Barrick Gold and the Royal Canadian Mint today unveiled the design of the medals to be awarded to athletes at this summer's PanAm games. 4,000 competitions medals will be awarded during the course of both the Pan Am Games and the Parapan Am Games.
But why are we using this opportunity to promote the irresponsible practice of open pit gold mining, especially considering that we get more than enough gold these days from recycled sources? Specifically, why are we celebrating a mining company whose abuses are well documented and widespread. To illustrate my point, let's look at the three mines highlighted as the sources of the PanAm medals.
This film originally appeared on French Television and offers an inside look on the ground at Barrick's Porgera Mine in Papua New Guinea. Now, the documentary short is available with English subtitles.
This context is important given Barrick's recent announcement that it intends to sell its stake in Porgera. Landowners are determined to not let any sale happen before outstanding issues are resolved with the company, and have issued an ultimatum to the PNG government threatening to shut down the mine if their concerns are not met.
On February 6, lawfirm Leigh Day announced that African Barrick Gold (now Acacia Mining) had settled out of court with
Tanzanian villagers wanting compensation in relation to killings
at its North Mara mine. While this settlement is likely welcome to the victims who pursued this legal claim, a recent press statement by Mining Watch Canada and RAID points out that Barrick's greivance mechanism, hastily put in place in response to this lawsuit, makes it so that victims of mine violence who seek redress through the company will not be allowed to sue the company.
"In order to receive compensation victims must sign a controversial legal waiver preventing them from suing Barrick or any of its subsidiaries in any jurisdiction for the harm they have suffered," reads the press statemend. "Many of Leigh Day’s original clients were persuaded to sign up to the programme without the benefit of having their lawyers’ present. Some now regret this and believe that they fell victim to a process by which they received paltry levels of compensation for life-changing injuries or deaths sustained in security incidents at the mine."
Additionally, this case does not address the fact that killings at the mine site are on-going. "Since September 2014, local human rights sources allege that there have been at least 20 new cases of deaths or serious injury at the North Mara."
|Before the recent conflict allegations involving Canada's biggest bank, the CBC's senior business correspondent went to bat for another corporate employer of a romantic partner|
In 2011, a guest on Lang's show cited a recent cover story in Globe & Mail's Report on Business, stating that 19 villagers had been killed by security and police guarding Barrick's mine in Tanzania. She responds by saying that Peter Munk (Barrick's) founder, has done "amazing things" in Tanzania, "creating wealth where there was none." (Lang's husband worked for Barrick Gold and still advised for them at the time. He also worked directly with Peter Munk's Philathropic endeavours at the time).
In July 2014, “Mining Morality Canada” began a journey to investigate and document the environmental, social, political, and economic impacts that Canadian mining companies are having on local communities within the Dominican Republic. This journey led us all around the central mountain range of the Dominican where we have been working in solidarity with those directly resisting Canadian mining companies including Barrick Gold, Gold Corp and Glencore Falconbridge. These companies, in conjunction with other previously operating mining companies such as Rosario Dominicana, have had devastating effects on the livelihoods of communities and the environment.
On October 28, 2014, hundreds of Porgerans marched onto Barrick Gold’s Porgera mine site to demand benefits that rightfully belong to the Porgera Special Mining Lease (SML) Landowners.
On Oct 17, Barrick Gold was given a 48 hour ultimatum to respond to requests by landowners at their controversial Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea.
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.
“We visited the Barrick Gold mine, and while we were there, we spoke with a woman named Juliana (Rodriguez). She is 82 years old and has lived in the area for all of her life,” Klaire Gain said. “She told us the last four years, which (has seen) Barrick Gold mining in the region, have been the worst years of her life.”
On Oct 17, Barrick Gold was given a 48 hour ultimatum to respond to requests by landowners at their controversial Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea. The first demand, that Barrick become Party to a revised Porgera Mine Memorandum of Agreement and make a date to commence MOA review, has been the landowners "number one ask from day one", according to a letter dated October 17, 2014 from the landowners association to Barrick management. For many years, the Porgera Landowners Association has been urging Barrick Gold for the resettlement of their people away from the Porgera mine site, through MOA reviews, and an international pressure and educational campaign including an OECD complaint and several appeals to the United Nations. However, Barrick continues to sidestep this urgent issue.
Jethro Tulin at the Peoples Social ForumPNG Human Rights Organizer to make keynote at the Peoples Social Forum in Ottawa this August
Jethro Tulin has waged an international battle against Barrick for over a decade. In 1989, he registered Porgera’s first mine workers union and became its first secretary. Years later, Tulin returned to Porgera to find the situation worse and thus founded the Akali Tange Association (ATA), a human rights organization documenting abuses at the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea.
Burns" read headlines this morning in Papua New Guinea's daily
newspaper. More than 200 houses were burnt to the ground, it reports,
and angry villagers retaliated by attacking an Australian mine worker.
