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Porgera Burns: The case for resettlement has never been more clear

"Porgera 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.

This isn't the
first time that security forces have burnt down hundreds of houses next to Barrick's mine, and this recent violent episode underscores the need to meet the community's demand to be resettled away from the dangerous mine site.

***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.”

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APRIL 30: Confront Barrick Gold!

Protest Barrick's Annual General Meeting

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:

  • Barrick is facing a court case in the British High Court seeking damages for the death and injury of local villagers in Tanzania.
  • Communities in Papua New Guinea are making urgent calls for resettlement away from the mine site and community members are seeking compensation for killings and sexual assault. 
  • Communities in the Dominican Republic are also seeking urgent relocation away from the contaminated mine site, and to be compensated for their economic losses from dead cattle and contaminated produce.
  • Indigenous Diaguita communities in Chile are fighting to stop the Pascua Lama project, which does not have their consent and has been poisoning their scarce water resources.
  • Communities on Marinduque Island in the Philippines are seeking damages from a mine tailings disaster, considered the worst mining disaster in the Philippines.

WHERE: Metro Convention Centre, 255 Front St, Toronto
WHEN: April 30, 2014 @ 11am

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!


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Toronto Premiere! Silence is Golden

The story of how Barrick SLAPPed Free Speech, presented by Cinema Politica

WHEN: Tuesday, April 1, 7pm
WHERE: 506 Bloor St West (the Bloor Cinema)

What are the limits to freedom of speech? Can we put a price on our spoken and written words? Following the 2008 release of the book Noir Canada, author Alain Deneault, his co-writers and his publisher, Éditions Écosociété, grappled with these questions – at great personal expense – after being sued for defamation in Quebec and Ontario courts by two large Canadian mining companies. Deneault and his publisher fought back, becoming entangled in a seemingly never-ending spiral of judicial proceedings. Silence Is Gold is a thriller of a documentary that tells their story, set against the backdrop of the Canadian justice system. We follow the complex procedural twists and turns, eagerly anticipating a resolution that is repeatedly delayed.

Watch Trailer: https://www.nfb.ca/film/silence_is_gold/trailer/silence-is-gold-trailer

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BREAKING: Riots in Porgera

Barrick Security kill local miners, spark deadly confrontation. Jethro Tulin reports..

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.

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ProtestBarrick winner of NOW Toronto's "Best of" 2013 for Best Activist Group with non-local cause

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.

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Tanzanian villagers sue African Barrick Gold for deaths and injuries

Barrick Gold hit by two lawsuits! 5 former employees testify against company!

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.

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ProtestBarrick assembled a team to deliver an open letter to Corporate Knights urging them to delist Barrick from their Top Corporate Citizen's List.

Corporate Knights responds to criticism, concludes that ProtestBarrick is "exactly right"

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).

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Corporate Knights defend abusive corporations

"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.

One of the most glaring incongruities in their recent index is the placement of Barrick Gold – a company renowned for displacement, killings, gang rapes, and environmental disasters – in the number four position. I will repeat this point because it might be hard to comprehend: Corporate Knights believes that Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold mining company, is the 4th best corporate citizen in Canada.

READ ProtestBarrick's Open Letter to Corporate Knights magazine.

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photo: Allan Lissner, allan.lissner.net

Barrick AGM Protest in pictures

#debunkbarrick

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.

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New Report! "Debunking Barrick"

an expose on the truths beneath Barrick's CSR spin.

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 environmental harms.

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

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Barrick Year in Review

an excerpt of the forthcoming report "Debunking Barrick"

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.

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CONFRONT BARRICK: 2013 AGM Protest and Alternative Annual Report!

Once a year, the board of Directors of the world’s most powerful gold mining corporation converge in downtown Toronto. This year, we're releasing a report that chronicles Barrick's lies and highlights the true stories behind their false CSR spin. Help us ensure that these stories don't get ignored.

Join us to… CONFRONT BARRICK GOLD!


WHEN: April 24, 2013 9:30am
WHERE: 255 Front St. Metro Convention Center, Toronto
WHY: Around the world, Barrick robs Indigenous people of their lands, destroys sensitive ecosystems and agricultural land, supports brutal police and security operations, and sues anyone who tries to report on it. But despite repression and a sophisticated PR machine, the truth is getting out about this corporate criminal.

Join us as we debunk Barrick's lies and help create a powerful movement of solidarity against Barrick and corporate impunity.

Be there with us to tell investors: “GOLD IS A TOXIC ASSET, INVEST IN LIFE!”


Barrick Gold CEO Jamie Sokalsky gets called out at Toronto mining convention

Once a year, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) throws the world's largest mining convention in downtown Toronto. This year, the convention featured a track on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that was open to the public. The final session of this track was a CEO panel featuring Jamie Sokalsky, the CEO of Barrick Gold.


While Sokalsky tried to present Barrick's CSR program as more than just window dressing, I got ahold of the mic to draw attention to the very real and on-going human rights abuses at two of Barrick's mine sites, first in North Mara, Tanzania and then in Porgera, Papua New Guinea. Unfazed by the fact that they turned off my mic, I raised my voice to speak louder about the scale of the devastation in Papua New Guinea. Finally, the security escorted me out as I handed out footnoted fact sheets to the audience at the forum.

Barrick's entire board and shareholders will gather this April 24 in Downtown Toronto's Metro Convention Centre's John Basset Theatre at 10am. Please come and confront Barrick yourself... don't let them get away with denying the destruction their are imposing on other communities!

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Apalaka Village is one of the villages where inhabitants must move further and further up the mountainside to avoid their homes being swallowed by the mine waste, which causes landslides. photo: Sakura Saunders

The Globe and Mail as Corporate Apologists

behind the love affair with Barrick Gold

Ever wonder why the Globe & Mail puts out fawning editorials about Barrick after every human rights scandal?

Read the background behind the Globe and Mail's love affair with Barrick Gold.

Also see Mining Watch's response, "Globe and Mail proclaims on rapes in Papua New Guinea"

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Fly Over of Barrick Gold's Mine in Lake Cowal

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.

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14 Lies by Barrick Gold on Glacier Impacts at Pascua Lama

a response to Barrick's propaganda machine

Since Barrick Gold proposed the absurd plan to dynamite glaciers to get at gold deposits underneath perennial ice, a movement has begun along the Central Andes comprising civil society actors, environmental groups, indigenous peoples, common individuals and even governmental agencies, to ensure glacier protection. In Argentina, the world’s first National Glacier Law was adopted in 2010, and in Chile, there is a National Glacier Policy in place to protect these critical water reservoirs captured in perennial ice.  

This report responds to Barrick's misleading and sometimes outright false statements being produced on Barrick's new website, ironically titled “Protecting Glaciers.”

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Harper's chief of staff faces conflict of interest questions over Barrick Gold links

Chief of Staff is godfather to Munk's son and has links to Munk's policy foundation

With all of these articles coming out about how Harper's Chief of Staff is a close family friend of the Munks, ProtestBarrick.net decided to put out a short list of all of the ways that the Harper gov. has directly hooked up Barrick over the years!

