamana Gold announced Friday that Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass, Lewis & Co. LLC are recommending the company accept Pan American’s offer to acquire all of Yamana’s issued and outstanding shares.

As part of the deal, Yamana Gold would sell its Canadian assets to Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (TSX:NYSE:AEM), including its 50% share of Canadian Malartic mine, which Yamana co-owns with Agnico.

Agnico Eagle, Pan American to buy Yamana Gold in $4.8bn deal

Canadian Malartic, near Val-d’Or, Quebec, is Canada’s largest operating gold mine. It was developed by Osisko Mining, and acquired by Yamana and Agnico in 2014.

Yamana Gold has five operating mines – including Canadian Malartic – that produced 1 million ounces of gold in 2021. Through the acquisition, Pan American will acquire four operating gold mines and a number of development projects in Latin America.

Yamana Gold shareholders will receive $1 billion in cash, and 153.5 million common shares of Pan American and 36.1 million common shares of Agnico. Shareholders would receive receive $1.0406 — 0.0376 of an Agnico Share and 0.1598 of a Pan American Share — for each common share held, according to a press release in November.

“Yamana investors are poised to receive, among other things, significant exposure to what we consider to be two highly credible operators with more tailored regional bona fides, compatible assets and a more credible ability to fully realize the potential of Yamana’s blended portfolio,” Glass Lewis said in a Yamana Gold news release.

“We further consider the associated terms appear to reflect a reasonable value for Yamana investors, and would further note post announcement trading trends and fixed exchange ratios have further increased that value roughly 16.4% on a per share basis.”

Yamana Gold shareholders will vote on the offer at a special meeting January 31.

(This article first appeared in Business in Vancouver)

Ogoni 9 Widows Dutch court case against Shell

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com - Mon, 01/16/2023 - 03:56

The struggle continues: Please show compassion for the widows of the Ogoni 9



When the Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa was murdered in 1995 along with eight other colleagues, his reported final words were: “Lord take my soul, but the struggle continues”.

Saro-Wiwa and the others had been campaigning against Shell’s ecological destruction of Ogoniland. Thirty years ago this month, on January 4 1995, some 300,000 Ogoni, some sixty per cent of the population, peacefully protested against the oil giant’s activities. At the time, it was the largest mobilisation against an oil company worldwide.

One Ogoni leader told the crowd that day that we have “woken up to find our lands devastated by agents of death called oil companies. Our atmosphere has been totally polluted, our lands degraded, our waters contaminated, our trees poisoned.”

The energy and hope of that day have been long eroded in the decades that have passed. On November 10 1995, Saro-Wiwa and the other Ogoni 9, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levula, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine were murdered by the Nigerian military after a sham trial to silence their campaign against Shell.

For years, some of the widows of the Ogoni 9 sought justice and to hold Shell to account for its role in the death of their husbands.

In 2002, one widow, Esther Kiobel sued Shell in the United States, where she had been granted asylum. Over ten years later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over the case, meaning U.S. courts never got to examine the facts of the case.

In 2017, Esther Kiobel and three other widows, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo, and Charity Levula, brought a new legal case against Shell in the Netherlands.  During the trial, three witnesses stood under oath and, one by one, testified that Shell bribed them.

Last year, in a devastating verdict for the widows, the court sided with Shell. The judge dismissed these witnesses and evidence, saying that this was not enough to prove that Shell was guilty. You can read the judgement here.

Justice may have been denied, but the struggle continues. Now it could be your turn to help. Please give generously. The link to the page is here.



Commerce Team

case number / cause list number: C/09/540872 / HA ZA 17-1048

Judgment of 23 March 2022

in case of

1[claimant 1] [place 1] , [country 1] ,

2. [claimant 2] or [place 2] , [country 2] ,

3. [claimant 3] or [place 3] , [country 3] ,

4. [claimant 4] or [place 4] , [country 3] ,


counsel Mr. Ch. Samkalden or Amsterdam,


1. ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC of London, United Kingdom, with its registered office in The Hague, Netherlands,

2. SHELL PETROLEUM NV of The Hague, Netherlands,


4. THE SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY OF NIGERIA LTD of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Federal Republic of Nigeria,


counsel mr. WI Wisman of The Hague.

Claimants are hereinafter jointly referred to as ‘claimants’ and individually as [claimant 1] , [claimant 2] , [claimant 3] and [claimant 4] . Defendants are hereinafter jointly referred to as ‘defendants’ and individually as RDS, SPNV, STTC and SPDC.

1 The proceedings


The course of the proceedings is evidenced by the following:

– the interlocutory judgment of 1 May 2019 and the documents referred to therein;

– the official reports of the witness examinations of 8 and 9 October 2019 and of 25 September 2020;

– the claimants’ document containing Exhibits, with Exhibits;

– the parties’ statements after the witness examinations, with Exhibits;

– the claimants’ document commenting on Exhibits, with Exhibits.

1.2.Finally, judgment was scheduled for today.

2 The further assessment

2.1.The claimants are the widows of four of a group of nine men, also known as the Ogoni 9, who were hanged in Nigeria on 10 November 1995 following a death sentence passed by a special tribunal for their involvement in the death of four traditional Ogoni leaders at a meeting in Giokoo in 1994. The claimants hold the defendants co-responsible for their husbands’ arrest, detention, conviction, and the subsequent execution of the sentence. In brief, they argue that the defendants were instrumental in, and therefore liable for, the human rights violations to which the claimants and their husbands were subjected.

