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Statement and Questions from Australia at Barrick Gold's Annual General Meeting, 27 April 2011


Natalie Lowrey, co-editor of ProtestBarrick.net and campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia was denied entry as a proxy ticket hodler into Barrick Gold's shareholder meeting. This was the statement and questions she was going to ask about Barrick's Mine in Lake Cowal.

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Barrick Annual General Meeting April 27, 2011

My name is Natalie Lowrey from Friends of the Earth Australia. I hold a proxy from Sakura Saunders.

I would like to call attention to your operating mine in Lake Cowal which is situated in an ecologically significant wetland in a flood plain, it is also the Sacred Heartland of the Wiradjuri Nation with many sacred sites and artefacts that have been desecrated by your operation.

Question – In the archeological study conducted by Dr. Colin Pardoe documented Wiradjuri's peoples connection to country including a hearth found half a metre deep which dated back to 6,050 years ago. As Lake Cowal is one of the oldest lakes in the world why weren't samples taken much deeper to sterile ground which is normal practice in siting Aboriginal artefacts?

For the past 10 years Wiradjuri traditional owners have waged a protracted battle against your operation for the desecration of their sacred sites and their rights to religious freedom. As a corporation you have not recognised the rightful owners of the Lake Cowal area, this divide and rule tactic and lack of Free, Prior and Informed Consent has created much unrest for Wiradjuri People.

Question - Has ongoing litigation by Wiradjuri Traditional Owner, Neville Williams, and other Wiradjuri been affecting company production and profit of your operation in Lake Cowal? … and ... How can Barrick Gold continue to promote corporate social responsibility when there is no legal consequence for blatant lying as seen in your CSR reports?


 

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