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Accumulation by Dispossession: Barrick & Goldcorp’s Pueblo Viejo Gold Mine in the Dominican Republic

Barrick and Goldcorp’s Pueblo Viejo gold mining project, the “biggest single foreign direct investment ever done in the Dominican Republic estimated at US $3.5 billion”, should begin full operations in July 2012. While the economic sectors deem it an economic blessing, the local population, environmentalists, and progressive groups strongly oppose it due to numerous social problems already underway and the potential to cause an irreversible environmental disaster in the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

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Barrick Gold Suffers Legal Defeat in Argentine Supreme Court

Glacier Protection Law Holds and Mining Companies Must Reveal Impacts

Cuadro de texto: Glacier Destroyed by Barrick’ Veladero Mining RoadBarrick Gold, the company that had proposed dynamiting glaciers and hauling them off in dump trucks so they could get at gold reserves at their Pascua Lama project, suffered a major setback today in the Argentine National Supreme Court. An injunction order originally granted to Barrick by a local federal circuit court judge suspending the recently approved National Glacier Act, was terminally revoked. The glacier law is now back in full force for Barrick and other mining companies operating in Argentina.

Mining companies investing in exploration activities all along the Andes mountains were quietly awaiting the ruling by the Argentine Supreme Court which issued an 8 page verdict today stating firmly that the glacier law holds and Barrick and a slew of other mining companies exploring for minerals in the high Andes mountains, will now have to file glacier impact reports on their operations and adhere to the law. If they are found to be in glacier areas, or impacting glaciers, according to the law, they will have to redesign their projects, or worse, pack their bags and go home.

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Occupy Toronto Highlights Affected Community Voices in 24-hour protest Against Barrick Gold.

Protesters, joined by Occupy Toronto, rallied outside of Barrick Gold's Annual General Meeting this year to demonstrate their opposition to the Toronto-based company. Many activists had spent the night outside of convention centre that hosted the meeting the night before as a 24 hour sit-in protest against the company.

This year, Amani Mhinda came from Tanzania to speak out against Barrick's abuses in his country. Despite holding a legal proxy to attend the meeting, his entrance was denied. Speakers from Balochistan and Argentina also spoke out against Barrick Gold and other Canadian mining companies. Powerful statements were read from the Diaguita Huascoaltinos Indigenous community in Northern Chile and the Porgera Alliance from Papua New Guinea. This year, the protest was also joined Students from the Student School, who targeted the park across the street from the Metro Convention Centre last night.

For the past five years, impacted communities have been speaking out at Barrick's Annual General meeting. 

Read Press Release about Amani Mhinda's illegal exclusion from the Barrick AGM

Porgera Alliance statement read at the Barrick Gold AGM.

Diaguita Huascoaltinos Statement for Barrick Gold AGM.

Read article about The Student School's decision to support the Barrick Protest as a school.

Listen to Audio from the protest.


CONFRONT BARRICK GOLD! Annual General Meeting Protest

Once a year, the board of Directors of the world's most powerful gold mining corporation converge in downtown Toronto. Join us and representatives from mining-impacted communities to... CONFRONT BARRICK GOLD!

WHAT: Shareholders meeting protest
WHEN: May 2, 2012 10:30am
WHERE: Metro Convention Centre 255 Front St, Toronto

WHY PROTEST BARRICK?

In countries like Australia, Chile, Papua New Guinea and Tanzania, 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. In the context of this libel chill, Barrick has branded itself as the socially responsible mining giant and boasts its listing on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Behind the scenes, Barrick has been singled out as the company most involved in the lobbying effort to stop private member’s bill C-300.

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Activists demand to ban cyanide outside in Dominican Republic

Banner drop and protest outside of Barrick office in Dominican Republic

The group SalvaTierra took a non-violent direct action this morning in front of the building where the multinational mining corporation Barrick has part of its offices in capital city, Santo Domingo. It declared its support to dozens of environmental and social groups that have already expressed their opposition to megamining in the country and joined the campaign by the Latin America Mining Conflicts Observatory (OCMAL) to ban cyanide in the whole region.

In their statement, the group warns that: “Mega open pit mining is an activity whose enormous scale entails major environmental impacts, such as the destruction of large forests, the massive consumption of fresh water and electricity, the production of acid drainage, and above all the use of large amounts of highly toxic substances”. Amongst the latter they highlighted cyanide, which Barrick is planning to use for processing 24,000 tons of mineral daily in the Pueblo Viejo mine currently under construction.

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CEDHA Files Equator Principles Due Diligence Review to US EXIM Bank and EDC of Canada on Barrick’s Pascua Lama Project

UPDATE: US Export-Import Bank (Exim) and EDC of Canada will not finance Barrick’s Pascua Lama Gold Mining Project

The Center for Human Rights and Environment (CEDHA), along with several local and international groups presented today an Equator Principles Due Diligence Review to two export credit agencies considering financing Barrick Gold’s highly controversial Pascua Lama gold project, straddling the border between Chile and Argentina. The review argues that Pascua Lama is in direct violation of the Equator Principles, which are global norms laying out conditions for responsible investment. The 45 page critique of Barrick’s Pascua Lama project, brings together existing and new evidence showing innumerable social and environmental norms violations by Barrick’s operations at both Pascua Lama (which is set to commence in the near future) as well as at the adjacent project Veladero, also by Barrick.

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Indigenous Group Sues Chile in Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for Approving Barrick's Pascua Lama Mine

First hearing of the complaint to be held in Washington D.C. Friday Oct. 28

On Friday, in Washington D.C., the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will hear a complaint against the Chilean State, lodged by the Diaguita Huascoaltinos Indigenous and agricultural community. This case, admitted in February of 2010, claims that the government violated the community's Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC), and did not consider comments submitted by the Diaguita Huascoaltinos in the environmental assessment process that approved the mine. The claim also states that Barrick’s claim to land on and near the Pascua Lama project on the border of Chile and Argentina relies on a series of fraudulent land claims to collectively held-Diaguita Huascoaltinos land.

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Indigenous Landowners release report demanding urgent resettlement

The Porgera Land Owners Association (PLOA), in partnership with the Porgera Alliance released a report today detailing the case for the urgent resettlement of their people away from Barrick’s Porgera mine. The report covers the health hazards associated with living close to the mine, as well as enumerating the human rights abuses caused by mine security. The report also recounts the history of the mine’s agreements with the local community, revealing a pattern of neglect of the community’s free, prior and informed consent at nearly every stage of the mine’s development.

This report follows investigations and reports published by Amnesty International, Harvard Law, Human Rights Watch, and the Norwegian Government all detailing the dangerous conditions near the Porgera mine. However, this report stands out as a comprehensive look at the history of the Porgera mine, from the perspective of the landowners who have led negotiations with the company.

download report here: http://www.porgeraalliance.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Urgent-Resettlement-Porgera-web.pdf

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image taken from Globe and Mail's investigative work at Barrick's North Mara Mine, see: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/africa-mideast/photos-barrick-gold-mine-in-tanzania/article2050921/

REPORT: THE NYAMONGO –TARIME MASSACRE AND HUMAN RIGHTS CRISIS

The police army, on 16th May 2011 intentionally shot dead five people in Nyamongo-Tarime and inflicted seriously bodily harm to many others alleging that they invaded one of the Barrick Gold mines at Nyamongo-Tarime district.

