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Activists shame Barrick Gold at AMREF Gala

Tonight a number of activists with Protest Barrick Toronto crashed an African Medical Research and Education Foundation (AMREF) gala, for which Barrick was a "Gold" sponsor. While not criticizing AMREF work, the protesters were critical of the NGO's praise of Barrick's work in Africa. They passed out fliers to gala participants until they were escorted out by AMREF security.

They highlighted the still unresolved Bulyanhulu massacre, the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of people at the Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines, the current jailing of 13 villagers for protesting displacement at Barrick's Buzwagi mine, and the lack of tax revenues that goes to the people of Tanzania.

These issues have previously been highlighted by reputable Tanzanian organizations such as the Lawyer's Environmental Action Team (LEAT) and Norwiegan Church Aid in Tanzania.

Read "A Golden Opportunity? Justice and Respect in Mining," written by Mark Curtis and Tundu Lissu, published by Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT), National Council of Muslims in Tanzania (BAKWATA), and Tanzania Episcopal Conference.

Read LEAT's response to the CAO report on the Bulyahulu mine.

View LEAT's page on Barrick's Bulyanhulu Mine.


Écosociété forms Solidarity website to combat from Barrick SLAPP suit

The world's largest gold mining company is claiming from the small not-for-profit publisher and the authors of "Noir Canada", $5 million in compensatory damages, and $1 million in punitive damages, which represent 25 times the annual operating revenue of Écosociété.http://slapp.ecosociete.org/en

find out what you can do to help!

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Barrick Gold censors Indigenous Leaders' opposition to gold mining on their lands

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Aboriginal Leaders at press conference after Barrick AGM. Photo: Allan Cedillo Lissner

International Indigenous leaders attend Barrick Gold's Shareholder's meeting

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Protesters outside Barrick's AGM

Protesters Demand Accountability Outside Barrick Gold's AGM

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Barrick Gold Secretly Building Roads to Attack Mt. Famatina in La Rioja, Argentina

On the one-year anniversary of the road blockade in Peña Negra and "ouster" of Barrick Gold from the Famatina mountain range, it has been confirmed that Barrick Gold, with the complicity of the national and provincial government, has been secretly constructing a new entry road into the backside of the mountain.
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Gold, Censorship: and stories of Indigenous Resistance

Greg Palast will interview Indigenous People who are fighting Barrick Gold's operations on their lands.

The night will include an interview with Human Rights Defenders working on the Bulyanhulu massacre in Tanzania. The Bulyanhulu mine is owned and operated by Barrick Gold, the largest gold mining company in the world.

Thursday 1st May @ 5pm

Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery Street
Lower East Side, Manhattan

Cost: $5 - $10 (sliding scale)

For more info: 1 347 439 5839
http://www.protestbarrick.net

Sponsored by: ProtestBarrick.net, Friends of the Earth Australia, Mineral Policy Institute, Norwegian Church Aid Tanzania, SaveLakeCowal.org, Akali Tange Association

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Guanaco near Pascua Lama Project

Argentina National Ombudsperson: Suspend Mining Operations in San Guillermo National Park

Barrick's Pascua-Lama and 10 mining projects others in jeopardy

San Juan, Argentina:  Argentine national Ombudsperson Eduardo Mondino has recommended that metals mining exploration and operations be immediately suspended in a zone in the northwest of the province of San Juan.  The report is based upon evidence presented in a lawsuit filed by environmentalist Ricardo Vargas in the Argentine supreme court.

This high-mountain zone of the Andes range, containing the UNESCO-protected San Guillermo wilderness, is home to unique and widely biodiverse species ranging from llamas to mountain lions to lichens, and harbors the glacier systems which produce the water vital for the agricultural provinces below.  This zone, known to mining firms as "Argentina's Gold Belt" is slated to be Argentina's next "Mining Sacrifice Zone,"  a center of mining exploration and activity, with dozens of firms, led by Barrick Gold, carrying out exploration and mining activities, in a context of political corruption, plunder and corporate favoritism.

The lawsuit (Nº 5945/04, titled "VARGAS, RICARDO, Regarding Environmental Damages Caused by Mining Operations in the Province of San Juan"),  is  waiting to be heard in the Argentine Supreme Court, but is already producing repercussions for the mining industry.  The lawsuit claims that Barrick Gold's mining operation Pascua Lama has been illegally permitted by the province of San Juan.  The justification is based on multiple grounds:   First, that the contamination, health effects and extraction of water resources will extend to and harm multiple provinces;  second, that the project is being built in the very heart of the UNESCO-protected San Guillermo World Biosphere Reserve; and finally, that the bi-national nature of these projects demands a federal-level environmental approval process, which was never carried out.

