(Source Siskinds Law Firm) On November 20, 2014, three plaintiffs filed suit* in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against Nevsun Resources Ltd. (TSX: NSU / NYSE MKT: NSU), a Vancouver-based international mining company whose primary operation is its Bisha mine in western Eritrea (“Bisha Mine”).
The Bisha Mine is a gold, copper, and zinc mine owned and operated by Bisha Mining Share Company (BMSC), a majority-owned, indirect subsidiary of Nevsun. The Eritrean government holds a 40% stake in BMSC through the state-owned Eritrean National Mining Corporation (ENAMCO).
The plaintiffs allege that they and other Eritreans were forced to work against their will on the construction of the mine, and that Nevsun’s Eritrean subsidiary BMSC and its contractors used forced labour, a modern form of slavery, in the construction of the Bisha mine from 2008 onwards. Mine construction work was performed at the Bisha mine by companies, including Segen, a construction company controlled by Eritrea’s ruling party, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ). The PFDJ regime is one of the most repressive regimes in the world. Workers at the Bisha mine are alleged to have been held against their will in abysmal conditions. It is also alleged that many were subjected to physical abuse and torture.
Lawyers Dimitri Lascaris, Joe Fiorante, and James Yap have collaborated closely with London-based NGO Human Rights Concern Eritrea on this lawsuit. The NGO Canadian Centre for International Justice has also provided support.
If you or someone you know worked at Bisha Mine, or if you have any other relevant information, please complete the online information form or contact Denise Kinting by email: email@example.com or by phone: (519) 672-2251 ext 2360.
*The Notice of Civil Claim filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia is being pursued as a representative action, rather than a class action.