2.2.In the interlocutory judgment, binding final decisions were made regarding the defendants’ invocation of a time limit and regarding the claimants’ accusations, apart from the alleged involvement of the SPDC in bribing witnesses. This accusation details that the SPDC influenced the trial against the Ogoni 9 by bribing witnesses to make incriminating statements, which were decisive for the conviction of the claimants’ husbands and/or played a role in their arrest and detention. The court has allowed the claimants to submit proof of their allegations – contested by the defendants, stating reasons – regarding the involvement of the SPDC in bribing the witnesses named by the claimants and the use of these witness statements – to be determined per husband and/or claimant – in the conviction and/or arrest and detention of the claimants’ husbands and /or the detention of the claimants. The alleged involvement of the SPDC in bribing the witnesses [witness 1] , [witness 2] , [witness 3] , [witness 4] , [witness 5] , [witness 6] , [witness 7] and [witness 8] consists of the presence of the attorney [Attorney] or of a representative of the SPDC at the meeting(s) where these witnesses had to write down or sign statements drawn up by others, financial contributions by the SPDC towards payments to these witnesses, and the promise of a job to these witnesses by the SPDC.

2.3.The claimants had examined the following witnesses: [witness 1] (hereinafter: [witness 1] ), [witness 2] (hereinafter: [witness 2] ), [witness 7] (hereinafter: [witness 7] ), [witness 9 ] (hereinafter: [witness 9] ) and [witness 10] (hereinafter: [witness 10] ). The defendants decided against a cross-examination. The delegated judge examined the witnesses in the English language or Pidgin English with the help of an interpreter. The questions and answers are reproduced verbatim in the official reports. There are also reports in the English language, drawn up by court reporters engaged by the defendants. These reports have been submitted to the proceedings. Both the claimants and the defendants have submitted new Exhibits to the proceedings.


The defendants have noted that, when viewing the witness statements and the submitted Exhibits in conjunction, it cannot be ruled out that the (intended) witnesses in the Ogoni trial were coerced or pressured to make statements in the trial and/or that they were promised some sort of reward. The court concurs with this. These proceedings, however, revolve around establishing whether or not the SPDC was involved in these matters and thus influenced the trial against the claimants’ husbands or facilitated the detention of the claimants.

The court concludes that this is not the case and has been considered as follows.

2.5.It is an established fact that [witness 1] and [witness 2] , who both made incriminating statements to the police about the events in Giokoo, made supplementary affidavits on 16 and 27 February 1995 at the offices of one of the attorneys of the accused . In those affidavits, they stated that they and several other witnesses had been pressured by the main prosecution witnesses, [main prosecution witness 1] (hereinafter: [main prosecution witness 1] ) – the brother of one of the killed men – and [main prosecution witness 2] , to sign false, incriminating statements against [Q] (hereinafter: [Q] ) and other accused. The affidavits state that the witnesses were paid and that they were promised contracts at ‘Shell’ and OMPADEC [Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, a Nigerian government institution, added by the court]. The alleged witness bribery is mentioned in the reports of [Reporter] and Human Rights Watch (see under 2.31 and 2.32 of the interlocutory judgment). The defendants rightly note that [Reporter] does not mention any involvement of the SPDC in the witness bribery described in his report. The Human Rights Watch report states that these accusations of bribery were denied at the time by both the prosecutor and the SPDC. The alleged witness bribery was also discussed during the trial before the tribunal (see legal ground 4.91 of the interlocutory judgment). The tribunal denied an application to enter the affidavits of [witness 1] and [witness 2] into evidence. From the trial reports issued to the SPDC of the colleagues of attorney [Attorney] – who acted as watching brief for the SPDC during the trial – it follows that the tribunal interviewed [main prosecution witness 1] as a witness. In the cross-examination, [main prosecution witness 1] denied that Shell, the Rivers State administration and he personally paid [witness 2] 30,000 naira.


The alleged involvement of the SPDC in witness bribery already received attention during and at the time of the tribunal. At the time, the SPDC categorically denied that accusation in a telex of 28 February 1995 to the editor-in-chief of the newspaper The Masses , who had published an article on [witness 1] , in which [witness 1]’s affidavit had been printed. The telex states, inter alia:

“I was very surprised to read allegations that Shell had offered bribes of cash and contracts to prosecution witnesses in the trial of four Ogonis for murder.

These are extremely serious allegations (…).

I therefor take this opportunity to state categorically that this company has at no time offered any bribes to any prosecution witnesses in this case or any other case. (…) Moreover, the company has no involvement in this case.”

Furthermore, an internal SPDC memo dated 22 February 1995 states:

“I have received our lawyer’s report which says that [A] presented an affidavit of one [witness 1] (a prosecution witness) stating that he was induced to make his statement to the prosecution on the promise of 30,000 naira and contract from Shell and Ompadec. (…) This state is completely baseless and untrue!”


[witness 1] stated the following in his affidavit:

“On another date of meeting in [main prosecution witness 1] ‘s House representative from Shell, OMPADEC, Security agents, Government officials and the [main prosecution witness 1] , [Y] and [Z] ‘s family were present and they all agreed.

The family gave some money and say that the money came from the government and Shell. In my case I was given N30,000.00 (Thirty Thousand Naira) from Shell and Government (…).”


As a witness in these proceedings, [witness 1] has testified that about three weeks after the murder of the Ogoni leaders he was picked up and taken to the house of the killed Chief [X] in Port Harcourt. He had to stay in the adjacent area for some time and was taken to the police building complex, the officers’ mess, in the government residential area, or GRA, on several occasions during that period, where he was made to write a statement. [main prosecution witness 1] pressured [witness 1] to write a statement. [witness 1] was also hit over the head with a power cable by a police officer. [witness 1] has also stated that at one point he was taken to [main prosecution witness 1]’s large house, where ‘Shell officials’ and ‘government officials’were present, and who did not identify themselves. However, he did hear that one of them was referred to as ‘[Name Mr] ‘. When asked how he knew that they were ‘Shell men’, [witness 1] stated the following:

“When they said they would do something for me, I said how, and then they said, please, this gentleman can help you. So they could also agree to the offer that was made. And at that moment I thought: wow, this is a nice quick solution. (…)

I know that they are from Shell because of the way they speak. They were saying things that were different or different speak than the other men. So the way in which they spoke, and what they said and the way they reacted, and they also said Omamasain. (…) So I knew by the way they spoke they were from Shell.”

