Newmont Mining Corp wants to bar shareholders from voting on a proposal that would require a company review of waste disposal programs in Indonesia, where it is accused of poisoning villagers. \nAttorneys for the Denver-based company, the world's largest gold producer, made the request to federal regulators last week, saying the company should be allowed to exclude the proposal from a shareholder vote at its 2005 annual meeting. \nUnder the proposal, Newmont would have to evaluate its disposal programs in Indonesia and determine the degree of potential environmental and public-health risks from its mining operations. \nThe proposal was sponsored by the Office of the Comptroller of New York City on behalf of several pension funds representing New York employees, teachers, firefighters and police. \nIn response, Newmont attorneys said in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission that the company already has accomplished what the proposal asks. \nLast week, the company admitted it had released 17 tonnes of waste mercury into the air and 16 tonnes into the water over five years, though it said the toxic releases were far below Indonesian emissions standards. \n"We were well below any Indonesian standards and well below any US Environmental Protection standards," Wayne Murdy, the company's chief executive officer, said last week in a telephone interview. "We have an excellent environmental record worldwide." \nHowever, an EPA staff member called the release of 33 tonnes of mercury into the air and water over several years at the gold mine in central Indonesia "a major concern." \nA member of another big pension fund, TIAA-CREF, is seeking a vote in hopes of barring investment in gold-mining companies because of environmental and social impacts. \nIndonesian authorities have accused its local subsidiary, Newmont Minahasa Raya, of dumping heavy metals into Buyat Bay on Sulawesi island, causing residents to develop skin diseases and tumors. Tests on the bay have produced conflicting results and villagers this week dropped a US$543 million lawsuit against Newmont Minahasa Raya.
The rise of the cryptocurrency dogecoin has reached a new level after the token was used to pay for a lunar satellite launch. SpaceX, Elon Musk’s commercial rocket firm, is to embark on a moon voyage next year carrying a so-called cubesat — a mini-satellite used for space research — from Geometric Energy Corp that has been paid for entirely in dogecoin. The development is the latest twist in the saga over the digital token, which started as a joke in 2013, but is now a dominating Internet meme and sitting on a 21,000 percent rally in the past year. Musk has
CAPACITY EXPANSION: Construction of the site, which is to be the firm’s first mRNA production facility outside of Europe, is to begin this year and likely finish in 2023 COVID-19 vaccine maker BioNTech SE yesterday said it would build a Southeast Asia headquarters and manufacturing site in Singapore to produce hundreds of millions of messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines per year. Construction of the site would start this year, and it could become operational by 2023, the German company said in a statement. “With this planned mRNA production facility, we will increase our overall network capacity, and expand our ability to manufacture and deliver our mRNA vaccines and therapies to people around the world,” BioNTech chief executive Ugur Sahin said. The vaccine produced by BioNTech jointly with Pfizer Inc of
OUTBREAK: About 200 of the airline’s 1,200 pilots are not able to work. Most of them have been quarantined to prevent further infection, but 12 have COVID-19 China Airlines Ltd (CAL,中華航空) yesterday confirmed that it would temporarily reduce its cargo flight services to cope with a pilot shortage, as one-sixth of its pilots have been sidelined by a COVID-19 outbreak. “We are working out a new schedule,” the airline said in a statement after local news media reports on Saturday said that it would be reducing its cargo services from Wednesday, primarily affecting US destinations. CAL declined to give details about its new operating plan, but the reports said that it would be suspending its cargo flights to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Citibank Taiwan Ltd (花旗台灣) NT$10 million (US$357,194) and DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣) NT$6 million for breaches of the nation’s anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. The NT$10 million fine is the highest penalty that it has imposed on a domestic bank, the commission said. Citibank Taiwan failed to set up a sound mechanism for evaluating clients’ risk of money laundering and for detecting suspicious transactions, Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Huang Kuang-hsi (黃光熙) told a news conference in New Taipei City. The bank based its AML policies on those of its US-based parent company, Citigroup Inc, but the policies