As part of its work, LEAT sent a special research/fact finding mission to collect facts regarding Nyamongo-Tarime massacre and impunities reportedly taking place on 16th May 2011. The fact finding mission composed of Mr. Stanslaus Nyembea (LEAT) and Evans Sichalwe (LHRC).

 

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A local man stands by a house in what used to be a rural area. It has almost since been overtaken by waste rock from Barrick's North Mara mine. credit Norwegian Church Aid

Barrick's Bodysnatchers

Wanton killings, criminalization, and degradation continue at the North Mara Mine in Tanzania

leer el artículo en español aqui

On May 16, over a thousand people entered a mine in northern Tanzania, desperate to collect whatever gold they could from the modern industrial site that used to be their bread and butter. But instead of providing the displaced artisanal miners with a boost to their meager income, the day ended in horror. Seven men were killed, and at least a dozen wounded when police unleashed a hail of bullets.

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Social Conflict leaves seven dead at the hands of Barrick security in Tanzania

Security forces at African Barrick Gold's North Mara mine in Tanzania killed seven “criminal intruders” and injured a dozen more after 800 people stormed the project armed with machetes, rocks and hammers in a bid to steal gold ore, according to mainstream media reports.

Confrontations between local people and mining security are not uncommon near Barrick's North Mara mine in Tanzania. As Bloomberg journalist Cam Simpson reported in his feature story about the mine, "Security guards and federal police allegedly have shot and killed people scavenging the gold-laced rocks to sell for small amounts of cash, according to interviews with 28 people, including victims’ relatives, witnesses, local officials and human-rights workers."

These conflicts take place in the context of forced displacement, destroyed livelihoods and farmlands, and the on-going poisoning of local residents that characterizes Barrick's North Mara mine.

READ: North Mara’s message to government, by Beldina Nyakeke of The Citizen (Tanzania) May 2011

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IMPACTED COMMUNITIES SPEAKING TOUR

It is shareholder's season once again, and for mining-impacted communities all over the world that means it is time to confront Canadian mining companies at these companies' annual general meetings. It also means that impacted communities are converging in Canada to share their truth and make alliances to help them hold these corporations accountable!

Join us for the...


IMPACTED COMMUNITIES SPEAKING TOUR
Show your support with impacted communities from Barrick Gold.

May 9th: Hamilton, Skydragon Centre, 27 King William, 6pm-9pm
May 10th: Kitchner-Waterloo, Great Hall, Student Life Center, University of Waterloo, 5-7pm
May 11th:
London (6pm), 505 Dundas St, Cross Cultural Learner Centre, meeting room C, 6pm
May 12th:
Outer Toronto Area, High School Conference (invite only)
May 13th:
Kingston, Grey House 51 Bader Lane Kingston, 6pm
May 15th:
Montreal, 2110 Centre, 2110 Mackay, 4pm

If interested in meeting up with tour participants, e-mail protestbarrick@gmail.com

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Mining Injustice: Confronting Corporate Impunity

A Free Conference at the University of Toronto, ON Canada

Mining Injustice Solidarity Network is pleased to invite you to the third conference on the impact of Canadian mining on local communities throughout the world, which will take place the 6th - 8th of May of 2011, in Toronto.

FOR COMPLETE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE PLEASE VISIT: http://www.solidarityresponse.net/mining-injustice-conference/conference-agenda-2011/

***bring your own cup and a blank t-shirt if you can!***

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Round up from ProtestBarrick.net outside Barrick Gold's shareholder meeting

APRIL 27, 2011: The ProtestBarrick.net team is currently in Toronto, Canada for the Barrick Gold's Annual General Meeting (AGM) and our 5th speaking tour with Barrick mining impacted communities. This year we are joined by Papua New Guinean community and hopefully (visas permitting) community from Tanzania and the Philippines.
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Confront Barrick Gold at their AGM in Toronto! Poster 2011

CONFRONT BARRICK GOLD: mobilise in support of impacted communities

Once a year, the board of Directors of the world's most powerful gold miner converge in downtown Toronto. Join us and representatives from mining-impacted communities to... CONFRONT BARRICK GOLD!

WHEN: Wednesday 27 April 2011 @ 10.30AM
WHERE:
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front Street West, Toronto

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100+ students and professors protesting a donation from Peter Munk. Photo:http://bit.ly/uoftprotest

U of T students protest Munk donation - joined by Noam Chomsky

As part of the growing Peter Munk out of the University of Toronto campaign over 100 University of Toronto students, joined by professors and US Academic Noam Chomsky, protested a donation from founder/chair of Barrick Gold, Peter Munk ... read more

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HRW: Gold's Costly Dividends (Multimedia)

A report released today by Human Rights Watch confirms allegations of gang rapes and other human rights abuses by security guards of Barrick Gold’s Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

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Tanzanian gold mining: People and livestock poisoned

In May 2009, toxic waste from a gold mine located in North Mara, Tanzania, spilled into River Thigithe. Reports from the surrounding villages alleged that 20 people and from 700 to 1,000 head of livestock died from the contaminated water. The company that operates the mine, African Barrick, denied that the spillage led to the deaths of villagers, and Barrick's spokesperson said recently that there are no more problems with the river. But villagers living in Tarime district claim they are still experiencing health-related illnesses from the water. There are also reports that a number of people have been killed by security forces belonging to the company. Zahra Moloo reports in this audio piece [mp3].

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Fallacies of Capitalism: Peter Munk in his own words

a speech at the Barrick Gold AGM 2010

This video is a speech from Barrick Gold's founder and chairman, Peter Munk, at the company's shareholder's meeting last year. The only thing that we added were the photos from Barrick's operations around the world, to expose the delusional and misleading nature of Munk's words.

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Where NOT to put a cyanide leaching goldmine!

On Sunday 21 November, Wiradjuri Traditional Owner, Neville ‘Chappy’ Williams, Friends of the Earth campaigner, Natalie Lowrey and photojournalist, Conor Ashleigh took an aerial flight over Lake Cowal.Lake Cowal is an ephemeral lake which has a wet and dry cycle of 20 years. The past 10 years has seen the central western NSW region where Lake Cowal is situated in drought, but many like Wiradjuri Traditional Owner, Neville ‘Chappy’ Williams has warned of the big wet seasons. In the past 6 weeks this area has seen huge amounts of rainfall, Lake Cowal is 75% full of water. Once paradise to much wildlife and leisure time for locals, Lake Cowal now has a large open cut pit penetrating into it lake bed.

View photos here.

View media release here.

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PhD grad rejects diploma, cites Munk Donation

PhD grad Masrour Zoghi used his graduation to protest the increasing corporatization of the University of Toronto, by rejecting his degree from the institution.

His main issue of concern was the new Munk School of Global Affairs, launched after a $35 million donation from Peter Munk and his wife. Munk is Chairman of Barrick Gold, a mining company registered in Canada.

See the new UofT campaign to stop Barrick's influence in the university.