2.9.From this it follows that [witness 1] assumed that the men were ‘Shell officials’ on account of the way they talked and behaved and because they mentioned ‘Omamassin’ – which should be understood (and this is not in dispute) as a reference to Rumuomasi, a district in Port Harcourt where the SPDC’s head offices are located. This inference made by [witness 1] is not supported by objective facts and therefore cannot contribute towards proving that the men were indeed ‘Shell officials’. The same applies to his statement that the men left in a Peugeot 504 with a Shell BP sticker. It is not in dispute that the SPDC previously used the name Shell BP, but has not used that name since 1979. The claimants assert that, since the current SPDC previously used the name Shell BP for years, it must be assumed that ‘SPDC’ and ‘Shell BP’ are used interchangeably in popular parlance, just like [witness 1] did in his statement when referring to the SPDC. Be that as it may, [witness 1] – who was questioned extensively about the car and the sticker and who made a drawing of the car – only made a statement about a ‘Shell BP’ sticker. That statement is insufficient to assume that the car at that time was used by the SPDC or an SPDC official. This is all the more true since at that time the SPDC had long since ceased using the name Shell BP. Furthermore, the claimants’ assertion that the SPDC frequently used Peugeots 504 in those days is inconsistent with [witness 1]’s statement that the car was an ‘official government car’ only used by officers. Lastly, the court sees no reason to order the defendants to launch a further investigation into the ‘ [Name Mr] ‘ mentioned by [witness 1] in his statement, as requested by the claimants. The mere mention of this name during the witness examination of 2019 is insufficient reason for doing so. the court sees no reason to order the defendants to launch a further investigation into the ‘ [Name Mr] ‘ mentioned by [witness 1] in his statement, as requested by the claimants. The mere mention of this name during the witness examination of 2019 is insufficient reason for doing so. the court sees no reason to order the defendants to launch a further investigation into the ‘ [Name Mr] ‘ mentioned by [witness 1] in his statement, as requested by the claimants. The mere mention of this name during the witness examination of 2019 is insufficient reason for doing so.


[witness 1] has stated that “ Shell BP gave me money”. In his account of how this all happened, he testified that [main prosecution witness 1] gave him 30,000 naira in cash, saying:

“That Shell will pay us. They said that, it’s Shell who gives you this money, and if you go to court later on, you should say this about MOSOP so that Shell can give us more things”. They said, “Accept this money so that later on, if we need anything for the court case”, then I would have to speak out against [Q]’s case.”

When asked how he knew that the money had come from Shell, [witness 1] tested as follows:

“ [main prosecution witness 1] gave the money to me. He said, “You can support this case against MOSOP, and Shell can then come into Ogoniland. (…) [main prosecution witness 1] himself said to me that he was given the money by Shell. (…) And he told me that if we can follow this case against MOSOP, that Shell would do more than just this.”

2.11.From this statement, it can only be deduced that [main prosecution witness 1] told [witness 1] that ‘Shell’ would pay him and that the money [witness 1] was handed had come from ‘Shell’, not that the money was , in fact, the SPDCs. Nor can any indications about the SPDC’s involvement in the alleged witness bribery be derived from [main prosecution witness 1]’s promise of a job at ‘Shell’, about which both [witness 1] and [witness 2] made statements. There are no concrete facts and circumstances that suggest that [main prosecution witness 1]’s promise can be attributed to the SPDC. This promise was also not fulfilled, unlike [main prosecution witness 1] ‘s promise of a government position, which was followed by the appointments of [witness 1] , [witness 2] and [witness 4] , which the claimants have entered into evidence.


[witness 10] , one of the attorneys during the trial, stated that [witness 1] had told him that Shell and the government had paid him 30,000 naira to furnish proof. [witness 10] tested that [witness 1] had told him the following:

“Cash. It was given in cash. So he put it in writing, he swore to it in an affidavit and Shell never challenged him. Shell never challenged him. (…) I just said [witness 1] said he was given 30,000 naira to give evidence against the defendant, to make a statement and then be a witness in court, against the defendant, by telling a lie against the defendant. Hey

had made the statement to the police implicating the defendant. (…) Well, he said that the official who gave him the money, right, was an official of Shell and the government official was present when he was given the money.”

2.13.As with [witness 1] ‘s statement, the mentioned involvement of the SPDC is not supported by objective facts and circumstances. [witness 10] also wrongly assumes that the SPDC has never denied or expressed doubts about the alleged witness bribery. Furthermore, rather than a witness statement about the order to furnish proof [witness 10]’s statement reads more as a legal argument, which also brings up accusations (such as the watching brief) regarding which the court has already taken binding final decisions.


[witness 2] previously made a statement in his affidavit of 27 February 1995, which forms part of the case file. On 19 March 2004, he made a comprehensive sworn statement in the [trial X] in the United States. His affidavit states that the police asked him to sign a prepared incriminating statement against [Q] and:

“That when I refused to sign the Statement [main prosecution witness 1] brought out N30,000.00 and told me that was my own share of money given to the witnesses by government and Shell and that if I signed the Statement I would go with the said N30,000.00 and that I would always be given money and other benefits including:

(a) My being employed in Gokana Local Government (…)

(b) My being given weekly allowances of between N1,000.00 and N2,000.00 as the case may be.

(c) My being promised award of contracts from Shell and OMPADEC.”


In these proceedings, [witness 2] has testified that following the murder of the four traditional Ogoni leaders, [main prosecution witness 1] took him and several other witnesses to Port Harcourt, where he stayed in a building of the Federal Investigation and Intelligence Bureau (FIIB) in the government residential area (GRA). Several days after he had given a statement, in which he incriminated no one, the police presented a statement which he had to copy verbatim and sign. He received 30,000 naira for his police statement in the presence of police chief [main prosecution witness 1] and other witnesses. [witness 2] has stated the following about this:

“They said they will surely give us — they give us cash. They give us cash that very day, and they promise us a job, and they said because Shell is involved, that they will give us contracts (…) Okay. When this money first — when this first money came in, they give it at our own present, at my own present. They hand it over from the commissioner of police, give it to [main prosecution witness 1] , that this money has come from Shell, and they now said, “Okay, this is Shell staff, this is this person, this is this person “, what their names are.”