The lawsuit will halt all mining projects in the zone, including Pascua Lama and some ten other projects in advanced stages of progress,  and subject them to a new Federal-level Environmental Impact Review process.

Mondino, the national Public Ombudsperson, visited the region last week and collected evidence of the growing effects of mining activities upon public health, cancer rates and drinking water contamination.  The report published demonstrates the multi-provincial plume of contamination and desertification already created by mining operations such as Barrick's Veladero; and indicates the alarming extent to which further mining operations will affect the region in general.  The ombudsperson's report is directed to the National Parks Administration, the Government of the province of San Juan and the Federal Government.

Vargas, a former high-mountain guide intimately familiar with the San Guillermo reserve,  has been struggling against the proliferation of mining projects in the zone for some eight years.  His lawsuit is part of a surge of activism against mining projects in San Juan, on the part of citizens alarmed not only by Barrick's Pascua-Lama/Veladero project, but by the proliferation of literally dozens of projects in this emerging national mining sacrifice zone.

David Modersbach
National University of Rosario
Encuentro por la Biodiversidad
dmoders@yahoo.com


photo: Benny Zable protesting Barrick's mine at Lake Cowal

Meet the Resistance: a speaking tour of affected Indigenous communities

This April and May, hear voices of communities directly affected by the operations of Barrick Gold. "Meet the Resistance" brings together community voices from Australia, Papua New Guinea, the U.S., and Chile to share their experiences in going up against the world's largest gold miner.

Check more link for schedule!

see bios for the presenters.

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Pit wall collapsed at Barrick's gold mine in Lake Cowal, Australia, 20 March 2008. Photo: Damian Baker

Wiradjuri Elder exposes mine pit collapse at Lake Cowal


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photos by Allan Lissner

Countering the Corporate Spin: Activists crash Barrick's forum on "Canada's Responsibility Abroad"

Thursday, September 6  kicked off Merrill Lynchs Canada's 13th Annual Mining Conference, an invitation-only conference for institutional investors, mining analysts and the executive management of North American mining companies. During this conference, the Canadian Institute for International Affairs hosted a forum on "Canada's Responsibility Abroad," a meeting stacked with industry representatives, attended by a government agency, and organized to promote Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the mining industry. The meeting was countered by a group of protesters outside and inside the forum; the protesters demanded mandatory regulation of the mining industry and handed out information illustrating the abuses of this industry abroad, including specific critiques of Barrick Gold pointing to their repeated misrepresentation of information in an attempt to appear socially responsibile.

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A Diaguita Women. photo: Isabel Orellana. The Diaguita, despite the fact that Barrick is planning to mine for gold on their ancestral land and the fact that they have a lawsuit and several formal complaints against Barrick, are not even mentioned any of Barrick's Annual Reports.

It's Time for Second Quarter Reporting: What will Barrick hide from their shareholders this time?

August 2 marks the publishing date of Barrick Gold's second quarter results. With profits down by 14 percent, the Pascua Lama project delayed, and Norway's pension fund considering pulling their investment on ethical grounds, things aren't looking good for this gold mining giant. But, are any of these developments a big surprise? There are many shareholders who might think so, but that is only because Barrick has been systematically hiding vital information from them through glaring omissions and outright lies.

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"Barrick's Dirty Secrets: Communities Worldwide Respond to Gold Mining's Impacts"

Download the CorpWatch report, which details the struggles against Barrick Gold.


"LOS SECRETOS SUCIOS DE BARRICK: Communidades Responden a los Impactos de Las Minas en Todo el Mundo" CorpWatch report in Spanish

Este informe, perfil de Barrick Gold, la mayor empresa minera aurífera del mundo, es una ilustración de los problemas que causa en la actualidad la industria del oro. En estas páginas, se presentan numerosos ejemplos donde los intereses de Barrick y los intereses de las comunidades en cuyo interior la empresa realiza sus explotaciones, van unos en contra de otros frontalmente. Desde evitar toda responsabilidad por la destructiva herencia ambiental que dejan sus proyectos o aliarse a políticos corruptos, hasta recurrir a la policía para que reprima con violencia (y que a veces mate) a los críticos de la actividad minera, el poder de Barrick en estas luchas configura un caso que exige intervención urgente.

Entre los grupos comunitarios que luchan contra Barrick se cuentan desde autoridades gubernamentales y tribales locales hasta asambleas de madres contra la minería y otros grupos de base que atraen miles de adherentes. La valerosa entrega de estos activistas a su obra es asimismo peligrosa y agotadora, y sirve para ilustrar la realidad concreta de Barrick y otras empresas similares. No hace falta decir que esta perspectiva sobre la minería, que tan escasa resonancia tiene, no presagia nada bueno para la industria en su totalidad, ya que procede de quienes se hallan afectados de cerca por sus explotaciones.