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Western Shoshone/Cortez Mine update

The Western Shoshone have been in a constant struggle with the United States Government and Barrick Gold Corp. over the mining taking place on sacred Shoshone homelands in Nevada. The conflict focuses on two main questions: who has the rights to the land and what are the environmental impacts of mining.

Most recently, this conflict has centered around the proposed expansion of the Cortez Mine, already one of the largest mines in the United States. The Cortez Mine, which is located within the spiritual center of the Shoshone people, Mt. Tenabo, threatens to dewater sacred springs and streams. The proposed expansion project was for an 850 acre pit to be used for cyanide-heap leaching process and will cause serious irreversible damage to the sacred Shoshone homelands.

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Argentine lawmakers pass glacier law to curb mining

Argentina's Senate passed a law on Thursday that curbs mining on and around the nation's glaciers to protect water supplies, a measure praised by environmentalists but criticized by industry supporters.

* Senate narrowly approves glacier-protection law
* Law seen affecting Barrick's vast Pascua Lama project
* President has said will not veto mining measure

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Protect Mount Tenabo

URGENT ACTION NEEDED BEFORE OCT. 4

Letters to the BLM commenting on the inadequacy of the draft Supplementary EIS to provide an adequate mitigation plan for the seeps and springs that are under risk. It is important that the courts understand how important this issue is to the public, so your letter even if brief will be registered as concern and help out the legal effort that is still underway.

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Toxic Non-Neutralized Tailings emitted from Barrick Gold’s Porgera Mine: Villagers poisoned (report w/testimonies)

Report Documents Poisoning Following Toxic Discharge from Barrick’s Porgera Mine Reports from Papua New Guinea detail the aftermath of an unusually high discharge of un=neutralized waste at Barrick Gold’s Porgera mine. The discharge – which reportedly occurred on July 27, 2010 – poisoned dozens of locals, whose accounts are documented in a recent report produced by the Porgera Alliance, a coalition of human rights and landowner groups.

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Testimony before Canadian Parliament re Barrick & Porgera JV (Papua New Guinea)

In October & November 2009, the Canadian House of Commons' Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs & Intl. Development held hearings on "Bill C-300, An Act respecting Corporate Accountability".  The following statements were made regarding issues including allegations of killings, rape & other security problems involving personnel at the Porgera Joint Venture in Papua New Guinea, as well as the Porgera mine's environmental impacts.  (Barrick Gold holds a large majority stake of the Porgera Joint Venture.)

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Deputies Elisa Carrió and Miguel Bonasso leaving court after filing a complaint against San Juan province Governor José Luis Gioja and Barrick Gold mining company for alleged "economic links" between the two.

Deputies demand investigations over Barrick-government ties, Argentina

Last year, former environment minister of Argentina Romina Picolotti claimed she was forced to resign, after her family was threatened by Canadian mining companies. See: Argentina ex-minister: "Mining companies threatened me"

Now, National Deputies Elisa Carrió, Miguel Bonasso and Fernanda Reyes demanded an investigations over  possible traffic of influence in favour of Barrick Gold, and direct economic links between the gold miner and San Juan province Governor José Luis Gioja.

Luis Claps, Latin American editor, Mines and Communities

More info:
ENGLISH: San Juan province governor accused of 'economic ties' with Barrick Gold
ESPANOL: Denuncian lazos de Mayoral con la minera canadiense Barrick
ESPANOL: A la Justicia por Pascua Lama
ESPANOL:
Acusan a Cristina por “tráfico de influencias” en favor de una minera


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Three girls raped at Porgera Mine site

The Akali Tange Association (ATA) recently received a complaint that three young girls at the age around 14 years were taken into PJV Yoko 2 camp on the 18th June 2010 and raped by PJV engaged police mobile squads. The victims reported the matter at the Paiam Police Station on the 19th June 2010 with full details of the transporting vehicle.

Forced rape and violation against woman is serious crime in PNG and such un ethical behaviours desire urgent investigation. The ATA condemns the actions with term strongest possible terms and call for full investigation and appropriate actions taken with law.

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Villagers crowd into increasingly squashed quarters as their homes fall victim to mine-related landslides and police-instigated arson. Photo: Sakura Saunders

Mining Through Roots: Displacement, Poverty and the Global Extractive Industry

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.

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A photo of Mr. Jalil Rieki, information secretary of Baloch Republican Party (BRP), is being held my his wife and two kids. To this day, his whereabouts are unknown. Photo: Baloch Human Rights Council

Underground Diplomacy

Canada’s transnational mining industry implicated in abuses

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.

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Barrick Gold Year in review

One Company, 9 Countries, Countless abuses

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.

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photos: Allan.Lissner.net

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
WHAT: Barrick Gold's annual shareholders meeting
WHERE: Metro Convention Center, 255 Front St. Downtown Toronto

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!


HUASCOALTINOS CLAIM IS ADMITTED BY THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS: a statement from the Diaguita Huascoaltinos

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.

The case was submitted to the IACHR in June 2007 by Nancy Yañez, the attorney representing the Huascoaltinos. However, the analysis of the substantive arguments of the case was delayed because of the repeated extensions sought by the State of Chile. Chile also requested that the case not be admitted to prosecute, arguing formal filing failures. But after 3 years of study, the Commission did not agree with the State of Chile’s claims. Instead, the IACHR declared our allegation, which states that there was a Denial of Justice when the State of Chile granted an environmental qualification to the development of Pascua Lama Mining Project in our ancient territories, admissible. 

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AMNESTY: This Valentine's Day, send an e-card that will help support human rights.

Between 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.

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photo: allan.lissner.net

Canada's Long Road to Mining Reform

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.

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Once Upon a Water Source

Freelance photojournalist, Jessie Boylan, collects testimonies and photos from community impacted by a toxic spill in May 2009 at Barrick Gold's North Mara Mine in Tanzania

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.

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Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani.-file photo, Dawn.com

Raisani says no mining license granted for Reko Dik project

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.

Speaking to journalists in his chambers, he said the company had violated the contract, which had been signed only for exploring minerals.

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Government Study: Chilean Gold Mine Threatens Local Glaciers

Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold accused of failing to comply with environmental legislation

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.

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Urgent Appeal: Write to Barrick Gold to Protest Refusal to Reinstate Union Leader

UPDATEAfter 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.

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Amnesty International’s investigations indicate that at least 130 buildings, including well established solid houses, were destroyed by police in Wuangima and Kulapi villages between 27 April and July 2009. photo: Akali Tange Association

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Papua New Guinea Porgera update: Companies accept that police forced communities from their homes near Porgera mine

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

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US court blocks huge gold mine project in Nevada

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.

In a rare legal setback for the mining industry in the nation's largest gold-producing state, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction to force Barrick Gold Corp. to postpone digging a 2,000-foot deep open pit at the Cortez Hills mine.

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Toronto Star's front page in this Sunday's paper

FINALLY! A series of important mining articles in this week's Toronto Star

Mainstream press in Canada is reporting on Canadian Mining abuses abroad

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.

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Cover of "Alternative" report on Barrick Gold, modeled after Barrick's own magazine dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility.

CIDA's Anti-oversight Agenda

Canadian Government Agency Sponsors Voluntary Approach to Corporate Regulation

Read article and report en español.