When asked who the remark ‘this is Shell personnel’ referred to, [witness 2] answered as follows:

“The person who was standing with them, yes, with the team, the FIIB team and the commissioner (…) The commissioner came in with — with his own team and the Shell staff. (…) Everybody that was – that I mentioned.”

[witness 2] has stated the following about one of the men who was ‘Shell personnel’:

“he brought the money and give it to the – this incident, the commissioner, and the commissioner hand it over to [main prosecution witness 1] at our present — at my present. (…) Openly they said it to us — to me, at my present, that this money come from Shell. (…) Even the commissioner. [main prosecution witness 1] said it too.”

2.16.It is the court’s opinion that [witness 2] , like [witness 1] , assumed that a man was ‘Shell personnel’ without this being supported by objective facts. From his statement it can only be deduced that it was said that someone was ‘Shell personnel’, and that it was said that the money that was handed over had come from ‘Shell’. This does not prove the presence of an SPDC official nor does it prove that the money had indeed come from the SPDC. It is also unclear what the ‘Shell personnel’ supposedly did. Like [witness 1] , [witness 2] attributes a key role to [main prosecution witness 1] , who was always present according to his statement, and who took care of everything, made promises and paid the witnesses.


During the [trial X] in the United States, [witness 2] stated that [Attorney] , the attorney for the SPDC, was present at a meeting in the government house in Rivers State in July 1994, where [main prosecution witness 1] made the witnesses sign statements presented to them (see legal ground 4.88 of the interlocutory judgment). In response to the question “ I’m just asking if you recall were there any other people there? Was there anyone, for example, from – that you believed to be from SPDC?” [witness 2] answered as follows in this statement: “That’s what I want to explain to you. Yes. I have somebody who was there. This is a time he came in, he came in with money. Sign this statement that we involve [Q] and the rest and they give you the money and [witness 3] , he was very, very intelligent and he asked [main prosecution witness 1] , where is this money from? He said, this money come from Shell, government of Nigeria. This is why the chairman, the lawyer representative is here.”

In 2004, [witness 2] also stated that he met [Attorney] a second time, namely on the last day the witnesses were instructed about the trial. According to [witness 2]’s statement, there were drinks and snacks and the witnesses received money.

2.18.The defendants have vigorously contested the alleged involvement of [Attorney] , and [Attorney] himself denied any involvement in witness bribery in a written statement dated 19 February 2018.


As a witness in these proceedings, [witness 2] has once again tested about an attorney for the SPDC. He has stated that this attorney, carrying a suitcase with money, appeared on the last day the witnesses were prepared by police officers for the trial before the tribunal. [witness 2] has stated that in that period he regularly received a sum of money from [main prosecution witness 1] for his cooperation and that he found out later that one of the individuals who was present at the preparatory sessions was one of the tribunal members. Regarding the final preparatory session, he has stated the following:

“It was by then that very day they said, “Okay, this is Shell lawyer”. (…) Yes, that was the first time he came in, that very person, Shell’s lawyer, and other government personalities, they were all there. (…) What I’m saying, the very — after the training, the final day that — before they will now proceed on the tribunal, the day before, and they now give us money to take, “This money is from Shell”. (…) They hand over the money from commissioner to [main prosecution witness 1] at our present. They say okay — because when all of them came — everybody came in, they introduce themselves. “This is me, this is this person”. So on our mind was that as soon as Shell come in, we think we are going to have money, we think we are going to be big.”

When asked if that ‘attorney for Shell’ had the money on him on that occasion, [witness 2] answered as follows:

N: He brought the — there was a briefcase. In Nigeria is not here. You can even carry 10 million, 20 million in a briefcase.

J: So do I understand correctly that the person who was introduced as the Shell attorney indeed carried the briefcase with the money?

N: Yes, he came with the briefcase.

J: And what happened with that suitcase? Did he open it in your presence, right there and then, or did he hand it over to someone else? What happened with the briefcase?

N: He brought the briefcase, hand it over to the commissioner, and that very day, final day, the governor was even there. The governor was there. So they now hand over this money and give it to [main prosecution witness 1] . It was [main prosecution witness 1] that now, we share the money.

J: When the attorney was introduced, did they also give the name of that person?

N: Yes, they gave the name, but it’s a long time. I can’t remember exactly the name. What I can remember is that name “Shell”.

2.20.[witness 2] has given different descriptions of the appearance of the person who, according to him, was an attorney for the SPDC. In 2004, he stated that this person did not wear glasses and referred to him as [Attorney] : “ I say [Attorney] is not all that tall, not much tall, no more let me say he’s not so fat. Moderate size like that. He’s not like black. He’s not black like me. I’m entire black, so he’s not black like me.” In these proceedings, when asked if he remembered the attorney’s appearance, he responded as follows: “ A rather corpulent, tall man, black, a light black skin tone. (…) bold or very little hair (…) about 40 years old”.[witness 2]’s statement in these proceedings about the attorney also deviates from his 2004 statement in other respects. The court agrees with the claimants that [witness 2]’s description of his second meeting with the attorney is partially consistent with his description of the last day of the preparatory sessions – which the attorney for the SPDC also attended, according to him – given during the witness examination in these proceedings. However, in these proceedings, he has expressly stated that he met the attorney for the first time at the end of the preparatory sessions and has not made any statements about a second meeting. Due to the discrepancies between the different statements by [witness 2] about the involvement of [Attorney] /an attorney for the SPDC, it cannot be taken as an established fact that the SPDC or an attorney for the SPDC was involved in the alleged bribery of witnesses. The court does not acknowledge the claimants’ argument that no importance should be attached to these discrepancies because according to them it is understandable that after such a long time [witness 2] is unable to distinguish between the different meetings and cannot recall all the names of the persons who attended them. The discrepancies are too substantial. Apart from the foregoing, there are no specific leads based on which the alleged conduct of [Attorney]/the attorney for the SPDC can be attributed to the SPDC. In 2004, [witness 2] stated the following about this: The court does not acknowledge the claimants’ argument that no importance should be attached to these discrepancies because according to them it is understandable that after such a long time [witness 2] is unable to distinguish between the different meetings and cannot recall all the names of the persons who attended them. The discrepancies are too substantial. Apart from the foregoing, there are no specific leads based on which the alleged conduct of [Attorney]/the attorney for the SPDC can be attributed to the SPDC. In 2004, [witness 2] stated the following about this: The court does not acknowledge the claimants’ argument that no importance should be attached to these discrepancies because according to them it is understandable that after such a long time [witness 2] is unable to distinguish between the different meetings and cannot recall all the names of the persons who attended them. The discrepancies are too substantial. Apart from the foregoing, there are no specific leads based on which the alleged conduct of [Attorney]/the attorney for the SPDC can be attributed to the SPDC. In 2004, [witness 2] stated the following about this: Apart from the foregoing, there are no specific leads based on which the alleged conduct of [Attorney]/the attorney for the SPDC can be attributed to the SPDC. In 2004, [witness 2] stated the following about this: Apart from the foregoing, there are no specific leads based on which the alleged conduct of [Attorney]/the attorney for the SPDC can be attributed to the SPDC. In 2004, [witness 2] stated the following about this:“(…) I said I was bribed by Shell because I know [Attorney] is Shell representative, but he’s not Shell. When I said Shell bribed me and the government OMPADEC for me to testify false witness against [Q] and [witness 9] .”


