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Children standing in toxic tailings near Barrick's Porgera mine in PNG. Photo: Catherine Coumans

Papua New Guinea landowners threaten to shut down Barrick mine

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.

Their petition addresses long-standing concerns at this controversial mine. The petition describes conditions and exploitation at the mine as “appalling and relentless” and demands resettlement of the people within the Special Mining Lease area, amongst other demands.

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Indigenous Resistance to Barrick Gold

Someone Else's Treasure: Indigenous Resistance from allan lissner on Vimeo.

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Pollution near the North Mara Mine, Tanzania.

Independent researchers detect high levels of pollution around North Mara gold mine

INDEPENDENT experts have confirmed the presence of high levels of toxic chemicals in the area surrounding Barrick Gold Corp's North Mara gold mine in Tarime District, Mara Region.

Download the full report here.

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Neville Chappy Williams with supporters at Barrick Gold's mine in Lake Cowal, easter weekend 2009.

AUSTRALIA: Mine expansion delayed by Indigenous owners

Wiradjuri Traditional Owner, Neville Chappy Williams, has further delayed the expansion of Barrick Australia’s Lake Cowal gold mine.
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A section of the River Tigethe ecosystem affected by allegedly contaminated water flowing from the nearby Barrick North Mara Gold Mine in Tarime District. Pictured Ms Otiego Mseti, one of the reportedly infected villagers

The human cost of gold in Tanzania: And a deadly price to pay

VILLAGERS living near a gold mine owned and run by Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp. in Tarime District, Mara Region are demanding the immediate closure of the project, saying they are paying a deadly price for the mining activities in the area.

Already, scores of people residing around Barrick’s North Mara Gold Mine are showing serious signs of exposure to pollution in the form of water contaminated with various chemicals allegedly flowing out of the mine and into the nearby River Tigethe.

The villagers accuse the mine management, under the Canadian investor company, of causing fatal health hazards to human beings, livestock, and land in Kebasula Ward in Tarime, where the mine is located.

They say more than 20 people have died in recent weeks as a direct result of the contaminated water.

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Native Americans Ask Court to Stop Gold Mine on Sacred Mountain

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Wednesday on whether the Canadian corporation Barrick Gold will be allowed to construct and operate an open pit gold mine on Mt. Tenabo in Nevada. The mine is planned on lands that are culturally and spiritually significant to the Western Shoshone native people.

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The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) releases statement in support of victims of forced evictions in Porgera

COHRE is deeply concerned about the reported forced evictions that started on 27 April 2009 in Ungima, Yokolama and Kulapi villages in Enga Province, Papua New Guinea. According to information from local organisations, on 27 April 2009, soldiers and police deployed in the area as a part of Operation Ipili 09 burned down more than 300 homes in the above mentioned villages. As per media reports, your representatives claim that the soldiers and police destroyed the homes without orders after commanders lost control.

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Jethro Tulin waits to speak at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. photo: Allan Lissner (

Jethro Tulin of the Akali Tange Association delivers strong intervention at the United Nations

Madam Chair, this is my second time at this UN forum, and today my message and recommendations are more urgent than before. In my homeland in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, the Ipili and Engan people have seen their traditions turned upside-down by the influence of a large-scale mining project. In one generation, the mine has brought militarization, corruption, and environmental devastation to a land that previously knew only subsistence farming and alluvial mining.

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** BARRICK MINING DISASTERS - Emergency Funds Needed **

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The waters on Tigite River are contaminated although the magnitude of the effects is yet to be determined. photo: Project HELP

Major Spill at Barrick's North Mara mine in Tanzania

Just in from Tundu Lissu:

There's a major emergency at Barrick's North Mara. There has been a major spill of their toxic sludge into River Tigite that flows into the Mara. This happened the day before yesterday; the entire community is in a huge uproar and panic. They have told me there are dead fish and all kinds of other water life along the river. Barrick's apparently very busy trying to kill the story before it goes out.

Tigite River is a source of water for more than 2534 households from Kewanja, Nyangoto and Matongo villages. Apart from those directly affected villages, the river is also being used by Wegita, Nyakunguru and Nyarwana villages and joins its water with Timbo River at Matongo village and then heads to Mara River which flows to Lake Victoria.

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC STATEMENT: Papua New Guinea: Forced Evictions and destruction of property by Police in Porgera must end

On 27 April 2009 police officials burned down 50 houses within the Porgera mining area, owned and operated by Canadian-based Barrick Gold Corporation. More than 200 police had been sent to the area as part of an operation to deal with the law and order situation in Porgera District, Enga Province. The police alleged that people living in these homes were squatters responsible for illegal mining and other criminal activities.  A further 300 houses of villagers living near the mine are also reported to have been burnt down as part of the same operations.

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Image of houses burning taken this week – photos provided by the Akali Tange Association.

Porgera up in flames

MORE than 300 houses belonging to local landowners near the Porgera gold mine in Enga Province, have been torched allegedly by policemen called out to restore law and order in the district. Landowners have called on Mr Kikala, Mr Baki, Barrick Gold and the National Government to explain police action.

see background of this crisis (as of April 27) here.

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Protest Barrick Gold's Shareholder Meeting

WHEN: Wednesday, April 29, 9am
WHERE: Metro Convention Centre, 255 Front St.

