Phulbari: Santa visits GCM Resources, but investors are left wanting

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By , City Diary Editor Telegraph

Environmental activist Ashley Feils was evicted from the GCM Resources AGM after presenting chairman Gerard Holden with a stocking full of coal

Where now for GCM Resources’ controversial mining project in Bangladesh, after a protestor dressed as Santa Claus stormed the company’s pre-Christmas AGM and deposited a stocking full of coal in the lap of chairman Gerard Holden?

It seems the Aim-listed miner has already shrugged off the scenes of the St Nicholas imposter – 19-year-old grass-roots activist Ashley Feils of the Climate Justice Collective – being frogmarched out of the meeting at the Institute of Directors.

A spokesman says GCM Resources is still “very committed” to getting the project approved, and plans to meet Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina “as soon as possible” to discuss how the project can address the country’s energy needs.

The groups opposing the mine say the Phulbari Coal Project could displace 220,000 people. Not so, responds GCM, which claims 40,000 people will be resettled over 10 years, and that 17,000 new jobs will be created as the open-pit coal project develops.

“We welcome the opportunity to speak in a constructive dialogue with any group, but have not yet been taken up on this offer,” says GCM, which has reassured shareholders it is “aware” of their frustration.

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