[witness 7] has stated that “ Shell bribed us”. He has stated that he was in Giokoo on the day of the murders and that [main prosecution witness 1] , who coordinated everything, told him to testify against [B] . [witness 7] has stated the following about this:

“He [ [main prosecution witness 1] , court] said to me that I had to be a witness in the case and afterwards I would be paid by Shell. (…) After everything Shell promised a house in Abuja — a house in Abuja, and also a job. But none of that happened.

When asked who had promised him these things, he stated as follows:

“ [main prosecution witness 1] and the Shell people. Sometimes we are not able to know whether they are Shell or government because it’s not written on the person himself, you know, what company they represent or what authority they represent.”

[witness 7] has stated that [main prosecution witness 1] told him what to say ‘ So that Shell could give them money .’ He has given evidence about the preparatory sessions for the trial before the tribunal, which he and other witnesses received in the government residential area in Port Harcourt, where they stayed for several months. When asked about the role of Shell, he tested as follows:

“Y: I don’t know exactly who was who, but, again, [main prosecution witness 1] was the co-ordinator for Shell, and Shell arranged everything through [main prosecution witness 1] , because he co-ordinates everything.

J: How do you know that he coordinated everything for Shell?

Y: That’s all that I know. Shell did so many things, they also killed many people, and this is also why in our village we said we needed —

J: Basically, you’re saying Shell was in control, Shell did everything, and this is why [main prosecution witness 1] did all these things for Shell; is that how I should understand what you’re saying?

Y: It is Shell that caused the problem. It sponsored the problems in Ogoniland.

J: (…) Did [main prosecution witness 1] ever tell you directly that he was actually co-ordinating everything for Shell or on Shell’s behalf?

Y: He didn’t tell me explicitly, but we know that he is one of the co-ordinators because one of his relatives was (one of the leaders) in Giooko.

J: Might it well be that he was doing all of this for his own family because a family member was killed and not on Shell’s behalf?

Y: We know that Shell did everything. It was before the problems. It happened and it was the reason we know that Shell wants to come, and some people had accepted Shell as such.

J : (…) Did you ever see a representative or an employee of Shell there?

Y: I don’t know whether they were representatives of Shell. All that I know is that Shell is the reason why the problems occurred in Ogoni, and specifically for my village.

J: So basically you’re saying, “Shell caused all the problems, and I don’t know whether I saw specifically a representative of Shell in that time that I was there”?

Y: When these people came, they didn’t say that they were from Shell, but they all co-ordinated through him.

J: Through him, you mean [main prosecution witness 1] ; right?

Y: Yes, I do.

J: And nobody said, “These are people from Shell” or “a lawyer from Shell” or anything like that?

Y: No, they didn’t say that. On the day of the trial there will be different people, several people, but we didn’t know who.”

2.22.From [witness 7]’s witness statement it follows that [main prosecution witness 1] played a central role in the witnesses’ preparatory sessions and the payments. This is in line with the witness statements of [witness 1] and [witness 2] . What also applies to [witness 7] is that the SPDC’s involvement assumed by him is not based on concrete facts and circumstances. [witness 7] , [witness 1] and [witness 2] appear to be convinced of the SPDC’s involvement in the bribing of witnesses, about which they have tested. However, that conviction is not based on concrete facts and circumstances, as is apparent from the foregoing, but on assumptions and conclusions drawn by [witness 7] , [witness 1] and [witness 2] as well as on that which [main prosecution witness 1] , and others, told them. However,


Such an involvement of the SPDC is also not apparent from the statement of [witness 9] , one of the accused in the Ogoni trial who was acquitted. In his statement, he said that [C] , also known as (hereinafter: [nickname C] ) visited him in his cell and told him that he would be brought to the house of a Shell contractor by the name of [D] after his release. [witness 9] made the following statement about this:

“he told me that he felt — his conscience tells him he should inform me about the plot against us, and that he was — after being released, he was now taken to the residence of one local Shell contractor called [D] . (…) [D]’s house is just opposite the house of the late Chief [X] , who was one of the four chiefs that was killed. (…) […] : The gentleman said “Shell contractor”, that is correct, and not “Shell person”. Interpreter: As I translated, apologies. M: Yes, a local Shell contractor. While in that place, he met some Shell officials (…) some government officials, and some youths, including [witness 1] , [witness 4] , [witness 8] , and some others, and that they were schooling them to come and lie against us, and they were asking him also to do so. But that after a while he — now there was a lawyer who was there who now said that his own evidence might not stand because he was in detention while the murders took place. They were being promised sums of money. They were promised house and contracts. But that some of those youths later told him that they are scared to make those sort of — to tell those sort of lies against people like us, that they feared, and so he came to alert me that that is what is happening.”