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.

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Albadina Carmona (left) and Sergio Campusano (right) of the Diaguita Huascoaltinos, and Daniella (center), who lives and works with the Diaguita Huascoaltinos. Albadina Carmona (left) and Sergio Campusano (right) of the Diaguita Huascoaltinos, and Daniela Guzman (center), who lives and works with the Diaguita Huascoaltinos – all wearing jeans!

Mining company dresses real indigenous people in fake ‘Indian’ costumes

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.

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Neville "Chappy" Williams on the front page of the Cowra Guardian Newspaper

Activists call for mine closures in face of Lachlan water crisis

Aboriginal elders and environmental activists are calling for mining in the Lachlan Catchment of New South Wales to be halted as the Wyangala Dam dries up.
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Porgera Village Elder Points to Former Farming Land. Credit: Damian Baker.

Porgera Update

PNG Paradise Lost

Independent photojournalist, Damian Baker is currently in Papua New Guinea. He has recently visited Barrick Gold's Porgera mine and filed the following reports:

Porgera Gold Mine: Killings and Burnt Villages
Ipili & the Porgera Valley
Porgera: PNG Paradise Lost
Porgera Valley PNG: Paradise Lost (VIDEO)


Sergio Campusano, testifying at a Parliamentary press conference in Ottawa, Canada. photo: Allan Lissner (allan.lissner.net)

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


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 (allan.lissner.net)

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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Tanzanian Police Shoot Dead villager Muhono Marwa at Barrick's North Mara Mine

On the morning of January 21, the paramilitary police units that were brought by the hundreds after last month's uprising by the local communities met a group of youth in an area where villagers' homes come right into the mine fence. Apparently, the paramilitaries started to chase the youth and in the process opened fire, killing Muhono Marwa Gibare and wounding Nyakebayi Chacha Nyakebayi and Maswi Bokobora. Muhono Marwa was shot in the back while running away from the police. He died instantly. This latest killing brings to two villagers who have died violently in that mine since last month and eight since Barrick apparently adopted their shoot-to-kill strategy in July of 2005.


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Worst Companies in the World: US, Monsanto, Peabody and Barrick

The United States was voted the Worst Company in the World, followed by Monsanto, Peabody Energy Corp. and Barrick Gold.
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The Mwita family lives next to Barrick Gold's North Mara mine. Waste rock on the edge of the pit can be seen behind their home. Photo: Allan Cedillo Lissner

Civilian Uprising against Barrick Gold in Tanzania

BACKGROUND AND IMMEDIATE CONTEXT: Mine security shoots young man, villagers respond by destroying $7 million in equipment
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On Wednesday, Dec. 10 Evans Rubara speaks at St. Michael's College, Vermont, USA. (Photo by Juli Bongiorno)

Tanzanian journalist uncovers truth about mining industry

ProtestBarrick.net supporter and investigative journalist, Evans Rubara speaks about the exploitation of Tanzanian land and people by multinational mining industries in a speaking tour in the US.
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LATE BREAKING NEWS: Thousands raid Barrick's North Mara mine, destroy $15 million in equipment

In what appears to be a spontaneous civilian movement against Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold miner, thousands of people invaded Barrick`s North Mara Gold Mine this week in Tarime District and destroyed equipment worth $15 million. One villager, identified as Mang’weina Mwita Mang’weina, died in the confrontation.

for context, read:

  • and "A Golden Opportunity?" an exposé on the Tanzanian mining industry, written by Tundu Lissu and Mark Curtis, published by Norwegian Church Aid in Tanzania.

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Fundraising Dinner, Art show and Storytelling Show Friday Dec. 12 in New York City

featuring photojournalist Allan Cedillo Lissner, Tanzanian Human Rights Activist Evans Rubara, and the Beehive Collective

Come for a night of good food and conversation, linking corporate globalization and colonization.

$10-20 sliding scale dinner includes a 4-course meal, a short film, presentations, and lots of good folks.

*all proceeds will go directly to people displaced from the Mtakuja village to pave way for AngloGold Ashanti in Mwanza Region in Tanzania.*

WHEN: Friday, December 12, 2008, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
WHERE: Sixth Street Community Center
638 East 6th Street (lower east side)
New York, NY

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Catherine Coumans (of Mining Watch Canada) stands next to Jethro Tulin holding up a photo of a bodybag taken from the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea. photo: Allan Cedillo Lissner

New Audio Documentary: Path of Destruction: Canadian Mining Companies Around the World

The first of this documentary series features Jethro Tulin (Akali Tange Association) and Mark Ekepa (Chairman, Porgera Landowners Association) from the Enga Province of Papua New Guinea, where Barrick has its Porgera Mine.

 Canada is the world's leading mining nation. Sixty percent of all public mining companies are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. About half of all mining capital is raised in Canada. Many Canadian mining companies have become notorious for damaging communities and the environment and fueling wars and repression all over the world. The Canadian government has refused to hold these corporations accountable leading to international criticism of Canada.

Just as European settlers created Canada by stealing and plundering native land, its mining companies today continue these practices at home and abroad. This colonialism and neocolonialism is what Canada is all about.

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Mt. Tenabo, the sacred mountain (Photo courtesy Western Shoshone Defense Project)

Shoshone Indians Sue to Stop Barrick's Nevada Gold Mine

Five tribal and public interest parties filed a lawsuit in Nevada Federal Court on Thursday, seeking an immediate injunction to stop one of the largest open pit cyanide heap leach gold mines in the United States - the Cortez Hills Expansion Project on Mt. Tenabo.
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Porgera mine, PNG

Dangerous Duty in Papua New Guinea

Community members get "the opposite of what was promised" from Barrick Gold
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AFRICA FILES: Special issue on Canadian role in mining in Canada

The issue includes case studies from the DR Congo, Ghana, Tanzania, as well as a report on Canadian civil society efforts to get regulations passed by the government to make company activities more favourable to African peoples’ interests.
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cortez mine, nevada, western shoshone
The Cortez Mine on Shoshone territory. The Shoshone have long accused the US, and now the Canadian government, of systematically ignoring their territorial rights in favour of multi-national corporations. Photo: Sandra Cuffe

Caretakers of the Land

All is not quiet on the western front. For the Western Shoshone, an indigenous nation with an unceded Treaty covering a large swath of 60 million acres of ancestral territory stretching across Nevada, California, Idaho and Utah, their traditional homeland is better described as a war zone.


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flier and photos by Allan Cedillo Lissner

"Someone Else's Treasure" Photo Exhibit

Home to fifty-seven percent of the world's mining companies, Canada leads the way in the global mining industry. But people the world over are raising complaints describing the mining industry as Canada's number one contribution to global injustice. Complaints include the displacement of indigenous communities, families being torn apart, destroyed livelihoods, ruined ecosystems and the erosion of ancient indigenous cultures.

Please join Toronto based photographer Allan Cedillo Lissner to discuss Someone Else's Treasure, an ongoing documentary project shedding light on the experiences of people around the world – including the Philippines, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Chile, and Canada – whose lives have been impacted by the global mining industry.

