PRESS RELEASE 16th December 2019
For immediate release
See our latest press release detailing news of the postponed AGM and demo
Protesters in London and Bangladesh oppose AGM of GCM Resources Plc
- Loud protests will be held at the AGM of AIM listed GCM Resources in London on 18th December, while dissident shareholders dominate the meeting.
- Bangladesh High Commission will also be targeted by protesters, demanding that GCM Resources’ office is finally removed from Phulbari and the coal project is categorically stopped.
- In Bangladesh a rally will be held at the Phulbari District Office on 17th December demanding the Bangladesh government take immediate legal action against the company.
- Bangladesh Deputy Energy Minister confirms that GCM has no valid license or asset in the country, and claims government is taking legal action against them.
On Wednesday 18th December loud protests organised by Phulbari Solidarity Group (1) alongside a wide coalition of organisations (2) will be held at the AGM of the AIM listed British mining company GCM Resources Plc for the 10th consecutive year. Protesters will demand that GCM is de-listed from the London Stock Exchange as it has no viable asset to its name, and has not held a license for coal exploration or mining in Bangladesh since 2006. Inside the AGM, dissident shareholders will again dominate the meeting, accusing the company of misleading shareholders and the London Stock Exchange.
Meanwhile in Phulbari, communities will demonstrate outside of the UNO (Phulbari District Office) on 17 December (3). In London protesters will move from the AGM to the Bangladesh High Commission, where they will submit a memorandum to the Ambassador, Ms Saida Muna Tasneem, echoing the demands of the Phulbari community that government categorically end speculation on whether GCM can obtain a license, remove the GCM Resources office from Phulbari, and take legal action against the company for harassment of Phulbari residents.
GCM Resources (then ‘Asia Energy’) listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange in 2004, following the granting of a two year permit (license) from the Bangladesh Energy Department’s Bureau of Mineral Resource Development on 27 January 2004 for exploration and surveying of a 572 million tonne open cast coal mine at Phulbari in Dinajpur, Northwest Bangladesh. A Scheme of Development was submitted to the Government of Bangladesh in 2005 but has never received approval. The permit expired on 27 January 2006 and has not been renewed, yet the company has continued to sell shares and raise capital in London based on claims that a contract will be forthcoming. GCM Resources has no other assets or projects in its portfolio.
On 26 August 2006 three boys were shot dead, and more than 200 injured by paramilitary forces in a peaceful demonstration of 80,000 people against the mine.(4) Annual ‘Phulbari Day’ rallies have been held every year in the community and across Bangladesh, commemorating the deaths and protesting the company’s continued plans. Recently, GCM’s CEO Gary Lye has filed multiple cases against 26 community organisers in Phulbari and Dinajpur claiming he has felt ‘harassed’ when he visited the area in an attempt to continue coal mining plans in 2014.
In August 2019 the Deputy State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid, made this statement to the daily Prothom Alo newspaper:
“Even in the absence of an agreement, GCM or Asia Energy is trading shares in London by providing information that coal would be extracted from Phulbari, which is false. The government has taken this into notice. The government is proceeding to take legal action against them .”
He stated that the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s clear instructions are that the government has no plans to extract coal from Phulbari, and the future extraction of coal would only be considered if any advanced and environmental mining or coal burning technology emerged.
According to GCM’s 2019 annual report and its Regulatory New Service submissions to the London Stock Exchange, the company signed an MOU with Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) in November 2018 to develop a 4,000MW power plant at Phulbari as part of the One Belt, One Road Initiative of the People’s Republic of China. In January 2019, the Power entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with the GCM for the first stage of development, leading to a hike in its share price, despite the lack of government approvals for the project.
Professor Anu Muhammad, the leader of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports of Bangladesh, who led the demonstration on 26 August in 2006 said:
“People’s resistance against GCM is still strong despite an environment of fear and surveillance. GCM’s fraud and illegal business must be stopped immediately by de-listing it from the London Stock Exchange to stop its continuing manipulation and corrupt attempts at coal mining along with Chinese companies, its harassment of community leaders, and preparations for violent crimes against people and environment in the form of open cast coal mining and displacement.”
Rumana Hashem, Chair of Phulbari Solidarity Group, who was present at the 2006 demonstration and witnessed the six-day strike and people’s verdict against GCM in the aftermath of shooting, says:
“People in Phulbari have lived under the threat of displacement, and with the trauma of the Phulbari killings for more than 13 years. Yet the London Stock Exchange has continued to list and generate capital for this company despite its total lack of any viable mining asset in Bangladesh. We are calling on the Bangladeshi government to categorically end the speculation, remove GCM’s office from Phulbari, launch legal action against them, and pressure the London Stock Exchange to finally de-list this criminal and fraudulent company. It is time to end the suffering for the residents of Phulbari.”
Notes to Editors:
Press are welcome to attend the rally at between 9.30am and 12.30pm on 18th December at 4 Hamilton Place, London W1J 7BQ. POSTPONED.
Contact: Miriam Rose (00 44 7765 501687 firstname.lastname@example.org) to organise statements or interviews with any of the host organisations or case studies.
Case studies in Bangladesh are available.
- Phulbari Solidarity Group is a transnational activist network which exists to support and represent the communities located within the Phulbari region and across Bangladesh in opposing the plans for coal mine. phulbarisolidaritygroup.org
- The London rally is co-hosted by Committee to Protect the Resources of Bangladesh UK Branch, Foil Vedanta, London Mining Network, Reclaim the Power, Extinction Rebellion International Solidarity Network, Global Justice Rebellion and Christian Climate Action.
- For more information on the protests in Bangladesh please contact Sanjit Prasad JITU: +8801717592947
- More information on the Phulbari massacre and government’s position on the question of GCM’s proposal for open the Phulbari mine can be found at
Challenging the invalid contract under Bangladesh’s energy policy: https://www.thedailystar.net/response-to-farewell-to-fdi-60727
Video footage of killings in Phulbari: https://phulbarisolidaritygroup.blog/videos/
Facts about Phulbari coal project at a glance: https://www.banktrack.org/download/the_phulbari_coal_project/iap_factsheet_footnotes_the_final_0.pdf