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Gold mining is a highly consumptive and environmentally destructive industry. In addition to the landscapes that is destroys, gold mining (especially open pit gold mining) creates massive amounts of toxic waste that often causes acid mine drainage and heavy metal contamination.
Gold mining and metal processing also uses vast amount of water and energy, often subsidized. It also utilizes dangerous chemicals such as cyanide in its leaching processes, posing a threat to local water systems.


Water Depletion
Water depletion is a major negative consequence of gold mining. The large amount of water required to run a gold mining operation exacerbates its impact on local communities, many of which are already experiencing drought.

Acid Mine Drainage
Open pit mining creates great waste for a small yield. On average, it takes 79 tons of waste to extract one ounce of gold, according to a conservative estimate by the No Dirty Gold campaign, a project of EarthWorks and Oxfam. The process involves grinding up ore, and then exposing it to cyanide in order to extract the gold. Sulfides in the crushed rocks interact with air and water to create sulfuric acid, which in turn creates acid mine drainage (AMD). In and of itself, AMD is harmful to ecosystems because it makes water too acidic to support life. Additionally, the sulfuric acid in AMD leaches out other substances from the waste ore, such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, which can have disastrous health effects, and can contaminate both air and water. Gold mining has been linked to 96 percent of the world’s arsenic emissions.

Cyanide
Cyanide is the chemical-of-choice for mining companies to extract gold from crushed ore, despite the fact that leaks or spills of this chemical are extremely toxic to fish, plant life and human beings. Cyanide is a deadly chemical, used in the gas chambers of the Second World War and on death row in the United States between 1930-1980. The chemical has caused havoc in water systems across the world with over 30 spills in the last five years.

Fly Over of Barrick Gold's Mine in Lake Cowal
by Natalie LowreySpecial to protestbarrick.net
February 4th, 2013
On Monday 4th February 2013, Wiradjuri Traditional Owner, Nevillle 'Chappy' Williams and ProtestBarrick.net co-founders and editors Sakura Saunders (Canada) and Natalie Lowrey (Australia) took a cessna plane from Forbes to Lake Cowal in central western New South Wales, Australia to document a gold mine in the lake. The slideshow video of the recent flight over Lake Cowal shows Barrick's mine pit in the lake bed surrounded by water. On the flight there were hundreds of birds seen in the 1km square toxic tailings dams. Many of these birds have flown great distances to get here and cannot differentiate the difference between the water of Lake Cowal and the tailings dams of the mine. The contamination of water with cyanide and heavy metals by the mine is of major concern to Wiradjuri Traditional Owners and environmentalists.

‘Please tell people about this:’ London students’ horror at Dominican Republic mines
by Mark SpowartMetro
October 27th, 2014
Three London students were shocked by what they found last winter during a trip to the Dominican Republic. Canadian mining companies, they say, are destroying lives in the country.

Barrick Gold refuses to relocate villagers who suffer murder, rape and house burning
by Karl NerenbergRabble.ca
September 12th, 2014
On Wednesday of this past week, a representative of thousands of people who live in the highlands of Papua New Guinea together with Canadian supporters came to Parliament Hill to tell Canadians about the highlanders' troubled relationship with Barrick Gold.

PUBLIC DECLARATION FROM THE DIRECTORS OF THE AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY DIAGUITAS HUASCOALTINOS
by Sergio Campusano VillchesPresident, Diaguita Huascoaltinos Indigenous and Agricultural Community
May 31st, 2014
In light of news of a potential negotiated agreement that would put an end to the social and environmental conflicts generated by the Pascua Lama project in the ancestral territory of the Agricultural Community of Diaguitas Huascoaltinos, we declare that this only deepens the relationship of confrontation that Barrick Gold has imposed in its relationship with the Community that owns the communal property of Diaguita.

Protesters to Barrick Gold shareholders: "We don't need gold, stop the unnecessary suffering": AGM Protest brings needed truth to corporate meeting
by Sakura SaundersProtestbarrick.net
April 30th, 2014
Over 100 people participated in a protest against Barrick Gold outside the company's annual general meeting this year. This annual protest highlights the realities and demands of communities living next to Barrick's mines around the world.

Barrick Gold Faces Demonstration Against Human Rights, Environmental Abuses at Toronto AGM
by Tim McSorleyDeSmog
Barrick Gold's shareholders will be greeted by a familiar sight in Toronto this morning: protesters are once again gathering outside the Annual General Meeting of the world's largest gold mining company to denouce the corporation's human rights and environmental abuses.