View Allan's photo's online at SomeoneElsesTreasure.blogspot.com.

See a review of Allan's show, written by Paul York.

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TAKE ACTION: Save spiritual site Mt. Tenabo

Please write a letter or email to the BLM expressing your opposition to the Cortez Hills Expansion Project
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Cleric grieves for victims of mining abuses

Emotions ran high during the release of a religious leaders' report on mining yesterday, with Anglican Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa held back tears when viewing a documentary on the life of communities evicted from their land to pave the way for large scale mining activities.
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Jethro Tulin, Ipili, Papua New Guinea, speaking out about human rights abuses at the hands of Barrick Gold.

MINING SACRED GROUNDS: Indigenous Leaders Share Their Stories of Resistance

7pm Wednesday 22 October 2008
Friends of the Earth
312 Smith Street, Collingwood, Melbourne

Speakers:
Jethro Tulin, Ipili, Papua New Guinea
Neville ‘Chappy’ Williams, Wiradjuri, Australia

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Would you mine for gold in the National Cathedral? Stop the destruction of sacred Shoshone lands in Nevada

This Columbus Day, sacred sites are threatened by gold mining Canadian Barrick Gold wants to expand the Cortez gold mine in Nevada onto Mt. Tenabo, a site sacred to the Western Shoshone nation.

TAKE ACTION ... click here


Diaguita home in the Huasco Valley, Chile

Native Community in Desert Oasis Threatened by Mines

The Diaguita indigenous community in Huasco Alto, surrounded by rich gold, silver and copper deposits in the northern Chilean region of Atacama, are engaged in a struggle to prevent mining projects from infringing on their territory and destroying their way of life and ancestral identity.

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This photograph is taken on 25th of July 2008 at the Porgera Hospital during the postmortem of the dead body that was shot by the Barrick Gold's Security Guards on 22nd July 2008 at the village located above the entrance to the underground mine (Weingima village).

Killing of local boy at Barrick Gold Porgera mine creates crisis

On the evening of July 22nd, Barrick security guards open fired on the local villages using high powered assault raffles, M16 and shot guns on the harmless villages. The reckless use of excessive force resulted in instant death of the late Gipson Umbi. In the last few weeks, three more locals have died under mysteries circumstances at the mine site. 

For more photos/captions, contact: sakura.saunders[at]gmail.com 


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Peter Munk, Barrick Gold, human rights, mining, gold, environment, disrupt

Exposing Barrick's founder & chairman, Peter Munk

Peter Munk interview at Indigo goes awry due to rowdy audience member

Meeting Crashers: Anti-mining activists confront shareholders at AGM

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ProtestBarrick launches a new blog

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Activists shame Barrick Gold at AMREF Gala

Tonight a number of activists with Protest Barrick Toronto crashed an African Medical Research and Education Foundation (AMREF) gala, for which Barrick was a "Gold" sponsor. While not criticizing AMREF work, the protesters were critical of the NGO's praise of Barrick's work in Africa. They passed out fliers to gala participants until they were escorted out by AMREF security.

They highlighted the still unresolved Bulyanhulu massacre, the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of people at the Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines, the current jailing of 13 villagers for protesting displacement at Barrick's Buzwagi mine, and the lack of tax revenues that goes to the people of Tanzania.

These issues have previously been highlighted by reputable Tanzanian organizations such as the Lawyer's Environmental Action Team (LEAT) and Norwiegan Church Aid in Tanzania.

Read "A Golden Opportunity? Justice and Respect in Mining," written by Mark Curtis and Tundu Lissu, published by Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT), National Council of Muslims in Tanzania (BAKWATA), and Tanzania Episcopal Conference.

Read LEAT's response to the CAO report on the Bulyahulu mine.

View LEAT's page on Barrick's Bulyanhulu Mine.


Écosociété forms Solidarity website to combat from Barrick SLAPP suit

The world's largest gold mining company is claiming from the small not-for-profit publisher and the authors of "Noir Canada", $5 million in compensatory damages, and $1 million in punitive damages, which represent 25 times the annual operating revenue of Écosociété.http://slapp.ecosociete.org/en

find out what you can do to help!

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Barrick Gold censors Indigenous Leaders' opposition to gold mining on their lands

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Aboriginal Leaders at press conference after Barrick AGM. Photo: Allan Cedillo Lissner

International Indigenous leaders attend Barrick Gold's Shareholder's meeting

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protest, Barrick, indigenous
Protesters outside Barrick's AGM

Protesters Demand Accountability Outside Barrick Gold's AGM

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Barrick Gold Secretly Building Roads to Attack Mt. Famatina in La Rioja, Argentina

On the one-year anniversary of the road blockade in Peña Negra and "ouster" of Barrick Gold from the Famatina mountain range, it has been confirmed that Barrick Gold, with the complicity of the national and provincial government, has been secretly constructing a new entry road into the backside of the mountain.
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Gold, Censorship: and stories of Indigenous Resistance

Greg Palast will interview Indigenous People who are fighting Barrick Gold's operations on their lands.

The night will include an interview with Human Rights Defenders working on the Bulyanhulu massacre in Tanzania. The Bulyanhulu mine is owned and operated by Barrick Gold, the largest gold mining company in the world.

Thursday 1st May @ 5pm

Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery Street
Lower East Side, Manhattan

Cost: $5 - $10 (sliding scale)

For more info: 1 347 439 5839
http://www.protestbarrick.net

Sponsored by: ProtestBarrick.net, Friends of the Earth Australia, Mineral Policy Institute, Norwegian Church Aid Tanzania, SaveLakeCowal.org, Akali Tange Association

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Guanaco near Pascua Lama Project

Argentina National Ombudsperson: Suspend Mining Operations in San Guillermo National Park

Barrick's Pascua-Lama and 10 mining projects others in jeopardy

San Juan, Argentina:  Argentine national Ombudsperson Eduardo Mondino has recommended that metals mining exploration and operations be immediately suspended in a zone in the northwest of the province of San Juan.  The report is based upon evidence presented in a lawsuit filed by environmentalist Ricardo Vargas in the Argentine supreme court.

This high-mountain zone of the Andes range, containing the UNESCO-protected San Guillermo wilderness, is home to unique and widely biodiverse species ranging from llamas to mountain lions to lichens, and harbors the glacier systems which produce the water vital for the agricultural provinces below.  This zone, known to mining firms as "Argentina's Gold Belt" is slated to be Argentina's next "Mining Sacrifice Zone,"  a center of mining exploration and activity, with dozens of firms, led by Barrick Gold, carrying out exploration and mining activities, in a context of political corruption, plunder and corporate favoritism.

The lawsuit (Nº 5945/04, titled "VARGAS, RICARDO, Regarding Environmental Damages Caused by Mining Operations in the Province of San Juan"),  is  waiting to be heard in the Argentine Supreme Court, but is already producing repercussions for the mining industry.  The lawsuit claims that Barrick Gold's mining operation Pascua Lama has been illegally permitted by the province of San Juan.  The justification is based on multiple grounds:   First, that the contamination, health effects and extraction of water resources will extend to and harm multiple provinces;  second, that the project is being built in the very heart of the UNESCO-protected San Guillermo World Biosphere Reserve; and finally, that the bi-national nature of these projects demands a federal-level environmental approval process, which was never carried out.