Read the statement of Jethro Tulin, of the Porgera Alliance and the Akali Tange Association 

Read the statement of Sergio Campusano, President of the Diaguita Huascoaltinos

see media release

Affected Indigenous communities from Papua New Guinea and Chile came to Toronto to give Peter Munk a piece of their mind.

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Subscribe to the ProtestBarrick RSS feed, which gives updates on the struggles against Barrick Gold worldwide!

"Madres Autoconvocadas" in Famatina, Argentina.

Barrick and Argentine Officials Violently Assault Women at Famatina Roadblock

Peñas Negras, La Rioja, Argentina 4/14/2009:  Argentine government officials from the Secretary of Mining and Secretary of Environment, along with personnel from the Barrick Gold Corporation today attempted to ascend to the mining camp located in the reaches of the Famatina mountain range.  Women from the Assembly, alerted to the intrusion, gathered at site of the road blockade they have carried out for two years in Peñas Negras,  lowering the metal bar built to deny passage to the mining company.

The officials and Barrick employees – some twelve men – then bashed their trucks against the barrier, without success.  Frustrated, the men proceeded to violently assault the handful of women who were peacefully seated on the road in front of the vehicles.  They attacked the peaceful Assembly members with blows and fists, shoving and kicking the women.

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BARRICK IMPLICATED in influencing Harper Government's "disgraceful" response to human rights abuses abroad

On March 29, the Canadian government announced it's long-awaited response to calls for regulatory reforms ensuring that Canadian Extractive Companies abroad respect international environmental and human rights standards. Their report, aptly titled "Building the Canadian Advantage: A Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector," is an insult to anyone concerned with defending human rights. It offers no tools for redressing the abuses of Canadian industry abroad and instead offers more subsidies to Canadian mining companies under the banner of CSR. According to a recent article in Embassy Magazine, "NGOs are holding the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Barrick Gold responsible" for the government's decision to pursue this strategy.
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Alain Deneault, William Sacher and Delphine Abadie, authors of Noir Canada. (Demonstration in front of the Montreal Courthouse on March 5th)

Update on Écosociété

Request to have the action suit transferred to Quebec firmly rejected by the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario, help needed

On June 11th, 2008, the gold mining company Banro Corporation filed a 5 million dollar suit against Écosociété and the authors of Noir Canada. This legal action came on the heels of another one filed by Barrick Gold mining society in the amount of 6 million dollars. Due to their limited financial means, Éditions Écosociété have filed a request before the Ontario court in order to have the pursuit transferred to Quebec. A legal action held in Ontario would mean duplication of the heavy judicial procedures (days of interrogation, defense file preparation, etc.) the authors and the publishing company have to go through already, because of the suit filed by Barrick in Quebec. The authors and the publishing company would also have to make regular trips to Toronto, as they are all based in Montreal.

On February 23rd, the request to have the action suit transferred to Quebec was firmly rejected by the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario. Shocked by the bias of the ruling largely favorable to Banro’s «right of reputation», Les Éditions Écosociété and the authors of Noir Canada have decided to appeal.

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Neville "Chappy" Williams reads Barrick's "Responsibility" Report after flying from Australia to condemn Barrick at their Annual General Meeting in Toronto, Canada. Barrick mines on Wiradjuri sacred ground at their Lake Cowal mine in Australia. Williams, a traditional owner and Wiradjuri elder, is the spokesperson for a group that holds the only continuing Native Title claim to that area. photo: Allan Cedillo Lissner

Blows to Barrick

Back-to-Back victories puncture Barrick's shiny veneer, expose deliberate deceit

Norway's Ministry of Finance announced January 30 that it would exclude mining giant Barrick Gold from the country's pension fund for ethical reasons. One week later, another victory against Barrick in Australia occurred when a judge ruled in favor of Wiradjuri Traditional Owner, Neville "Chappy" Williams, in granting an injunction restraining the proposed expansion of Barrick Gold's mine in Lake Cowal, New South Wales. More significant than the $200 million divested from Barrick, or the delay in Lake Cowal mine's expansion, is the context that these rulings expose: one of deliberate deceit on the part of Barrick Gold, now Canada's largest publicly-traded company.

***with update! Within a few weeks of Norway's announcement, the Porgera MP Phillip Kikala made calls to impose a state of emergency in Porgera, motivated by situation reports presented to him by Barrick (PNG) Limited. The National Executive Council has now made a call out for a combined defense force and police operation in Porgera including five mobile forces and one platoon at a cost of $12 million PNG Kina.***

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IN PHOTO: Anga Atalu (Porgera Landowners Association (PLOA), PNG), Sergio Campusano (Diaguita Huascoaltinos, Chile), Neville "Chappy" Williams (Wiradjuri, Australia), Mark Ekepa (Chairman, PLOA), and Jethro Tulin (ATA, PNG). photo: Allan Cedillo Lissner

VICTORY! Norwegian Pension Fund divests from Barrick Gold

Based on a recommendation from the Council on Ethics for the Government Pension Fund – Global, the Ministry of Finance has excluded the Canadian mining company Barrick Gold Corporation from the Fund. Barrick mines for gold in the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea. The recommendation is based on the assessment that investing in the company entails an unacceptable risk of the Fund contributing to serious environmental damage.

Read the Council of Ethics full recomendation here.

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Judge refuses to halt huge Nevada gold mine

A federal judge ruled Monday a massive gold mine project could proceed in northeast Nevada despite a bid by a Western tribe and conservationists to block it on religious and environmental grounds.

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