Nevsun Resources has made headlines twice this week. Once for a new discovery southwest of its Bisha mine, and once for fresh allegations of the use of forced labor, this time from the United Nations. While the human rights allegations are worrying, the market still reacted positively to the company's latest discovery
Nevsun Resources (TSX:NSU,NYSEMKT:NSU) has made headlines twice this week. Once for a new discovery southwest of its Bisha mine, and once for fresh allegations of the use of forced labor, this time from the UN. According to Mining Weekly, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights commissioned a report on Nevsun after a lawsuit was filed against the company last November. Three former workers at Bisha filed a civil claim against Nevsun on November 20, 2014, stating that they were "subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment as well as harsh working conditions including long hours, malnutrition and forced confinement for little pay." Nevsun denied those claims, with Nevsun CEO Cliff Davis stating at the time that the company has "adhered at all times to international standards of governance, workplace conditions, and health and safety." Forced labour allegations More recently, the UN has accused the government of Eritrea of systemic, widespread and gross human rights violations. "Citing an array of human rights violations on a scope and scale seldom witnessed elsewhere, the report by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea describes a totalitarian state bent on controlling Eritreans through a vast security apparatus that has penetrated all levels of society," states a press release on the report, which warns countries against sending refugees back to Eritrea. Nevsun, which owns the Bisha mine in a 60-40 partnership with the government, as per Eritrean law, is also mentioned in the report, as the commission "collected evidence that forced labour occurred in the context of the development and exploitation of the Bisha mine." For its part, Nevsun has denied such claims, with Davis calling them "sensational and unbelievable," and stating that the allegations were made without visiting the mine or the country, despite efforts by Nevsun to engage with the commission. "This brings into serious question the methodology, process and collation of information in their report," he said.