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Barrick mines are a disaster around the world

a round up of Barrick's mines around the world

by Sakura Saunders

Barrick mines are a disaster around the world
Here is a summary of many of the issues at Barrick's mine sites around the world. It is a reminder that there are so many reasons to protest this company.
But before you get overwhelmed with how much damage one company can do, please remember that we do not need to mine gold anymore at all. Within this industry, we only use 11% for all electronics (the rest is used for jewelry or investment) and we get 34% from recycled sources.
Barrick's Tanzanian mines (officially owned by Barrick-majority owned company Acacia) are known for human rights abuses – including regular killings, sexual assualts, and massive force displacement. To add insult to injury, Barrick is also a well known tax-dodger who has been accused of bribery. 
READ more on Killings at Barrick's North Mara mine:
READ about tax evasion:
READ Barrick's (pitiful) response to allegations of bribery:
The Pascua Lama project has been cited and shut down numerous times for environmental violations that threaten the precious water source in Chile's arid north. Barrick has also worked to undermine the resistance of the Diaguita Huascoaltinos Indigenous and Agricultural community, who are the mine's closest neighbours. They assert that Barrick got license to the land where Pascua Lama is located by fraudulent transfers. Indeed, the Diaguita Huascoaltinos have been paying taxes on that land since 1903, and continue to pay it as it is their proof of title and their primary tactic to protect the land from Barrick's mine.
READ about the Diaguita's struggle for self-determination and recognition:
READ about the Pascua Lama mine being shut down (it is shut down to this day):
Alongside the fact that the Pascua Lama project is also located in Argentina (it straddles the Chile/Argentina border) and is threatened by local efforts to protect the glaciers in the region, Barrick's main issues in Argentina are associated with its Veladero mine. Equipment carrying cyanide solution has spilled 3 times in the past 18 months at Barrick's Veladero mine, each time causing louder calls for the province to shut down this mine. Barrick has continuously been found to downplay the size of these spills initially, and actually fired an engineer who raised serious safety concerns about the Veladero mine just before the first spill, which contaminated 5 rivers with over a million litres of cyanide solution.
Barrick's Porgera Mine in PNG is plagued with regular gross human rights abuses, including killings, house burnings and gang rapes. It is also a site of extreme environmental degradation, as the mine waste is collapsing villages and mine tailings are dumped directly into the river system – a practice banned around the world. The locals primary demand is to be compensated for the abuses that have already happened, and be resettled outside of the "Special Mining Lease area" so as to avoid the many hazzards associated with the mine. They have been fighting for this resettlement for over a decade.
 Community members complain that the pollution from Barrick and Goldcorp's Pueblo Viejo mine causes nausea, dizziness and vomiting and children are commonly sent home from school due to the toxic odours emitted into the air. The impacts of polluted local streams can be seen in skin lesions, rashes and wounds on over 50 community members and residents have tested positive for heightened levels of heavy metals and toxins in their blood. Additionally, locals estimate that the the livestock death count is up to 2200 since the mine opened in 2012. They are seeking resettlement away from this mine site as a long term solution for their community.
In the Spring of 2006, when Barrick Gold took over Placer Dome, Inc. it inherited a law suit initiated by provincial authorities on the Philippine island of Marinduque, where 27 years of irresponsible mining by Placer Dome (1969-1996) had caused immense damage to the island of Marinduque and its people. Rather than settle the case, compensating Marinduquenos for lost livelihood and funding efforts to rehabilitate the damaged eco-systems, Barrick is waging an expensive and lengthy legal battle to avoid responsibility.
In Nevada, Barrick has met opposition by the Western Shoshone who are trying to protect spiritual sites from dewatering by Barrick's massive Cortez Mine mine. At the same time, the Coalition for Nevada's Wildlife contends that Barrick Bald Mountain mine expansion would could cause big problems for Nevada's largest herd of mule deer. In Alaska, the Donlin mine threatens the livelihoods of subsistence salmon fishers, while mercury is a large health threat the accompanies the mine.
Barrick's Annual General Meeting will be protest this year, Tuesday April 25 at 10:30am. Please come out and support!

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