In Papua New Guinea, approximately 5000 adults** live within the Special Mining Lease area of Barrick Gold's Porgera mine. They are desperately seeking resettlement into another area that could provide them with the means to live the subsistence lifestyle that remains the livelihood of 75% of the country. Their requests have been denied by the company, which prefers to offer individual cash payments to villagers as their homes fall victim to waste-related landslides and police-instigated arson.
Disregard for political conflict reveals an international diplomacy concerned primarily with profits, and is consistent with the actions of Canada and its corporate ambassadors in situations around the globe where mining profits conflict with human rights.
From mass poisonings and mass mobilizations in the Dominican Republic, to damning reports in PNG and Tanzania to lawsuits in Chile and the US, Barrick has had its hands full this year in dealing with mounting opposition to its mines. In this Year in Review, you'll find out the ways that Barrick has damaged communities around the world and the many ways that communities are fighting back and demanding justice.
Protest Barrick Gold!Rally outside Barrick's Annual Shareholder's Meeting, Wed. April 28
Once a year, the board of directors for the world's most powerful gold miner converge in downtown Toronto. Be there to Confront Barrick Gold!
WHEN: 11am Wednesday, April 28, 2010
WHO is Barrick Gold? Barrick is the world's largest gold mining company, founded and chaired by Peter Munk. Barrick is one of the biggest forces pushing Corporate Social Responsibility as an alternative to government oversight. With a former executive on the board of the Canadian Pension Fund, and a former Prime Minister on their board of directors, Barrick enjoys public funding and diplomatic support.
WHY Protest Barrick? Barrick takes advantage of inadequate and poorly enforced regulatory controls to rob indigenous people of their lands, destroy sensitive ecosystems and agricultural land, support brutal police and security operations, and sue anyone who tries to report on it. Impacted communities are coming to Toronto to share their undeniable perspectives and shed light on this criminal mining giant. Come out and support them!
On February 12 we were notified that the request for our Diaguita Agricultural Community Los Huascoaltinos was deemed admissible by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Thus, this international body recognizes that the Chilean state committed alleged violations of rights enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights when Chile approved Barrick Gold’s Pascua Lama mining project.
April and July 2009, police officers in Papua New Guinea illegally and
forcibly evicted people from their homes alongside one of the biggest
mines in Papua New Guinea, the Porgera gold mine.
People fled as their homes were burned by police. In
some cases police assaulted and threatened people with firearms. One
woman, a mine employee, said that while she was nursing her small child
in her arms, a police officer hit her on the shoulder with a rifle butt
when she hesitated to leave her house, pointed the gun at her and
threatened her. Another resident said that when he refused to leave,
the police tried to lock him in his house and set fire to it while he
was inside. Read statement from the Porgera Landowners Association in reaction to the Amnesty Report.
People fled as their homes were burned by police. In some cases police assaulted and threatened people with firearms. One woman, a mine employee, said that while she was nursing her small child in her arms, a police officer hit her on the shoulder with a rifle butt when she hesitated to leave her house, pointed the gun at her and threatened her. Another resident said that when he refused to leave, the police tried to lock him in his house and set fire to it while he was inside.
Read statement from the Porgera Landowners Association in reaction to the Amnesty Report.
Rape. Murder. Corruption. Environmental contamination. Impunity. These are just some of the charges and incidents that have plagued Canadian mining operations abroad for years. Now one Canadian lawmaker has taken on the Herculean challenge of legislating mining reform in a country that has traditionally acted like a parent in denial.
Image: Chacha Ochibhota is young, he’s 21 years old, he has a skin pigmentation covering his face, his eyes are bloodshot, he speaks quietly and moves slowly. His medical examination states that on the 1st of July 2009, he claimed to ‘have used acidic water, contaminated by the mining project – sustaining burns on the face…’ Referring him to the Tarime District Hospital for further investigations. Photo: Jessie Boylan.
A foreign company was granted a licence to explore copper and gold in
the Reko Dik area but it was not allowed to mine the same, according to
Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani.
Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold, the owner of what would be Chile’s largest gold mine, Pascua Lama, could face legal sanctions after Chile’s national water commission (DGA) reported that the company is failing to comply with Chile’s environmental laws.
UPDATE: After 2-day strike in the
Veladero mine (December 17-18, 2009) OSMA-CTA (Organización Sindical de
Mineros Argentinos) and Barrick Gold in Argentina signed a historic
agreement on Jan. 12, 2010.
In solidarity with the mineworkers' union at Barrick Gold's Veladero mine in Argentina, the United Steelworkers (USW) is asking that people write to Barrick Gold and the Canadian Ambassador in Argentina to let them know we are aware of the situation and urging Barrick to negotiate with the union (OSMA-CTA) and to reinstate Jose Vicente Leiva, the union's General-Secretary, to his job.