It is not in dispute that a contractor is not an employee, official or representative of the SPDC. When asked how [nickname C] knew that the men he had with were ‘Shell officials’, [witness 9] answered as follows:

“My understanding of our conversation is that all the people who were in that meeting were introduced to all of them, because, according to him, they were making promises to get even contracts in Shell and they pointed out that this Shell official is here. They were promised a contract from the oil mineral development commission, which was — they called it OMPADEC. The officials were also there. So these were people introduced to them in that meeting. That’s my understanding of that meeting.”

[witness 9] has tested that [nickname C] told him that the Shell people were from the

“Government Community Relations Department” and that no names were given. [witness 9] has tested that later on he also talked to [D] about the meeting at [D]’s house and that [D] confirmed to him that people from OMPADEC, Shell and the government had attended that meeting.


The hearsay testimony of [witness 9] is insufficiently specific to be able to contribute to the evidence that the SPDC was indeed involved in the bribing of witnesses. This all the more true when considering that [D] is named in a written statement of police officer [police officer] (hereinafter: [police officer] ) dated 16 June 1994, which states:

“While both of us were with mr. [D] one [E] a native of Baraka-village came into the house to greet the contractor also.”

According to [police officer]’s testimony, when [E] states to recognize someone as one of the murderers of the four Ogoni chiefs, this person is arrested and taken to the police station. There is no basis to assume – as the claimants assert – that ‘ [E] ‘ is the witness [witness 8] (hereinafter: [witness 8] ), who hails from the same village. Apart from this, this testimony – even if ‘[E] ‘ were to refer to [witness 8] – does not say anything about the involvement of the SPDC in bribing witnesses.

2.25.The other statements made by [witness 9] also do not point to the involvement of the SPDC in bribing witnesses. His testimony about his question to SPDC employee [the employee] to see if the SPDC was willing to intervene, to which [the employee] responded that it was Shell policy to have all things related to the Ogoni case settled abroad and after which [witness 9] only heard through someone else that the SPDC had been ordered from abroad to cease addressing this issue, has nothing to do with witness bribery. In fact, this statement rather indicates that the SPDC did not want to interfere in the course of the trial.

2.26.In conclusion, the alleged involvement of the SPDC in witness bribery is not proven with the statements of the witnesses produced by the claimants. This is also true when viewing these witness statements in conjunction. This means that the claimants have failed to fulfill the first part of the order to furnish proof. The court is unable to assess the second part of the order to furnish proof regarding evidence for the use of the statements of the bribed witnesses – in part also by the SPDC – in each claimants’ husband’s case.

The applications for review

2.27.The claimants argue that the witness statements call for a review of two binding final decisions from the interlocutory judgment, namely in the first place the decision on the accusation that the defendants failed to use their influence – publicly or otherwise – to urge the Nigerian government to hold a fair trial and show clemency to the Ogoni 9. In the interlocutory judgment, the court considered that it had not found any reference points in Nigerian law, for instance in the form of precedents or widely accepted views among Nigerian jurists, for the viability of this accusation and that the defendants – insofar as they were even obliged to stage an intervention based on applicable Nigerian law – have done enough.

2.28.In part based on the witness statements, the claimants argue – in brief – that the neutral position the defendants have bestowed upon themselves does not correspond with the actual situation in which they found themselves. A situation in which human rights violations occurred partially in their names and (whether or not allegedly) in their interest. In the foregoing, the court has concluded that the circumstance that the SPDC was attributed a central role by various persons does not constitute evidence of the SPDC being actually involved in witness bribery. Even if it were possible to determine, based on the witness examinations, that the situation as indicated by the claimants existed, it has neither been argued, nor has it become evident that the defendants had any relevant knowledge of it. This means that this accusation lacks any factual basis. Furthermore, the defendants have contested, stating reasons, that their interest was served with the trial before the tribunal, the sentencing and hanging of the Ogoni 9. Furthermore, there are still no reference points in Nigerian law for the viability of this accusation. The court therefore sees no ground in the witness examinations to renege on its decision that the defendants have done enough, even if and insofar as they had any obligation under applicable Nigerian law to stage an intervention. The fact that the claimants disagree with this decision also does not constitute a ground for reneging on that decision. there are still no reference points in Nigerian law for the viability of this accusation. The court therefore sees no ground in the witness examinations to renege on its decision that the defendants have done enough, even if and insofar as they had any obligation under applicable Nigerian law to stage an intervention. The fact that the claimants disagree with this decision also does not constitute a ground for reneging on that decision. there are still no reference points in Nigerian law for the viability of this accusation. The court therefore sees no ground in the witness examinations to renege on its decision that the defendants have done enough, even if and insofar as they had any obligation under applicable Nigerian law to stage an intervention. The fact that the claimants disagree with this decision also does not constitute a ground for reneging on that decision.

2.29.Secondly, the claimants state that there is a reason for reviewing the conclusion that there is no room for further provision of evidence regarding the SPDC’s offer – as asserted by the claimants – to [the brother of Q] to intervene in the trial on the condition that MOSOP would cease its resistance. The claimants have accused the court of, inter alia, acting contrary to the prognosis prohibition on this issue.


From the reports drawn up at the time by [then Managing Director] (hereinafter: [then Managing Director] ), then Managing Director of the SPDC, as well as from the letter of [Q] cited in the interlocutory judgment, it follows that in his talks with [the brother of Q] , [then Managing Director] distinguished between two different topics: 1) the response of the SPDC to the request of [the brother of Q] to intervene in the trial, and 2) a dialogue with or without a contribution from the SPDC to specific projects. These reports state that the question to intervene in the trial was consistently and unconditionally answered in the negative, with the explanation that the SPDC does not interfere in such matters as it goes against its business principles. The conditions set by [then Managing Director] regard the second topic of discussion. In their accusation, the claimants have linked those conditions to the response to [the brother of Q]’s request to intervene in the trial. The same has happened in the testimony of [witness 9] , who has stated the following:

“But [Q] — I’m always calling him [Q] , because that’s what I call him, but when I say [Q] , I mean [Q] — [Q] showed me a note from his younger brother , Dr [the brother of Q] , that he had with the managing director of Shell in Nigeria, one [then Managing Director] , who demanded as a condition for their intervening in that matter to withdraw those charges that we stopped our international campaigns against Shell.”