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Over a thousand gather in the streets of Santiago to protest the Pascua Lama project of Toronto-based Barrick Gold

Protests and Strike precede Barrick Gold’s 3rd quarter shareholders meeting

Lea el articulo en español

On one side of the world in Chile, over a thousand people went into the streets with c­ostumes, music, and dancing to protest the proposed Pascua Lama gold project – a multi-billion dollar project that Barrick has been boasting since the late 90’s – which threatens the fertile Huasco Valley. Meanwhile, almost the same number of strikers at Barrick’s Bulyanhulu mine i­n Tanzania refused to work after negotiations with Barrick management brokedown over salaries, working conditions, medical care and other contentious issues. Within four days, Barrick fired every striking worker.

While Barrick projects an image free from political controversy, these latest flares of organized resistance represent on-going struggles, discontent, and anger aimed at this mining giant.

Remembering when Pascua Lama Opposition was Mainstream

For people outside Chile, it might be easy to forget that anti-gold mining sentiments aimed at protecting the environment dominated both President Bachelet and her erstwhile opponent, Sebastián Piñera’s election platforms last year. Both assured their constituents that the glaciers – which are situated right in the middle of a UNESCO biosphere reserve – would not be touched.

Then, in a move that mine opponents believe was planned from the start, Barrick abandoned their first proposal to relocate the glaciers and the project was approved, with conditions meant to preserve the environmental integrity of the area’s sensitive ecosystem.

The mine’s opponents, including the Diaguita Huascoaltinos Indigenous group and Alto del Carmen councilperson Luís Faura Cortes, remained undeterred by what they saw as paper assurances and politicking. What’s more, Barrick’s exploration activities have since been publicly revealed to be linked to a 56 to 70 percent depletion in the glaciers near the mine site, contradicting assurances in their environmental assessment reports.

Last weekend’s protest was just the latest in a series of protests against this mining project, and it represents that the resistance is still alive, and that folks on the ground in Chile are not deceived by Barrick’s political maneuverings.

Firing the Opposition will only make it burn Stronger

In Tanzania, it has been almost ten years since an estimated 30,000-400,000 small-scale miners were forced off the Buyanhulu mine site to make way for corporate mining. But this week’s decision to fire the thousand striking miners will no doubt rekindle this historic resentment.  The deal to take this mining concession away from these small-scale miners was brokered by Sutton Resources’ CEO James Sinclair, who was a friend of the president of Tanzania and several senior ministers, as was his daughter.

Accusations of high-level nepotism have since plagued the Bulyanhulu operations, with allegations of millions in tax evasion surfacing last year. Additionally, just this July, the Tanzanian government was criticized for signing a mining agreement with Barrick prematurely, and selling it’s 15 percent stake in the Bulyanhulu mine for too little.

Beneath the political veneer, it appears that Barrick must appease growing movements of discontent.  It's history of political shenanigans has attracted steadfast opponents, while the worldwide legacy of gold mining is inspiring a movement for reform. Hopefully, it is only a matter of time.


Mine water use apparently ignored in water crisis

Aboriginal elders and environmental activists are calling for mining in the Lachlan Catchment of New South Wales to be halted as the Wyangala Dam dries up.



** BARRICK MINING DISASTERS - Emergency Funds Needed **

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Activists protest open-pit mines by staking claim to Mount Royal

NOTE: While this article mentions the presence of community representatives from Mexico, Honduras, Chile, Papua New Guinea, Argentina and Malartic, Quebec. The communities organized against Barrick – from Argentina, Chile, and Papua New Guinea – were the only communities whose struggles were not mentioned in the body of this article.

The Quebec government's decision to protect the famed Mount Royal from mining companies didn't deter a group of activists from staking their own claims to the Montreal landmark yesterday.

In an effort to draw attention to the many international communities that are forced to live beside Canadian-operated open-pit gold mines, the activists sealed off a large swath of Mount Royal, which dominates the city's landscape.

Dressed in hard hats and white coveralls - the logo of their mock company RoyalOr emblazoned on the back - and toting tape, stakes and surveying equipment, the activists neatly placed the legal documentation affirming their mining rights claim in an envelope addressed to the province's Natural Resources Department and toasted their feat with a bottle of champagne.

"It's going to be a beautiful, beautiful open-pit mine," actor-cum-activist Jason McLean told the group of about 80 participants. "Imagine a big hole right here.

"Yes, we'll have evictions. ... nobody will suffer. Everyone will be okay with a mine in Montreal."

The participants included activists from Mexico, Honduras, Chile, Papua New Guinea, Argentina and Malartic, Que. - all of whom are fighting Canadian gold mining companies that have set up in their communities.

