“The ILO calls on the Government of Bangladesh to take the further steps necessary to fulfil its obligations under ratified conventions, as well as its commitments on labour law reform made at the Organization’s International Labour Conference in June and commitments made in the Sustainability Compact agreed with the EU on July 8,” the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a statement. “Important additional labour reforms will be required to fulfil the Government’s commitments and obligation and these should be undertaken as a matter of urgency,” the Geneva-based agency said, reiterating its willingness to develop and adopt further legislative proposals to address the conclusions and recommendations of the ILO supervisory bodies. “The ILO also offers to work with urgency on the regulations required to implement the amendments and to build the capacity of the labour inspectorate to assume its new responsibilities,” the UN agency said. Bangladesh adopted the amendments to its Labour Act 2006 on 15 July, including ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on freedoms of association and collective bargaining. This past April, the Rana Plaza factory building collapsed on the outskirts of Dhaka, the capital, killing more than 1,000 people, mostly female workers. The garment industry employs some 3-5 million workers in the country.Among the approved revisions in the country’s labour laws, the amendment include several provisions to improve workplace safety, such as the creation of safety committees in factories of 50 workers or more. Personal safety equipment will now be required and provisions now also require the establishment of health centres in workplaces of more than 5,000 employees. The revisions also eliminated the previous obligation to send to employers the names of union leaders when a trade union is registered, and it allows workers to call on outside experts for advice during collective bargaining. “An initial review suggests that the amendments did address some of the ILO’s specific concerns, while falling short of several important steps called for by the ILO supervisory system to bring the law into conformity with ratified international labour standards,” the UN agency said. Based on an unofficial translation of the adopted amendments, ILO said the revised laws do not address a number of concerns, including a 30 per cent minimum membership requirement to form trade unions and the extension of the freedom of association and collective bargaining to workers in labour-intensive export processing zones. The UN agency also noted that the amendments do not prohibit discrimination in employment or remuneration, nor do they prohibit debt bondage by children or compulsory labour as a form of punishment. The ILO’s critiques are based on an unofficial translated of the adopted amendments, but the UN agency said its supervisory machinery will officially review the amended legislation later in the year.
North Arrow Minerals has received high microdiamond counts, demonstrating the potential for a coarse diamond size distribution, from the PK150 kimberlite at Pikoo, a newly discovered kimberlite district located in central eastern Saskatchewan found by North Arrow earlier this year. Ken Armstrong, President and CEO of North Arrow stated that this “establishes Pikoo and the northern Sask Craton as a new diamond district in Canada.”Highlights include:A 209.7 kg sample of drill core from the PK150 kimberlite has returned 745 diamonds larger than the 0.106 mm sieve size, including 23 diamonds larger than the 0.85 mm sieve sizeTotal weight of the +0.85 mm diamonds recovered from the sample is 0.2815 ctOver 95% of the diamonds are described as intact, white octahedrons and aggregates.The PK150 caustic fusion results are summarised in the following table. SampleWeightDry Kg+0.106-0.150+0.150-0.212+0.212-0.300+0.300-0.425+0.425-0.600+0.600-0.850+0.850-1.18+1.18-1.70+1.70-2.36TotalStonesTotalCarats+0.85mm 209.73921996527192021117450.2815 Armstrong continued, this “validates North Arrow’s strategic approach of targeting and assembling a prospective portfolio of Canadian diamond projects that benefit from significant historical exploration, and are now at an advanced or drill ready stage. North Arrow is well positioned with more than $6 million cash on hand to further advance this new diamond discovery at Pikoo, to collect a 500+ carat diamond parcel from the advanced Qilalugaq project in Nunavut, and to evaluate unexplained kimberlite indicator mineral trains at the Redemption and Lac de Gras diamond projects in the heart of the Lac de Gras diamond district of the NWT.”North Arrow retains the right to earn an 80% interest in the Pikoo Project by completing an option work program consisting of 2,000 m of diamond drilling. The July 2013 drilling program and related diamond results announced today have fulfilled the requirements of the option work program and North Arrow shall provide notice to Stornoway of its intent to vest an 80% interest in the project, subject to a one time back-in right held by Stornoway. Upon receipt of the vesting notice from North Arrow, Stornoway will have a 60-day period in which to elect to increase its interest in Pikoo from 20% to 40% by paying to North Arrow an amount equal to three times the costs incurred by North Arrow in connection with the option work program. Number of Diamonds per Sieve Size (mm Square Mesh Sieve) Armstrong explained that “to recover such relatively high counts of +0.85 mm diamonds from the first kimberlite discovered at Pikoo is an exceptional result. PK150 was discovered as part of a short, 10 hole program completed earlier this year, and many priority targets remain on the 33,000+ ha property. One of the key benefits for the project is its location close to transportation and power infrastructure, lying within 10 km of Saskatchewan Highway 911.”The PK150 kimberlite was discovered during a 2,002 m drilling program completed in July 2013 (North Arrow news release #13-13 dated August 7, 2013). This drilling program and related diamond test work is being funded by North Arrow as part of an option agreement with Stornoway Diamond Corp under which North Arrow can earn an 80% interest in the Pikoo project. PK150 was tested by three drill holes and is interpreted as a 10 to 15 m wide, near vertical body, intersected over a 75 m strike length and it is currently open to depth and along strike. The kimberlite is comprised of dark grey hypabyssal kimberlite containing abundant olivine as well as common ilmenite and orange to purple garnets and less common chrome diopside. Internal country rock dilution is estimated as less than 8% and mantle nodules ranging up to 100 mm are common.Recovered diamonds have similar, high quality characteristics across all size fractions, with over 95% described as intact white octahedrons and aggregates with lesser macles.A study of the mineral chemistry of the kimberlites discovered in 2013, including PK150, is currently underway. This work will allow for a comparison to the compelling chemistry of the kimberlite indicator mineral trains identified within the 33,374 ha Pikoo property. This large project area hosts additional kimberlite targets and numerous anomalous KIM samples that require further follow up and target definition. Exploration plans for 2014 will be developed over the next couple of months; work is expected to include drilling, geophysical surveys and till sampling. read more