2.31.The claimants’ remark about acting contrary to the prognosis prohibition, they fail to recognize that the court held that they had failed to argue convincingly that and why the content of the [then Managing Director] reports, which incidentally they had taken as starting points for other accusations, incorrectly reflect the matters discussed. Their reference to written statements, drawn up years after the fact and now supplemented with hearsay testimony of [witness 9] , is insufficient. Since the claimants have failed to meet their obligation to furnish facts, the provision of evidence cannot be decided on.

2.32.The court would like to add that the offer of proof can also be disregarded for being irrelevant. The claimants’ accusation appears to be motivated by their opinion that the SPDC had an obligation under applicable Nigerian law to intervene in the trial in favor of [Q] and should not have attached conditions to this. However, the claimants have failed to argue concretely that and why this is the case. Nor have they asserted that the requested intervention in favor of [Q] – which was the specific subject at hand – would have had an effect on the trials against their husbands and on the outcome of those trials. This is all the more relevant since the requested intervention concerned the personal circumstances of [Q] , namely his health. Since the claimants have failed to argue all of this,

2.33.In conclusion, the applications are rejected and the claimants are ordered to pay the costs of these proceedings, which are estimated up to this judgment at € 2,870 (€ 618 in court fee and € 2,252 in lawyers’ fees (4 points at rate II) .

3 The decision

The court:

3.1.dismisses the applications;

3.2.orders the claimants to pay the costs of the proceedings, estimated at € 2,870;

3.3.declares this judgment provisionally enforceable as regards the cost order.

This judgment was rendered by judges mr. L. Alwin, mr. B. Meijer and mr. AC Bordes and pronounced in open court on 23 March 2022.

Ogoni 9 Widows Dutch court case against Shell was first posted on January 16, 2023 at 12:56 pm.
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The struggle continues: Please show compassion for the widows of the Ogoni 9

Oil Change International - Mon, 01/16/2023 - 02:46
C: Hilde Brontsema

When the Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa was murdered in 1995 along with eight other colleagues, his reported final words were: “Lord take my soul, but the struggle continues”.

Saro-Wiwa and the others had been campaigning against Shell’s ecological destruction of Ogoniland. Thirty years ago this month, on January 4 1995, some 300,000 Ogoni, some sixty per cent of the population, peacefully protested against the oil giant’s activities. At the time, it was the largest mobilisation against an oil company worldwide.

One Ogoni leader told the crowd that day that we have “woken up to find our lands devastated by agents of death called oil companies. Our atmosphere has been totally polluted, our lands degraded, our waters contaminated, our trees poisoned.”

The vibrant energy as a community mobilised seeking social and environmental justice was palpable. The Ogoni sang, and they danced. They held placards, with one saying: “Gas flaring kills Ogoni.” There is an iconic picture of Saro-Wiwa taken that day addressing the crowd. His right arm is raised as he speaks passionately to the crowd. Since then, in the Niger Delta, the 4th of January has been known as Ogoni day.

The energy and hope of that day have been long eroded in the decades that have passed. On November 10 1995, Saro-Wiwa and the other Ogoni 9, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levula, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine were murdered by the Nigerian military after a sham trial to silence their campaign against Shell.

For years, some of the widows of the Ogoni 9 sought justice and to hold Shell to account for its role in the death of their husbands.

In 2002, one widow, Esther Kiobel sued Shell in the United States, where she had been granted asylum. Over ten years later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over the case, meaning U.S. courts never got to examine the facts of the case.

In 2017, Esther Kiobel and three other widows, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo, and Charity Levula, brought a new legal case against Shell in the Netherlands.  During the trial, three witnesses stood under oath and, one by one, testified that Shell bribed them.

Mark Dummett from Amnesty International tweeted live from the court. Here are a couple of tweets from that hearing:

after signing his statement he says he was given 30,000 Naira (same as what two previous witnesses said). Says this sum was handed over "in presence of Commissioner" (of police) and told it was from Shell.

— Mark Dummett (@MarkDummett) October 8, 2019

Nkpah claims Shell's lawyer was carrying a briefcase of money that was later distributed to the witnesses.

(Shell has always denied the allegations by Nkpah and others)

— Mark Dummett (@MarkDummett) October 8, 2019

Last year, in a devastating verdict for the widows, the court sided with Shell. The judge dismissed these witnesses and evidence, saying that this was not enough to prove that Shell was guilty. You can read the judgement here.

As I wrote about the case last year: “It is hard enough to get an oil giant in court. It is even harder when that oil giant delays proceedings for years, so memories begin to fade. Or harder still when it conceals evidence. Finally, it appears it is even harder to have the level of proof that the court was demanding – and it seems it was demanding a criminal level of proof in what was a civil case.”

The verdict again shows how difficult it is to hold the powerful with deep pockets and near-unlimited amounts of money to account.

After the judgement, Mark Dummett said, “these extraordinarily brave women are not giving up. Their voices have been heard. They should be commended for the invaluable work they have done to highlight the global culture of impunity for multinationals accused of human rights abuses.”

And then, in November last year, the widows made the heart-breaking decision to cancel any further legal proceedings. At the time, their Dutch lawyer, Channa Samkalden, said “Obviously this is not without disappointment and frustration. This has been a lengthy and demanding procedure, which makes them re-live horrible events, while the outcome is most uncertain.”

Channa added that she and others were working on initiatives to help provide the widows with essential financial assistance. And now one of those initiatives has gone live.

A Go Fund Me page has been created by the Dutch activist Hilde Brontsema, with help from Channa.