Following on-the-ground research by Amnesty International which found evidence of police violence and forced evictions of people living near the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea, Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick) has told Amnesty International that it now accepts that people were living in permanent houses near the Porgera mine and were affected by the police actions. The Canadian-based company’s subsidiaries operate and own 95% of the mine through the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV).
AI Index: ASA 34/005/2009
A federal appeals court on Thursday temporarily blocked construction of a massive gold mine project in northeast Nevada that critics say would harm the environment and ruin a mountain that several tribes consider sacred. The judges also said the BLM's review of the project didn't do enough to examine the
likelihood that pumping water out of the pit would cause the
groundwater level to drop and potentially dry up more than a dozen
streams and springs.
This week's reporting in the Toronto Star included three important reports on Canadian mining companies operating abroad. The first report detailed allegations (backed with video evidence) that companies have used paramilitaries to violently trample their opposition to mines that threaten rainforests and their way of life in Ecuador. It also gives some context into Canada's track record of ignoring a long history of similar allegations. The second article focused on Barrick's Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea and particularly on Sarah Knuckey's (Lawyer, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, New York University School of Law) testimony before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (FAAE). There, she repeated personal accounts of gang rape and other mine security violence told to her during her time in Papua New Guinea. Finally, the third article told the story of Romina Picolotti, a former Argentine environment minister who testified to receiving threats against her and her family following a mining intervention.
John McKay, Liberal MP for Scarborough-Guildwood, has introduced a
private member's bill designed to put controls on mining companies
overseas. Conservatives have vowed to kill the bill, which is opposed
by Canada's mining industry. MPs are debating it in a House of Commons committee this week.
The room was packed at the D.C. headquarters of the Organization of American States, as folks gathered to hear three speakers on the topic of “Corporate Social Responsibility in a Time of Crisis.” The event, moderated by “Image Management” consultant Italo Pizzolante, featured three corporate representatives, including one from Canada’s infamous Barrick Gold, selling the idea that social responsibility makes sense for corporations to pursue.
While the panelists stressed the need to integrate CSR strategies with an overall business plan, noting benefits such as greater employee morale and increased public support, the elephant in the room was the fact that corporations use the promotion of these voluntary measures as a way to avoid government oversight and mechanisms for true accountability.
read protestbarrick's "alternative" CSR report on Barrick Gold.
Barrick Gold is trying to create ersatz Indians at their Pascua Lama mine in Chile, in the name of corporate social responsibility. Ironically, this is being done in an attempt to undermine the actually existing Indigenous leadership. That photo Sergio is holding? Those are community members, but that’s not traditional dress. In fact, those outfits are completely made up, according to Sergio Campusano, president of the Diaguita Huascoaltinos. It was created as an idea of what “Indians” should wear. An examination of the photo, taken from Barrick’s “Corporate Social Responsibility” literate, bears this out: if you look closely, they do look ridiculously clean and unworn.
Porgera UpdatePNG Paradise Lost
Porgera Gold Mine: Killings and Burnt Villages
Diaguita Statement on the Sale of El Morro
Mining group Xstrata PLC agreed to sell its 70% interest in the El
Morro copper-gold project in Chile for US$465-million to Canada's
Barrick Gold Corp., Xstrata said on Monday, October 12.
In response, the leadership of the Diaguita Huascoaltinos made the following statement, reaffirming their opposition to mining on their traditional lands.
"The sale of El Morro project is for us a little great victory. Even if this project can be economically very profitable, our community has never given approval to it's development in our lands. This has been a heavy burden with which Xstrata has had to carry since the beginning of this project.
At this point, the social opposition Huascoaltinos was becoming a problem for them and we think that may have influenced Xstrata Copper decision to sell El Morro to Barrick Gold. Barrick is known as a company that is only interested in economic efficiency, with no regard for environmental or social damage that this project might cause, and very likely they haven't evaluated the current social situation.
For us, however, it is better to have one giant who fight. We have stated repeatedly that El Morro project would mean the death of our Community and we will continue fighting to defend our land no matter who is at the forefront of this project." - Sergio Campusano, President of the Diaguita Huascoaltinos
A coalition of landowners and native groups announced today that they intend to shut down the Barrick Gold’s Porgera Mine in Papua New Guinea if a petition that they presented to Barrick does not get a positive response. If the landowners – who own 2.5 per cent of the mine – do not receive this response within 30 days of August 25, when they presented the petition, they have pledged to shut down the mine’s operations.