Tag Archives: Barrick Gold

Student Shot Dead In Porgera

Jerry Sefe | Post Courier | February 9, 2018

A Porgera student was attacked and shot dead at the Lime plant in Porgera District by a tribal group on Wednesday.

The twenty-two year old Locklan George Brugh was on his way with his fellow cousins to drop-off food supplies for Mt Kare after a long awareness campaign on law and order and tribal issues affecting people of Porgera when they were held up and attacked.

The late Locklan who comes from a mix parentage of Australia and Porgera was a student at Mt Diamond Secondary in Central Province and left to Porgera on December, 28, 2017 after his acceptance letter from the Porgera Gold Mine Job Ready Program.

Family’s immediate uncle and Porgera community leader Mr Philip Mungalo said the late Locklan was among other students awaiting his offer to start job at the mine when he met his faith at the hands of the tribal group from Mt Kare.

Mr Mungalo said the attack was an act of inhuman and disrespect and not involving his clan the Anga and Maipangi in Porgera town area.

However he said they have taken an innocent young man’s life who has more to achieve in his future and someone who has the heart to serve his district.

“I was in shocked to hear my nephew being held up at gun point and shot by a tribal group from Mt Kare area which I never being in conflict with them since” said Mr Mungalo.

“For years law and order have been a major issue in Porgera District and we want the government to intervene and restore full law and order enforcement in the area” he said.

He also condemned the actions of the people involved and call on the leaders of Mt Kare and Paiala area to work with the police to carryout thorough investigation into the matter before the law.

Father of the late Locklan in Australia has also called on the Porgera authorities, Porgera Niugini Barrick and Enga Provincial and local level government to assist the family retrieve his son’s body to Hagen and be flown over to Port Moresby.

Mr George is expected to be in the country in the coming week for the funeral of his late son.

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Human Rights Advocates Unite for Porgera Women

Ramcy Wama | Post Courier | January 26, 2018

Four human rights groups have complied with Canadian gold miner Barrick Gold’s request to unite to seek redress for atrocities committed against women in the past 20 years at Porgera gold mine in Enga Province.

Akali Tanga Association, Human Rights Inter Pacific Association, Porgera Red Wara Women Association and 118 Indigenous Women Association announced their unity in Porgera last Friday

The four had been separately fighting against the negative human rights impacts caused by the Porgera Gold Mine since the mine started its operation in 1989.

They claim to represent victims who were allegedly poisoned from the chemical waste, women and girls who were raped and sexually assaulted by mine workers and related social problems affecting the landowners as a result of the mining operation.

The Barrick Gold Corporation, the joint owner company of Barrick Niuguini Limited (BNL) that currently operates Porgera Gold Mine, asked for the four advocates to unite and claim for the remedy for the victims because of duplicity in separate claims.

Barrick Gold chief sustainable officer Peter Sinclair, in an email on October 29, 2016, had asked the advocates, Akali Tanga Association and Human Rights Inter Pacific to make one claim for all the victims for the company to evaluate and approve.

“Given the serious nature of these allegations, and the volume and nature of the claims presented, significant time will be required to complete an evaluation of each claim, which may include consultations with external stakeholders.

“Be assured that we will use our influence as an equal shareholder of BNL to emphasise the critical importance of BNL management adhering to its own human rights policy, including a commitment to investigate and respond to allegations of negative human rights impacts that BNL may have caused or contributed to in a fair and effective manner,” Mr Sinclair said.

Human Rights Inter Pacific chairman Karath Mal Mawa said yesterday that the human rights groups had agreed to make a united submission on abuses at the mine.

“We have fixed each claim of the individuals and are ready to launch for remedy payment,” Mr Mawa said.

Some of the victims presented about 30 pigs in appreciating the four human rights uniting to press for redress.

In April 2015 Barrick Gold settled 11 claims of atrocities committed against women at Porgera.

The settlement in Canada was reached with EarthRights International, a non-governmental organisation, that was representing the women, bringing to a close all of the outstanding claims made by women, who were allegedly beaten, raped, and threatened by the miner’s security personnel and employees.

Some incidents dated back to even before Barrick bought the mine via its takeover of Placer Dome in 2006.

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January 26, 2018 · 12:43 pm

New watchdog to investigate Canadian companies for human rights abuses

Hilary Beaumont | Vice News | January 18, 2018

The Canadian government is creating a new watchdog to investigate human rights abuses by Canadian companies operating overseas, fulfilling a Liberal campaign promise.