The lawsuit will halt all mining projects in the zone, including Pascua Lama and some ten other projects in advanced stages of progress,  and subject them to a new Federal-level Environmental Impact Review process.

Mondino, the national Public Ombudsperson, visited the region last week and collected evidence of the growing effects of mining activities upon public health, cancer rates and drinking water contamination.  The report published demonstrates the multi-provincial plume of contamination and desertification already created by mining operations such as Barrick's Veladero; and indicates the alarming extent to which further mining operations will affect the region in general.  The ombudsperson's report is directed to the National Parks Administration, the Government of the province of San Juan and the Federal Government.

Vargas, a former high-mountain guide intimately familiar with the San Guillermo reserve,  has been struggling against the proliferation of mining projects in the zone for some eight years.  His lawsuit is part of a surge of activism against mining projects in San Juan, on the part of citizens alarmed not only by Barrick's Pascua-Lama/Veladero project, but by the proliferation of literally dozens of projects in this emerging national mining sacrifice zone.

David Modersbach
National University of Rosario
Encuentro por la Biodiversidad
dmoders@yahoo.com


photo: Benny Zable protesting Barrick's mine at Lake Cowal

Meet the Resistance: a speaking tour of affected Indigenous communities

This April and May, hear voices of communities directly affected by the operations of Barrick Gold. "Meet the Resistance" brings together community voices from Australia, Papua New Guinea, the U.S., and Chile to share their experiences in going up against the world's largest gold miner.

Check more link for schedule!

see bios for the presenters.

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Pit wall collapsed at Barrick's gold mine in Lake Cowal, Australia, 20 March 2008. Photo: Damian Baker

Wiradjuri Elder exposes mine pit collapse at Lake Cowal


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photos by Allan Lissner

Countering the Corporate Spin: Activists crash Barrick's forum on "Canada's Responsibility Abroad"

Thursday, September 6  kicked off Merrill Lynchs Canada's 13th Annual Mining Conference, an invitation-only conference for institutional investors, mining analysts and the executive management of North American mining companies. During this conference, the Canadian Institute for International Affairs hosted a forum on "Canada's Responsibility Abroad," a meeting stacked with industry representatives, attended by a government agency, and organized to promote Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the mining industry. The meeting was countered by a group of protesters outside and inside the forum; the protesters demanded mandatory regulation of the mining industry and handed out information illustrating the abuses of this industry abroad, including specific critiques of Barrick Gold pointing to their repeated misrepresentation of information in an attempt to appear socially responsibile.

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A Diaguita Women. photo: Isabel Orellana. The Diaguita, despite the fact that Barrick is planning to mine for gold on their ancestral land and the fact that they have a lawsuit and several formal complaints against Barrick, are not even mentioned any of Barrick's Annual Reports.

It's Time for Second Quarter Reporting: What will Barrick hide from their shareholders this time?

August 2 marks the publishing date of Barrick Gold's second quarter results. With profits down by 14 percent, the Pascua Lama project delayed, and Norway's pension fund considering pulling their investment on ethical grounds, things aren't looking good for this gold mining giant. But, are any of these developments a big surprise? There are many shareholders who might think so, but that is only because Barrick has been systematically hiding vital information from them through glaring omissions and outright lies.

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"Barrick's Dirty Secrets: Communities Worldwide Respond to Gold Mining's Impacts"

Download the CorpWatch report, which details the struggles against Barrick Gold.


"LOS SECRETOS SUCIOS DE BARRICK: Communidades Responden a los Impactos de Las Minas en Todo el Mundo" CorpWatch report in Spanish

Este informe, perfil de Barrick Gold, la mayor empresa minera aurífera del mundo, es una ilustración de los problemas que causa en la actualidad la industria del oro. En estas páginas, se presentan numerosos ejemplos donde los intereses de Barrick y los intereses de las comunidades en cuyo interior la empresa realiza sus explotaciones, van unos en contra de otros frontalmente. Desde evitar toda responsabilidad por la destructiva herencia ambiental que dejan sus proyectos o aliarse a políticos corruptos, hasta recurrir a la policía para que reprima con violencia (y que a veces mate) a los críticos de la actividad minera, el poder de Barrick en estas luchas configura un caso que exige intervención urgente.

Entre los grupos comunitarios que luchan contra Barrick se cuentan desde autoridades gubernamentales y tribales locales hasta asambleas de madres contra la minería y otros grupos de base que atraen miles de adherentes. La valerosa entrega de estos activistas a su obra es asimismo peligrosa y agotadora, y sirve para ilustrar la realidad concreta de Barrick y otras empresas similares. No hace falta decir que esta perspectiva sobre la minería, que tan escasa resonancia tiene, no presagia nada bueno para la industria en su totalidad, ya que procede de quienes se hallan afectados de cerca por sus explotaciones.

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Over a thousand gather in the streets of Santiago to protest the Pascua Lama project of Toronto-based Barrick Gold

Protests and Strike precede Barrick Gold’s 3rd quarter shareholders meeting

Lea el articulo en español

On one side of the world in Chile, over a thousand people went into the streets with c­ostumes, music, and dancing to protest the proposed Pascua Lama gold project – a multi-billion dollar project that Barrick has been boasting since the late 90’s – which threatens the fertile Huasco Valley. Meanwhile, almost the same number of strikers at Barrick’s Bulyanhulu mine i­n Tanzania refused to work after negotiations with Barrick management brokedown over salaries, working conditions, medical care and other contentious issues. Within four days, Barrick fired every striking worker.

While Barrick projects an image free from political controversy, these latest flares of organized resistance represent on-going struggles, discontent, and anger aimed at this mining giant.

Remembering when Pascua Lama Opposition was Mainstream

For people outside Chile, it might be easy to forget that anti-gold mining sentiments aimed at protecting the environment dominated both President Bachelet and her erstwhile opponent, Sebastián Piñera’s election platforms last year. Both assured their constituents that the glaciers – which are situated right in the middle of a UNESCO biosphere reserve – would not be touched.

Then, in a move that mine opponents believe was planned from the start, Barrick abandoned their first proposal to relocate the glaciers and the project was approved, with conditions meant to preserve the environmental integrity of the area’s sensitive ecosystem.

The mine’s opponents, including the Diaguita Huascoaltinos Indigenous group and Alto del Carmen councilperson Luís Faura Cortes, remained undeterred by what they saw as paper assurances and politicking. What’s more, Barrick’s exploration activities have since been publicly revealed to be linked to a 56 to 70 percent depletion in the glaciers near the mine site, contradicting assurances in their environmental assessment reports.

Last weekend’s protest was just the latest in a series of protests against this mining project, and it represents that the resistance is still alive, and that folks on the ground in Chile are not deceived by Barrick’s political maneuverings.

Firing the Opposition will only make it burn Stronger

In Tanzania, it has been almost ten years since an estimated 30,000-400,000 small-scale miners were forced off the Buyanhulu mine site to make way for corporate mining. But this week’s decision to fire the thousand striking miners will no doubt rekindle this historic resentment.  The deal to take this mining concession away from these small-scale miners was brokered by Sutton Resources’ CEO James Sinclair, who was a friend of the president of Tanzania and several senior ministers, as was his daughter.

