Tag Archives: Barrick Gold

Ongoing unrest affecting Porgera mine operations

The National aka The Loggers Times | September 20, 2017

PORGERA mine operations have been disrupted by the ongoing unrest and roadblocks, according to mine operator Barrick Niugini Limited.

Executive managing director Richmond Fenn said it had significantly impacted communities and businesses in the district.

“The unrest and violence we have seen in recent weeks, combined with frequent road closures on the Highlands Highway, not only impact operations at the Porgera mine, but also prevent the movement of people and goods to and from the region,” Fenn said.

“We hope that the situation improves soon, and we are working to assist the government and community leaders in bringing about lasting peace in the area.”

The two-week closure of the Wabag-Porgera road was lifted yesterday but a truck belonging to iPi Transport was torched soon after.

iPi Transport general manager Maso Mangape told The National that the roadblock was set up by relatives of a boy alleged to have been killed by the security forces last month.

“As two of our trucks were returning empty from Porgera, one was held up or hijacked at the Liop-Ipai section of the road just before Laiagam, and torched. Nothing is recoverable,” Mangape said.

“We are yet to establish the reasons and motives behind this action. It was at around the same location that a local was held up in his bus and shot dead about two weeks ago.”

Roadblocks at Surunki, Jiwaka and Chuave in the past two months “have cost this company so much”.
Mangape said it was frustrating for road-users such as iPi servicing the giant Porgera gold mine and helping contribute to the economy of this country, pay taxes and create employment.

“It is disappointing to see the Government not acting promptly to address these issues on the road,” he said.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Kainantu mine equipment destroyed by landowners

Govt To Investigate K92 Mine Stand-Off

Michael Koma | Post Courier | August 28, 2017

The government is to launch an investigation into the standoff that eventually resulted in the destruction of properties at the K92 mine site in Balimoia, Eastern Highlands, in a bid to resolve issues raised amicably.

Disgruntled landowners went on a rampage last Thursday burning two trucks, a grader and standby generator, according to police.

Several gas cylinders and fuel drums were also destroyed allegedly by landowners from Balimoia One, Two and Three villages.

Police said the landowners, mostly youth, closed in entrance to the underground mine in the early hours of Thursday and took the law into their own hand.

A workshop at the entrance of the mine was also destroyed.

Police said the K92 Mining is still in the process of assessing the damages to determine the cost of the destruction.

During the rampage the only road that links the developer’s gold processing plant at Kumian to the mine site on the foot of Mt Kora was blocked with tress by the irate landowners.

Mining minister Johnson Tuke told the Post Courier that the destruction has already taken place and it’s now time for the concerned parties to come together to address the core issues that triggered the violent encounter.

Mr Tuke said:

“Extractive industries contributed immensely towards the national economy: the state must not be denied revenue in the face of such destruction.

“One the other hand the landowners must not be denied spin benefits, especially royalty payments.

“Its equally important that the developer must continue operation to contribute eloquently towards the country’s wealth and create employment opportunities.

“In every such situation there is always a reason.

“I will call the Mineral Resource Authority, the K92 mine management, Balimoia Interim Landowners Association and the Eastern Highlands Provincial Government to a roundtable discussion to find a way out of this chaotic situation.

“We cannot solve a problem with violence.”

Mr Tuke arranged for an audience with the landowners yesterday but they put him on notice which he termed as “uncalled for.”

In light of Thursday’s incident, Mr Tuke had flown to Balimoia yesterday (today) and told the landowners to control their temper as he would be negotiating for an amicable solution.

“As a local MP (Kainantu) I am aware of the situation and I am well-placed to discuss the subject,” he said.

The minister said the Balimoia gold deposits was initially developed by Kainantu Highlands Ltd and transferred to Barrick Gold before K92 Mining took over.

“Some of these issues arises during the two previous developers’ term and continued to exist until today.”

The landowners were pressing for off-spin benefits in terms of royalty payments, contracts and employment opportunities, which they claimed were not properly accorded to them.

The minister said the memorandum of agreement needs review.