Canadian companies have long faced accusations of human rights abuses abroad, including gang rapes by security guards at a mine in Papua New Guinea operated by Toronto-based Barrick Gold, and the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 workers who were making clothes for Joe Fresh, a brand owned by Canadian company Loblaws.

Canadian companies employ workers in developing countries to make clothing and mine materials that end up in electronics, but these mines and factories are often subject to lax regulations. When human rights abuses arise, there can be little recourse for complainants due to police corruption and weak justice systems on the ground, and lack of access to remedies through Canada’s courts.

‘RIGHT THING TO DO’

The new ombudsperson’s office will independently investigate abuse allegations against businesses operating overseas, including in the mining, textile and oil and gas sectors. The ombudsperson will have the power to request documents from companies and the power to gather testimony from witnesses. Canada’s trade minister François-Philippe Champagne said the ombudsperson will have “all the tools and resources to ensure compliance.” The watchdog’s recommendations will be made public, and the ombudsperson’s office will have the ability to withdraw government funding from companies.

There will also be a multi-stakeholder body to advise the ombudsperson and the government. That advisory body will include representatives from the mining, oil and gas and apparel sectors, as well as human rights and labour advocacy organizations, and an Indigenous representative.

“I’m adamant that Canada is to be second to none when it comes to business and human rights,” Canada’s trade minister François-Philippe Champagne said Wednesday. “This is not just the right thing to do, but that’s what Canadians expect from us.”

Advocacy organizations have waited more than a decade for this announcement, calling it “long overdue.” But critics are pointing out that the ombudsperson’s mandate will not include investigating environmental violations, which are often wound up in human rights abuses.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTIONS

Liberal MP John McKay, who has pushed for mining industry oversight for years, stood next to the minister as he made the announcement. McKay’s private members bill to create a similar ombudsperson’s office was killed in 2010. It was only six votes short of passing.

Similar to the new ombudsperson’s office announced Wednesday, McKay’s bill called for the ability to withdraw government support and funding to companies found to be breaching human rights.

“The only significant difference is that they’re not going to do environmental investigations,” McKay told VICE News of the new ombudsperson. “Not quite sure why they arrived at that decision, but there’s a lot of interaction between environmental rights and human rights.”

Everlyn Guape, who was brutally sexually assaulted by security guards near the Barrick Gold mine in Porgera, Papua New Guinea, told VICE News she wanted to thank everyone who fought for the creation of the ombudsperson’s office.

Locals near the mine have also accused the company of contaminating their river. Guape added that “humanity depends on the environment,” so environmental abuses should also be investigated.

“This coexistence cannot be deliberately ignored by Canadian corporations and the government of Canada,” she warned.

‘INDEPENDENT AND EFFECTIVE’

Reacting to the government’s announcement, Barrick Gold said it supports the “additional accountability mechanism for Canadian businesses operating overseas, focused on dialogue and conflict resolution.”

“We look forward to engaging with the ombudsperson in a transparent and constructive manner, to assure Canadians that mining activities continue to generate economic and social benefits for host communities and governments, while respecting human rights.”

Advocacy organization Mining Watch Canada has been pushing for an effective ombudsperson since 2005, Catherine Coumans, the group’s research coordinator, said in a statement.

“We will continue to press the government to ensure that the ombuds office is independent and effective, and has adequate resources to do its job.”

Coumans added that additional measures still need to be taken, including allowing complainants access to Canadian courts to sue Canadian companies for rights violations overseas, and allowing communities free, prior and informed consent before new resource projects go ahead.

In a Canadian Network on Corporate Responsibility survey before the 2015 election, the Liberals stated they would “set up an independent ombudsman office to advise Canadian companies, consider complaints made against them, and investigate those complaints where it is deemed warranted.”

The Liberals also committed to act on the recommendations of a 2007 National Roundtable on Corporate Social Responsibility and the Canadian Extractive Industry in Developing Countries.

But they have not committed to making Canada’s courts open to legal action from complainants in other countries.

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Police Officers shot at Porgera

George Kakas

TWO reservists from the police unit at Porgera in Enga Province are in hospital after they were ambushed and shot by gunmen on Sunday, police said.

PNG Industry News | 17 January 2018 

The National newspaper reported that Enga’s acting police commander chief superintendent George Kakas said one of the reservists was shot in the leg while the other suffered a stroke when they were attacked near Wali Creek, a few kilometres from the Porgera gold mine’s township.