As Channa tweeted:

Please help Esther Kiobel, Vicoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula to a future brighter than their past. Donate and/or share the link: Even a small donation of €6 will help a Nigerian family through the week. Thank you. 5/5

— Channa Samkalden (@channasamkalden) January 10, 2023

Hilde has spent the past six years working on lawsuits against Shell, including the case against Shell in Nigeria. The money raised will be transferred in equal parts to the four women. One of the women, Blessing, is sick but cannot afford her medical bills.

As the page says, the women’s lives are “still completely dominated by the terrible events of 1995″ and they have “lost everything”. Therefore, please “help them with a donation so that they can rebuild their lives.”

Justice may have been denied, but the struggle continues. Now it could be your turn to help. Please give generously. The link to the page is here.



The post The struggle continues: Please show compassion for the widows of the Ogoni 9 appeared first on Oil Change International.

Shell broadband service is absolute garbage. AVOID AVOID AVOID

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com - Sun, 01/15/2023 - 09:03

“If you value your hard earned cash, time and sanity please avoid Shell Broadband, their hardware is shoddy at best, they clearly don’t value the customer and their service is absolute garbage. AVOID AVOID AVOID”

Shell Energy Broadband Reviews recently posted on

Reviewer Donna: Location Lancashire: Date 2022-12-21


My service with shell went live on the 1st Nov 22, a few drop outs of service occasionally, but nothing major, it did not affect streaming or kids gaming etc, so we can live with it. The 9th December was the last day of any broadband (I miss watching Netflix on a big screen) The router is just displaying the information light and nothing more, its not making any attempt to connect, so I make all the required checks, resets, switching it off etc to no avail. I get through to Shell quite easily and the tech guy seems genuinely helpful, line tests carried out etc and says open reach need to come out which will take 3 to 4 days, but nothing is confirmed until I hear from them. I explained that I felt the router was probably the issue and questioned if it would make more sense to have a new router sent out first rather than waste time and money on an engineer, he says its not possible.

4 days later open reach have attended and my line is fine, now ringing customer service at this point consists of being hung up on several times, being rudely advised I don’t understand the royal mail strikes, being told that Shell won’t even consider me sending a courier to collect a new router, let alone them send it via a different courier, so that new router I suggested 4 days ago is going to make its slow journey to me only now.

Complaint made, call handler was actually understanding unlike her other colleagues. I have had a credit made to my account which is great. However 11 days of no broadband later, new router is here and it’s not working again, not even attempting to connect and yes I call Shell and I get through easily enough and tech guy understanding and pleasant but it’s been 11 days without any service and Shell are just going to send yet another router in the hope that I have had just been extremely unlucky with my routers and a third one will do the trick. So day 11 of no service after only joining them less than 6 weeks ago. Man I wish I had stayed with Vodafone now, dam cost of living trying to tighten my belt and save a few quid, well it has certainly backfired!!!!
If you value your hard earned cash, time and sanity please avoid Shell Broadband, their hardware is shoddy at best, they clearly don’t value the customer and their service is absolute garbage. AVOID AVOID AVOID

Reviewer Chris: Location Heywood: Date 2022-12-21


I’ve used Shell/post office for about 7 years now and had the same box, generally I have no complaints as it has ran ok but speed could be better.

A couple of months ago it went down and I called Shell a couple of time because it was unusable so eventually they said we will get an engineer out. Then the box started running fine again and they never turned up but my wife waited in for them.

And now box has gone down again, I called Shell and their customer service was very disappointing as the guy put me through technical and whilst I was on hold they all finished for the day.

So the next day I cancelled my contract and gone with someone else.

They did say a while ago I may need a new box so that was all I want but they seem reluctant to give me one.

I wouldn’t bother using Shell

Reviewer Colin Flowerday: Location Holt Norfolk: Date 2022-12-21


Shell Energy Broadband as I was with the GPO and had excellent service with them! Shell are A rip off Energy company who want us to pay Five Grand per year for our energy they are a,Rip off so call Vodafone on 08080408408 and had hey they will save you a Fortune as Vodafone are a lot cheaper and shell are worser than Kcom!!

Shell broadband service is absolute garbage. AVOID AVOID AVOID was first posted on January 15, 2023 at 6:03 pm.
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Treated with contempt and disrespect by Shell Energy

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com - Sat, 01/14/2023 - 13:20

“Left without broadband for weeks. Terrible company.”

Shell Energy Broadband Reviews recently posted on

Reviewer Erica Unsworth: Location Bury: Date 2022-12-20


Had trouble from the beginning!! Keeps looking signal. Even when I’m sat next to router. Sent me a twin pack extender. worst instructions going. I can’t wait for my contract to end.

Reviewer Daisy Lisemore: Location Towcester: Date 2022-12-20


Although I have never had an issues with the broadband itself, their customer service when I left to join another supplier was absolutely appalling. I was a long term customer for 4 years and I was treated with contempt and disrespect. I would not recommend this company to anyone

Reviewer Rebecca: Location Chippenham: Date: 2022-12-19


Router failed within a few months. Left without broadband for weeks. Terrible company.

Reviewer Andrew: Location Inverness: Date 2022-12-19


If I could give zero I would. Customer service re my Mothers account dreadful. Tried to close her phone account for over a year. Like talking to a brick wall when you get through. DO NOT EVER USE THIS CO.

Treated with contempt and disrespect by Shell Energy was first posted on January 14, 2023 at 10:20 pm.
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Assessment of Rework Permits on Oil Production from Operational Wells Within the 3,200-Foot Public Health Protection Zone

FracTracker - Fri, 01/13/2023 - 12:41

This analysis shows that the policy proposed in SB 1137 of denying rework permits within the health protection zones is a common sense public health intervention. Additionally, denying rework permits will have a minimal effect on production within the protection zone, which is a fraction (just 1.75% in 2021) of overall statewide production in California.

The post Assessment of Rework Permits on Oil Production from Operational Wells Within the 3,200-Foot Public Health Protection Zone appeared first on FracTracker Alliance.


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