CEDHA offers expert testimony against Barrick Gold in Chilean Tribunals
CEDHA
April 27th, 2014
On the one year anniversary of the suspension of Pascua Lama due to impacts to glaciers and other water resources, Jorge Daniel Taillant, Director of the Center for Human Rights and Environment (in Argentina) spoke for two hours today before Chile’s Environmental Tribunal to answer questions regarding reports CEDHA has produced to draw attention to Barrick Gold’s Pascua Lama project impacts to hitherto ignored but extremely relevant swaths of land called Periglacial Environments. These frozen hydrological resources help glaciated areas store and regulate water flow to downstream water basins for millions of people.

Hearing in Grants, NM to review Barrick's Homestake site, where contamination has spread in recent years
by Steve Dylla and Candace Head-DyllaResidents of Grants, NM and members of the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE) and the Bluewater Valley Downstream Alliance (BVDA)
April 25th, 2014
Once again, Homestake-Barrick Gold refuses to commit the resources needed to fully clean the contaminated water and once again NMED will find that acceptable. In the last discharge permit hearing (DP-725), we asked NMED to require Homestake-Barrick Gold commit to operating a reverse osmosis plant that could actually clean all the water from the site. It is the right thing to do, but Homestake-Barrick Gold will not spend the money required and NMED does not want to get on the wrong side of this powerful company. So, instead, Homestake-Barrick Gold proposes experimental methods that are unproven and likely dangerous, proposes an insignificant increase in reverse osmosis, and NMED will approve this proposal and claim they are supporting ”progress” and “innovation” rather than colluding with a company that is too rich and powerful for them to regulate.

Hearing in Grants, NM to review Barrick's Homestake site, where contamination has spread in recent years
Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE)
April 25th, 2014
The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) is set to renew the Homestake Mining Company’s Discharge Permit, DP-200, with some modifications that would allow Homestake to nearly double its use of the public's water supply to dilute contaminants at its Superfund site.

Written Comments of Steve Dylla and Candace Head-Dylla regarding Homestake-Barick Gold Mining Company Uranium Millsite
by Steve Dylla and Candace Head-DyllaResidents of Grants, NM and members of the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE) and the Bluewater Valley Downstream Alliance (BVDA)
April 25th, 2014
Once again, Homestake-Barrick Gold refuses to commit the resources needed to fully clean the contaminated water and once again NMED will find that acceptable. In the last discharge permit hearing (DP-725), we asked NMED to require Homestake-Barrick Gold commit to operating a reverse osmosis plant that could actually clean all the water from the site. It is the right thing to do, but Homestake-Barrick Gold will not spend the money required and NMED does not want to get on the wrong side of this powerful company. So, instead, Homestake-Barrick Gold proposes experimental methods that are unproven and likely dangerous, proposes an insignificant increase in reverse osmosis, and NMED will approve this proposal and claim they are supporting ”progress” and “innovation” rather than colluding with a company that is too rich and powerful for them to regulate.

Behind Barrick's meltdown in the Atacama desert
by STEPHANIE NOLENGlobe and Mail
April 24th, 2014
In Chile today, you could spend a very long time trying to find anyone with a good word to say about Pascua-Lama.

Barrick Gold Using Coercive Settlement Provisions to Perpetuate Legacy of Environmental Harm
by Michelle HarrisonEarth Rights International
March 31st, 2014
After nearly a decade of litigation over environmental devastation in the Philippines caused by Placer Dome’s mining operations (now Barrick Gold Corp.), Barrick has reportedly given the Province of Marinduque a take-it-or-leave-it settlement offer that would prohibit the Province from spending a penny to clean up the damage the company left behind.

Marinduque solons oppose $20-M Barrick Gold settlement
Business Mirror (Philippines)
February 22nd, 2014
TWO lawmakers have opposed a $20-million compensation offer being dangled by a mining company in connection with the 1996 Marcopper mine tailing spill, considered the worst mining disaster in the Philippines. “This will not also address the repair of the Maguila-guila and Makulapnit siltation dams and Taipan pit. The said dams are in danger of collapse due to its considerably weakened walls and the big volume of water and silt contained therein. Its collapse will unleash a huge quantity of water and silt to the towns of Boac, Mogpog and possibly other towns in Marinduque which will result to loss of a great number of lives and millions of pesos in damage to homes and properties."

