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2012-13: A bad year for Barrick

behind the growing antagonism towards Barrick Gold

excerpt of "Debunking Barrick", an alternative annual report on Barrick Gold
Contact: Sakura Saunders, sakura.saunders [at] gmail.com, for advance copies of the report.
April 18th, 2013

Leer en español aqui.

July 3, 2012 – The Argentinian Supreme Court reversed Barrick's preliminary injunctions that have blocked key parts of a glacier protection law from being applied to their mining operations. The law protecting glaciers now applies to Barrick Gold, casting doubt on the viability on the project.1

July 2012 - Nixon Mangape (Independent) defeats Philip Kikala (People's National Congress) to become Lagaip-Porgera's representative in Papua New Guinea's National Parliament.2 In 2009, Barrick-supported police burnt down the homes of his immediate family in Wuangima village, adjacent to Barrick's mine.3 In 2010, mine security shot Mangape in the leg with a rubber bullet as he joined a family who had just had their loved one killed by mine security.4 As a member of Parliament, Hon. Mangape brings up the issues of on-going abuses at Barrick's mine and pushes for the resettlement of his people outside of the Special Mining Lease area.

Aug 4, 2012 - A group of 23 contract workers occupies the San Ambrosio Church in Vallenar, capital of the northern Chilean province of Huasco, to protest labor conditions at Barrick's Pascua Lama mine. Rafael Castillo, the vice president of a workers' group, told Radio Bío Bío that workers die every year for lack of medical attention at the site.5

Aug 28, 2012 - Chile’s Supreme Court strikes down the planned 2,100-megawatt, $5 billion Castilla thermoelectric power plant project citing environmental concerns.6 Barrick’s Pascua Lama mine was to be supplied with power from that project, which may result in additional delays and costs.

Sept 1, 2012 - Paulo Sarya (26) and Rodgers Mwita (18), locals from villages surrounding Barrick's North Mara mine in Tanzania, are shot dead by North Mara police force after a reported 800-10,000 people raided the mine site. Both were shot dead while in the mine pit, another local was seriously injured and taken to the hospital.7

Sept 3, 2012
- Eight subsidiaries of Barrick Gold are fined a total $127,000 for failing to lodge documents with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.8

Sept 20, 2012 - One person died and four were injured when police clashed with protesters at the entrance of Barrick's Pierina mine in Peru.9

Sept 28, 2012 - At least 25 people were injured shotgun fire in the village of La Cabirma in the Dominican Republic amid exchange of gunfire between police and protesters demanding that Barrick hire more local workers for their Pueblo Viejo mine.10

Oct 4, 2013 - A Chilean appeals court accepts to consider an injunction against Canada’s Barrick Gold, in relation to indigenous Diaguita communities concerned with damage to glaciers. This case is eventually succeeds in forcing Barrick to stop work on the project.11

Oct 31, 2012 - Chile's National Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin) ordered the work suspension at the Pascua Lama site after its inspectors found unsafe levels of fine particles in the air at the mine; a report blamed "incorrect technical monitoring" of the earth being excavated.12

Nov 2, 2012 - Barrick Gold's CEO, Jamie Sokalsky, announced yet another jump in the estimated capital costs of the Pascua-Lama mine, from less than $1 billion in 1997, to $3 billion in 2009, to $8 billion in July, to $8.5 billion now.13

Nov 9, 2012 - Chibwa Ghati Muarembera (20), a resident of Kiwanja Village in Tarime District is shot dead by police after allegedly raiding Barrick's North Mara mine with 4000 people.14

Nov 10, 2012 - Citing rising operating costs, Barrick Gold cancels the Homestake Retiree Medical Plan, leaving about 1,000 retirees without the benefit. Cara Horton, benefits manager with Barrick Gold Corp, reveals that the Homestake Retiree Medical Plan was not a union-negotiated plan. Therefore, she says, Barrick is fully within their rights to cancel it.15

Jan 16, 2013 - Property titles were issued in Vallenar, Chile by Mines Commissioner Paulo Cortes Olguín that grant sole legal jurisdiction over the Pascua Mine area concessions and titles to Jorge Lopehandía of Mountainstar Gold Inc.16 According to Chilean media outlet El Ciudadano, the Commissioner also established that “Amarillos North (12,850 acres) and Amarillos South (8,400 acres) have been Lopehandía’s property since 1996.”17

Jan. 9 2013 – Stanley Kawambu is shot at, beat, and left to die in a cell by police in Yanzakale, Porgera.

Jan 2013 – Tanzania's National Environment Management Council (NEMC) orders Barrick to close it's pit refuse facility in North Mara due to toxic leakages and the contamination of local water sources.18

Jan 30, 2013 – Mining Watch, Rights & Accountability in Development, and EarthRights International release a scathing critique of Barrick's gang rape remediation program in Papua New Guinea, which forces victims to sign away future rights to sue in exchange for receiving remedy.19

Feb 6, 2013 - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency forces Barrick to pay a $618,000 settlement for failing to correctly report toxic chemical releases and waste management activities at the company's Cortez, Ruby Hill, and Bald Mountain mines.20

Feb 13, 2013 - Africa Barrick forecasts production would shrink for a fifth straight year and says it will focus on cutting soaring costs, after talks collapsed with China National Gold over a possible takeover of the firm.21

Feb 14, 2013 - Barrick takes a $3 billion dollar write-down on a Zambian Copper mine it bought in 2011. The write-down “was twice as big as we expected,” Pawel Rajszel, an analyst at Veritas Investment Research in Toronto. “They definitely didn’t do their due diligence.”22

Feb 21, 2013 – The road to Barrick's Laguna Norte mine in Peru blocked by 200 protesters for six days over jobs, wages, and water supplies in the area.23

Feb 21, 2013
- Chile's environmental commission fines Barrick 3000 UTM (US$256,518) for irregularities and pollution with respect to their glacier monitoring plan.24

March 2, 2013 – A man and a women are shot and killed at Barrick's North Mara mine in Tanzania, after an estimated 4,000 people allegedly raid the mine site looking to steal gold ore.25

March 2013 – Barrick mislabels the origin of a customs declaration, saying that gold came from the United States when in fact the gold was from Dominican soil. This error is punishable by twice the value of the cargo – or $23 million in this case, and comes at a time of growing tensions between the government and Barrick over what the DR government considers an unfair contract in terms of profit sharing.26

April 1, 2013 – Barrick is fined 1000 UTM (US$85,509) for violating conditions of their glacier monitoring plan.27

April 10, 2013 - Chilean court suspends construction at Barrick's Pascua Lama mine, acting on a complaint from Diaguita Indigenous communities. The ruling cites concentrations of arsenic, aluminum, copper and sulphates in groundwater that exceeded levels deemed acceptable.28

April 12, 2013
- Farmers protest Barrick in the Dominican Republic. On horseback and in tractors, they denounce Barrick over the contamination of their water supplies and the death of their livestock.29

3 Wuangima village (as Amnesty refers to it) is also called Ungima Village. “Operation Ipili 2009 Report #3” report by Akali Tange Association

4One more Aggressive Shooting at Porgera” report prepared by Akali Tange Association 2010.

17 Ibid.

 

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