***Take action to demand resettlement now!***
“This is the second time this village (Wingima) was burnt down. The first one was done during the first state of emergency call out operation some six years ago which never solved the problem,” MP Nixon Mangape said of this most recent police campaign.
“Why is Barrick not looking at long term solutions like relocating the people out of the special mining lease area? Burning houses in a particular village in the special mining lease area will not solve the illegal mining problem. It’s adding more fuel to a burning fire.”
Every year, the board of directors of the world's largest gold mining company meet in downtown Toronto. And every year (for the last 7) people who are aware of Barrick's abuses around the world turn up to support impacted communities in their campaigns against this abusive company.
This annual general meeting is taking place while:
WHERE: Metro Convention Centre, 255 Front St, Toronto
Please come out and support the communities negatively affected by Barrick. Through grassroots solidarity, we can ensure that their perspectives and needs are heard loud and clear in Toronto!
WHEN: Tuesday, April 1, 7pm
Riots break out in Porgera, Papua New Guinea, after Toronto-based Barrick Gold's security kills several local miners. Reporting by activist Jethro Tulin, of the Akali Tange Association, a local human rights organization. Jethro has visited Canada many times to advocate around compensating victims of mine-related violence and collectively resettling the population away from the mine. This is the violence that exists surround Barrick's mines in PNG, Tanzania, and Peru.
Protestbarrick.net is proud to announce that we won Now's reader's choice award for being the best activist group in Toronto with a non-local cause! While we believe that ProtestBarrick's cause is at the core of Toronto, we are thrilled to have received this honour.
Protestbarrick editor Sakura Saunders also received the runner-up position for the Best Activist in Toronto in the reader poll. As Now magazine is Toronto's largest weekly magazine, we believe that these honours help highlight the importance of mining justice issues within Toronto.
On July 30, London law firm, Leigh Day, served African Barrick Gold (ABG) and North Mara Gold Mine Limited (NMGML) with legal proceedings filed in the UK High Court. The claim alleges that the companies are liable for the deaths and injuries of local villagers, including through complicity in the killing of at least 6 local villagers by police at the North Mara mine in Tanzania. The companies deny the allegations.
Twelve villagers, including one man who has been left paraplegic, are suing the companies in the hope of receiving just compensation.
“Unfortunately, these are not isolated incidents. We are aware of many other instances in which local people have reportedly been seriously injured or killed at ABG’s mine,” said Leigh Day partner, Richard Meeran. >>> read more
Shareholder class action attracts 5 whistleblowers!
Court documents filed by Labaton Sucharow LLP on August 2, 2013 related to a class action lawsuit on behalf of Barrick shareholders 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.
In response to an editorial written by ProtestBarrick co-editor Sakura Saunders, Corporate Knights has admitted that their "corporate citizen" rating system has "important omissions, most notably human rights performance and major environmental or community transgressions."
In a letter to Now Magazine, the self-styled "clean capitalism" outfit admits that it is "oblivious to Barrick’s controversial human rights record." At ProtestBarrick, we feel like this is an important step to admitting the limitations of top-down "social responsibility" screenings. We will continue to work with Corporate Knights to advocate that they employ harsher filters to disqualify corporations with major transgressions, while also advocating that they screen out all gold mining companies (due to the complete lack of need for newly mined gold).
|"Best 50" corporate citizens ignores human rights abuses, environmental mismanagement and faulty self-reporting|
Corporate Knights magazine just released this
year's "Best Corporate Citizens in Canada" report, a top 50 rating
which claims to show that "being environmentally and socially
responsible is more than just the right thing to do - it's good for
business." Unfortunately, all this index proves is that 'clean
capitalism' is more about style than substance. Put enough money into
your image and public relations outfits will sing your praises in an
unaccountable echo chamber of write-ups and awards, regardless of how
much evidence suggests otherwise.
READ ProtestBarrick's Open Letter to Corporate Knights magazine.
A 14-foot effigy of Barrick Gold chairman Peter Munk with a Pinocchio nose illustrated what protesters thought about Barrick's claims of social responsibility. Outside the company's annual general meeting, over a hundred people braved the rain to tell shareholders to divest from the gold mining giant.
As Protest Barrick completes its sixth year of working with
communities impacted by Barrick Gold, we are publishing a different kind
of alternative annual report. We have noticed over the years that
despite some of Barrick`s major abuses coming into light, the company
has been able to maintain – within select circles – a reputation for
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Meanwhile, around the world,
Barrick’s name is still associated with corruption, abuse and
This report intends to explain this disconnect. With information provided for us by front-line communities, we will attempt to reconcile their truth with Barrick’s lies.
Download full report here.
Barrick's share price has plummeted in the last month and over the last year. To understand why investors are jumping ship, the editors at Protest Barrick have put together a timeline capturing key moments since July 2012.
Leer en expañol aqui.