Accusations of high-level nepotism have since plagued the Bulyanhulu operations, with allegations of millions in tax evasion surfacing last year. Additionally, just this July, the Tanzanian government was criticized for signing a mining agreement with Barrick prematurely, and selling it’s 15 percent stake in the Bulyanhulu mine for too little.

Beneath the political veneer, it appears that Barrick must appease growing movements of discontent.  It's history of political shenanigans has attracted steadfast opponents, while the worldwide legacy of gold mining is inspiring a movement for reform. Hopefully, it is only a matter of time.


Mine water use apparently ignored in water crisis

Aboriginal elders and environmental activists are calling for mining in the Lachlan Catchment of New South Wales to be halted as the Wyangala Dam dries up.



** BARRICK MINING DISASTERS - Emergency Funds Needed **

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Activists protest open-pit mines by staking claim to Mount Royal

NOTE: While this article mentions the presence of community representatives from Mexico, Honduras, Chile, Papua New Guinea, Argentina and Malartic, Quebec. The communities organized against Barrick – from Argentina, Chile, and Papua New Guinea – were the only communities whose struggles were not mentioned in the body of this article.

The Quebec government's decision to protect the famed Mount Royal from mining companies didn't deter a group of activists from staking their own claims to the Montreal landmark yesterday.

In an effort to draw attention to the many international communities that are forced to live beside Canadian-operated open-pit gold mines, the activists sealed off a large swath of Mount Royal, which dominates the city's landscape.

Dressed in hard hats and white coveralls - the logo of their mock company RoyalOr emblazoned on the back - and toting tape, stakes and surveying equipment, the activists neatly placed the legal documentation affirming their mining rights claim in an envelope addressed to the province's Natural Resources Department and toasted their feat with a bottle of champagne.

"It's going to be a beautiful, beautiful open-pit mine," actor-cum-activist Jason McLean told the group of about 80 participants. "Imagine a big hole right here.

"Yes, we'll have evictions. ... nobody will suffer. Everyone will be okay with a mine in Montreal."

The participants included activists from Mexico, Honduras, Chile, Papua New Guinea, Argentina and Malartic, Que. - all of whom are fighting Canadian gold mining companies that have set up in their communities.

Carlos Amador of Honduras said local residents in Valle de Siria are suffering a variety of health problems due to water contamination from mines, while farmers have seen their businesses collapse as rivers and wells have dried out because of the mine's massive consumption of water.

Enrique Rivera Sierra of Mexico said while communities have won court cases against Canadian mining companies, corrupt government officials have allowed environmental and land title abuses to persist and those who speak out have faced beatings, death threats and worse.

Meanwhile, Nicole Kirouac of the 3,800-strong town of Malartic said the mining project in her community in northwestern Quebec has forced the relocation of 200 families and the destruction of five of the town's eight public buildings.

Yesterday's stunt, aimed at drawing attention to the perils of open-pit gold mining and calling for changes to mining laws, drew the attention of the provincial government.

On Friday, the department responsible for mines declared Mount Royal a protected zone that is off limits to surveyors.

A department spokeswoman said it was simply an added precaution as the landmark was declared a historic site in 2005.

"We effectively imposed an additional moratorium but, regardless, a mining company couldn't just stake a claim on Mount Royal without permission from the city [which owns the land] and the Culture Department because it's a historic site," Jolyane Pronovost said.

Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert, a McGill University professor of Mexican history and one of the event organizers, saw it as a small victory.

"The message is to start thinking about what's actually happening elsewhere in the world, what's happening in Quebec and Ontario," he said.

Noting Ontario is the only province so far to look at modernizing its archaic mining laws, he called on Quebec and other provinces to do the same.

His group also wants the government to provide legal recourse to international communities that are adversely affected by the mining practices of Canadian companies abroad.


The Question of Sustainability An Examination of the Canadian Mining Industry: environment, cultures, and economics

The Question of Sustainability Conference aims to build a movement for change within Canada. This conference provided the space for people within Canada to interact with affected communities and each other, and the conference format prioritized facilitating conversations focused on solutions to ending corporate impunity.



Closing Comments from GordonGecko on Vimeo.

The Question of Sustainability is a conference dedicated to examining the Canadian mining industry through the lens of sustainability within ecosystems, human rights, culture, and economics.

Featuring speakers from Papua New Guinea, Chile, the Congo, Guatemala, Tanzania and Peru, as well as many First Nations speakers and academics from Canada. This conference brings together indigenous people from the global south and the global north, and serves to address some of the complex social, political and environmental issues that relate to the imposition of extractive industries on traditional cultures.

more info


Call for Govt to reform mining sector

The government has been urged to come up with a policy that will ensure people living around the mining areas enjoy the benefits accrued from their God-given resources.

It was also urged at a public dialogue on mining held here at the weekend that efforts should be made to empower Tanzanians exploit mineral resources.

The sector has been listed as the fastest growing in the country but still lags behind in terms of its contribution to the GDP.

Agriculture and service sectors lead in contributing to the GDP. The Vice Chancellor of St. Augustine University Tanzania, Dr Charles Kitima, said that Tanzanians should be supported with capital and technology to access the resources.

He spoke during the inaugural public dialogue on mining that brought together critics of the mining sector, private sector, the government and intellectuals.

The lack of transfer of technology he said, will only lead to more witchcraft related killings as the artisanal miners estimated at over 1 million in the country rely on witchcraft to develop.

"People want to exploit mineral resources, they want their communities to benefit from the sector and companies like Barrick Tanzania should emulate banks and sell at least 20 per cent of their shares to Tanzanians," he said.

Barrick Tanzania's CEO Mr Deo Mwanyika presented a paper entitled 'Success, Challenges and Prospects of the Mining Industry' in which he said that the mining sector's overall contribution to the economy between 1997-2007 was $1.63 billion.

The Commissioner for Minerals Dr Peter Kafumu, acknowledged that the growth of the sector surpasses the government�s capacity to improve the infrastructure.

The current electricity demand stands at 570MW and 15 per cent is spent by mining companies.

By 2010 Buzwagi, Tulawaka, North mara, Buyanhulu, Geita will consume 30 per cent of the generated power, said A Chadema Mp, Mr Zitto Kabwe, who also presented a paper at the dialogue.

"With the addition of Kabanga nickel mine, the lake zone alone will need 200 MW from the national grid which Tanesco will not be able to provide. "By not supplying electricity to the mines we lose out in economies of scale with production costs becoming higher and Tanesco accruing no revenues from electricity," the MP explained.

"The public perception of the sector is negative, the stability of the fiscal regime is unclear, regulation is increasingly unpredictable, and sabotage is on the rise. The cumulative effect of these is negative feedback," said Mr Mwanyika.

The dialogue participants urged the government to implement the Bomani commission report, which includes withdraw of all fuel exemptions, impact assessment before signing mining contracts and aligning surface rights and mineral rights to ensure correct compensation of people relocated from mining sites.


 

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