Tanzania's gold rush and housing crush
by Victoria SchneiderAl Jazeera
Mayenda says the Buzwagi Gold Mine is the reason the buildings collapsed, and she is not alone. Other villagers say their mud houses crack and collapse because of blasting at the open pit - Tanzania's largest. They say their children's coughs come from the dust blown over the village, and the water from the local wells is polluted from mine waste.

Philippines: Marinduque 'pushed to the wall' by Barrick Gold
by Catherine CoumansMining Watch Canada via Rabble.ca
October 22nd, 2013
Canada’s Barrick Gold, the world’s largest gold mining company that bought out Placer Dome, has spent the better half of a decade fighting the province in court rather than owning up to the company’s responsibility to put things right in Marinduque. Once again, Marinduque is the bellwether, evidence that for all its rhetoric about “responsible mining,” the mining industry is still more concerned with its bottom line than in doing what’s right. In spite of a long legal struggle with competent American lawyers, on September 17, Marinduque provincial administrator Eleuterio Raza told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Inquirer) that Barrick was offering the province around 20 million dollars, take it or leave it. According to the Inquirer “[t]he amount, however, would further be reduced to $13.5 million after litigation expenses had been paid. ‘These are crumbs,’ said Raza, ‘but we are being pushed to the wall.’” It is perfectly clear that this extremely low level of recovery from Barrick is woefully inadequate to protect the health and safety of Marinduquenos, which can only be secured through the comprehensive rehabilitation of all contaminated ecosystems and the stabilization or removal of shoddy dams and structures in the mountains of the island, as well as the tons of toxic waste that these dams are barely containing.

Philippines: Marinduque 'pushed to the wall' by Barrick Gold
http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/miningwatch/2013/10/philippines-marinduque-pushed-to-wall-barrick-gold
October 22nd, 2013
In the Philippines, the island province of Marinduque is known as a cautionary tale about the ravages of irresponsible mining. It took Canadian mining giant Placer Dome a couple of decades to wreak environmental destruction on major coral reefs in Calancan Bay and to severely contaminate the Mogpog and Boac Rivers with toxic mine waste -- none of which has ever been cleaned up. The ongoing environmental impacts are only part of the story.

Sickness and wealth: Shiny new mine, rusty pollution problems
The Economist
September 21st, 2013
Residents are suing PVDC, claiming that the new mine is poisoning rivers, causing illnesses and the death of farm animals. They want the government to release the environmental-impact assessment for Pueblo Viejo, which it has so far refused to do.

Five whistleblowers speak out against Barrick, court documents reveal
Court documents filed by Labaton Sucharow LLP on August 2, 2013 related to a class action lawsuit on behalf of shareholders of Barrick Gold reveal the testimonies of five former Barrick employees. These confidential witnesses confirm that Barrick top management knew that construction at the Pascua Lama Project was contaminating nearby water sources and breaching environmental conditions that led to the suspension of the project. These witnesses also testify that at a time when the company was estimating that the Project's cost would be between $2.8 and $3 billion, Barrick already had in its possession an engineering report estimating costs for the Project at nearly twice that figure.

Confidential Witness reports related to class action against Barrick Gold
by compiled by Sakura Saunders (with protestbarrick.net)filer: Labaton Sucharow
August 3rd, 2013
The following is excerpts from court documents filed by Labaton Sucharow LLP on August 2, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. These documents were related to a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of persons or entities who purchased the publicly-traded common stock of Barrick Gold Corporation on the New York Stock Exchange between May 7, 2009 and May 23, 2013. The excerpts focus on information related to the testimony of former employees of Barrick Gold acting as confidential witnesses (CW1 - CW5) in the case.

The Case Against Barrick Gold: Why Shareholders are turning on this mining giant
by Sakura SaundersSpecial to ProtestBarrick
July 26th, 2013
On June 5, 2013, Lewis and Patricia Clark filed a class action lawsuit for themselves and other shareholders against the world's largest gold miner for “making false and misleading statements and concealed material information” relating to Pascua-Lama’s delays and costs. The class covers everyone who bought Barrick common stock between May 7, 2009, and May 23, 2013. Since this date, at least 9 law-firms have taken on the case against Barrick.

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