The reservists in five patrol cars were going to investigate the aftermath of a violent confrontation between two tribes when they were attacked with automatic weapons, but no major injuries or fatalities were reported, Kakas said.

He said a bullet presumably fired from a high-powered rifle penetrated a patrol car and injured the officer’s leg. The other reservist suffered a stroke during the incident.

The men were flown to Wabag hospital and are now recovering, The National reported.

Kakas said the incident had culminated from a stand-off between two tribes who were claiming ownership of the Mount Kare land where the Pogera mine is situated.

The Porgera joint venture is an open pit and underground gold mine about 130km west of Mount Hagen.

Barrick Niugini is the 95% owner of the Porgera joint venture, and is the manager of the operation. Barrick Gold Corporation and Zijin Mining Group each own 50% of Barrick Niugini. The remaining 5% interest in the Porgera joint venture is held by Mineral Resources Enga and is divided between the Enga provincial government (2.5%) and local landowners (2.5%).

A tribe embroiled in this feud allegedly attacked villagers from a neighbouring tribe, setting fire to some houses at Wali Creek. 

Kakas said the reserve police officers and mine security personnel were dispatched to check on the safety of power pylons and water supply facilities when they were ambushed by gunmen from the surrounding mountains.

A peace and good order meeting was convened on Monday involving the provincial government, police and representatives of the Porgera mine.

Barrick Niugini was approached for comment yesterday but had not responded before this publication’s deadline.

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Call to Improve Dialogue Between Resource Owners and Stakeholders

Government urged not to renew the Porgera Special Mining Lease Agreement

Jack Lapauve Jnr. | EMTV | 14 December 2017 

President of Resource Owners Federation PNG is calling for an equal playing field between mining operators and resource owners.

President Jonathan Paraia told EMTV News, too many agreements or understandings are signed but 90 percent of that is not achieved.

Mr Paraia said the government and mining operators must consider the issues presented by resource owners. He says Resource Owners Federation of PNG has kept a tight lip over the years.

With more complaints raised by resource owners around the country, he says, the government and mining giants must pay equal consideration.

In the past 10 years, Papua New Guinea has seen a rise in explorations in the Oil, Gas and Mining sector. More explorations are ongoing with new mines and project sites identified.

Mr Paraia says if all stakeholders are given the attention needed, the standard of living including goods and services will improve very much in many communities where mining or oil and gas projects are in operation.

Meanwhile, he has urged the National Government not to renew the Porgera Special Mining Lease Agreement.

Mr Paraia says landowners demand an investigation into the issuing of water permits by the mining operator. Landowners say severe damages were done but remain unreported.

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No Renewal For Porgera

Post Courier | December 3, 2017

The Porgera Special Mining Lease area landowners have thrown in their support for the Governor Sir Peter Ipatas’s call not to issue any mining lease when it expires in 2019.

Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas has called on the National Government not to renew the Porgera Special Mining Lease when it expires in 2019, and further called for an investigation into the issuing of fraudulent water permit to Porgera Joint Venture.

In support of the Governor’s call, the Justice Foundation for Porgera Limited (JFPL), has already notified the registrar of mining tenements not to register the PJV’s application for the renewal of the SML, on the basis that a majority portion of the customary lands of the SML area, will not be available for mining purposes beyond 2019.

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Ipatas slams Govt over Porgera mine

Charmaine Poriambep | PNG Loop | 27 November, 2017

The Governor for Enga Province has lashed out at the National Government for not giving prominence to the Porgera Mine.

The mine will review its agreement in 2019, and Governor Sir Peter Ipatas claims there is no urgency by the Mining Department to commence preparations for the review.

The Enga Governor’s call during the grievances debate in Parliament comes after the operator of the mine, Porgera Joint Venture, lodged an application for renewal.

Governor Ipatas said the National Government and Department must not entertain the renewal until they revisit the agreement.

He said in 1989 when the first agreement was signed, many clauses where the then Premier wanted to be in the agreement were not included.

Ipatas said for the 2019 review, priority should be given to the provincial government so that the people of Enga can get some good returns.

He said the landowners and the provincial government have issues in relation to the mine but have kept quiet since the beginning of operation.

The Governor further expressed disappointment with the Department of Environment for issuing an environment permit to the mine, for water usage for the next 50 years, without consulting the provincial government and the people of Enga.

He said proper process should be followed as the mine is important for the province and the country.

He cautioned the Government and responsible Government departments to take these issues seriously and address them.

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