Carlos Amador of Honduras said local residents in Valle de Siria are suffering a variety of health problems due to water contamination from mines, while farmers have seen their businesses collapse as rivers and wells have dried out because of the mine's massive consumption of water.

Enrique Rivera Sierra of Mexico said while communities have won court cases against Canadian mining companies, corrupt government officials have allowed environmental and land title abuses to persist and those who speak out have faced beatings, death threats and worse.

Meanwhile, Nicole Kirouac of the 3,800-strong town of Malartic said the mining project in her community in northwestern Quebec has forced the relocation of 200 families and the destruction of five of the town's eight public buildings.

Yesterday's stunt, aimed at drawing attention to the perils of open-pit gold mining and calling for changes to mining laws, drew the attention of the provincial government.

On Friday, the department responsible for mines declared Mount Royal a protected zone that is off limits to surveyors.

A department spokeswoman said it was simply an added precaution as the landmark was declared a historic site in 2005.

"We effectively imposed an additional moratorium but, regardless, a mining company couldn't just stake a claim on Mount Royal without permission from the city [which owns the land] and the Culture Department because it's a historic site," Jolyane Pronovost said.

Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert, a McGill University professor of Mexican history and one of the event organizers, saw it as a small victory.

"The message is to start thinking about what's actually happening elsewhere in the world, what's happening in Quebec and Ontario," he said.

Noting Ontario is the only province so far to look at modernizing its archaic mining laws, he called on Quebec and other provinces to do the same.

His group also wants the government to provide legal recourse to international communities that are adversely affected by the mining practices of Canadian companies abroad.


The Question of Sustainability An Examination of the Canadian Mining Industry: environment, cultures, and economics

The Question of Sustainability Conference aims to build a movement for change within Canada. This conference provided the space for people within Canada to interact with affected communities and each other, and the conference format prioritized facilitating conversations focused on solutions to ending corporate impunity.



Closing Comments from GordonGecko on Vimeo.

The Question of Sustainability is a conference dedicated to examining the Canadian mining industry through the lens of sustainability within ecosystems, human rights, culture, and economics.

Featuring speakers from Papua New Guinea, Chile, the Congo, Guatemala, Tanzania and Peru, as well as many First Nations speakers and academics from Canada. This conference brings together indigenous people from the global south and the global north, and serves to address some of the complex social, political and environmental issues that relate to the imposition of extractive industries on traditional cultures.

more info


Call for Govt to reform mining sector

The government has been urged to come up with a policy that will ensure people living around the mining areas enjoy the benefits accrued from their God-given resources.

It was also urged at a public dialogue on mining held here at the weekend that efforts should be made to empower Tanzanians exploit mineral resources.

The sector has been listed as the fastest growing in the country but still lags behind in terms of its contribution to the GDP.

Agriculture and service sectors lead in contributing to the GDP. The Vice Chancellor of St. Augustine University Tanzania, Dr Charles Kitima, said that Tanzanians should be supported with capital and technology to access the resources.

He spoke during the inaugural public dialogue on mining that brought together critics of the mining sector, private sector, the government and intellectuals.

The lack of transfer of technology he said, will only lead to more witchcraft related killings as the artisanal miners estimated at over 1 million in the country rely on witchcraft to develop.

"People want to exploit mineral resources, they want their communities to benefit from the sector and companies like Barrick Tanzania should emulate banks and sell at least 20 per cent of their shares to Tanzanians," he said.

Barrick Tanzania's CEO Mr Deo Mwanyika presented a paper entitled 'Success, Challenges and Prospects of the Mining Industry' in which he said that the mining sector's overall contribution to the economy between 1997-2007 was $1.63 billion.

The Commissioner for Minerals Dr Peter Kafumu, acknowledged that the growth of the sector surpasses the government�s capacity to improve the infrastructure.

The current electricity demand stands at 570MW and 15 per cent is spent by mining companies.

By 2010 Buzwagi, Tulawaka, North mara, Buyanhulu, Geita will consume 30 per cent of the generated power, said A Chadema Mp, Mr Zitto Kabwe, who also presented a paper at the dialogue.

"With the addition of Kabanga nickel mine, the lake zone alone will need 200 MW from the national grid which Tanesco will not be able to provide. "By not supplying electricity to the mines we lose out in economies of scale with production costs becoming higher and Tanesco accruing no revenues from electricity," the MP explained.

"The public perception of the sector is negative, the stability of the fiscal regime is unclear, regulation is increasingly unpredictable, and sabotage is on the rise. The cumulative effect of these is negative feedback," said Mr Mwanyika.

The dialogue participants urged the government to implement the Bomani commission report, which includes withdraw of all fuel exemptions, impact assessment before signing mining contracts and aligning surface rights and mineral rights to ensure correct compensation of people relocated from mining sites.


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