K92 Mining Limited says claims about it not honouring commitments (engaging landowners in its operations) were unfounded.

K92 Mining’s management said it has built a formidable workforce of 500 with contractors on site including 300 employees alone from Balimoia and associated landowners.

The developer added that the Balimoia Interim Landowners Association (BILA) has yet to determine whether it will use its business arm, Balimoia Development Corporation (BILDECO) or a new business entity to participate in business opportunities created by the developer and its suppliers.

Meanwhile, police reinforcements from Ramu, Lae, Kainantu and Goroka were deployed into the area to protest the properties and equipment.

The Balimoia area, in which the gold-rich Mt Kora stands, is sandwiched between Kainantu town in Eastern Highlands and Ramu Valley in Morobe Province.

1 Comment

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Another Barrick mine plagued by human rights problems

This short film tells in stark detail the stories of some of the victims at the North Mara Gold Mine in Tanzania operated by UK listed company, Acacia Mining. The mine has been plagued by human rights problems. Barrick Gold Corporation, is the majority shareholder of Acacia Mining, holding 63 per cent.

SEE ALSO: Allegations of Human Rights Abuses at the Porgera Mine – Village Burning, Forced Eviction, Assault, Rape

Since 2014, at least 22 people have been killed and 69 injured, many by bullet wounds, at or near the remote mine in security related incidents, according to research conducted by RAID and MiningWatch Canada (MWC). Nine women and girls have been raped. A Tanzanian parliamentary inquiry set up to look into the problem in 2016, received 65 reports of killings and 270 people injured by police responsible for mine security. Tanzanian opposition and human rights monitors believe the number is higher, estimating 300 mine related deaths since 1999.

Leave a comment

Filed under Human rights, Papua New Guinea

How resource companies exploit a corrupt and dysfunctional government

There has been a barrage of media recently about mining companies teaming up with a range of parters to deliver health-care and other services direct to the community.

Newcrest Mining and the Australian government have announced a partnership to improve maternal health, Exxon-Mobil is partnering the Cancer Foundation and The Voice, Barrick Gold is delivering agriculture training in Porgera.

Praise be to the resource companies, willing and able to step in where government fails its people – and no matter the role these same companies play in causing the very diseases, illnesses and other problems they are so happy to patch up with their band-aid PR!

But there is an even more sinister side to these good news stories that further illustrates how mining and other resource companies feed off a corrupt and dysfunctional government.

If government was doing its job and delivering decent basic services to the population, mining and resource companies would not have the opportunity to appear as ‘knights in shining armour’ the good news stories would disappear and, most importantly, customary landowners would not feel compelled to give away their land in the desperate hope that mining and logging companies might provide some basic services.

Resource companies are able to thrive in PNG because of, not despite, a corrupt and dysfunctional government. They rely on bad governance to open the doors to what they most desire – land and the resources it contains.

No matter the environmental and community destruction, their logging and mining cause, no matter the deaths, the violence against women, the unwanted pregnancies, the rape and prostitution, the pollution of rivers and loss of sustainable livelihoods when they can parade their social conscience in the media and have us all believe they are our saviours – just as long as we continue to give them what is most precious to us, OUR LAND!

Leave a comment

Filed under Australia, Corruption, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Women in Porgera impacted with violence

Grace Auka Salmang | Post Courier | June 22, 2017

Family Sexual Violence is one of the most critical issues that women in the extractive area of Porgera are faced with.

Chair of Family Sexual Violence Action Committee (FSVAC) of Enga  and  founder of Voice for Enga Women Association Everlyne Sap revealed this when speaking on the sub theme: Leadership, gender equality and women empowerment for equitable service in extractive resource areas: Porgera in Enga Province at the Consultative Implementation & Monitoring Council (CIMC) National Development Forum yesterday at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Port Moresby.

According to Ms Sap, Porgera is a district of about 65,000 people and 50 percent of women about half of the population are impacted by mining activities just like in any other extractive resource areas in PNG.

“Of the many direct and indirect issues related to mining, Family Sexual Violence or Gender Based Violence is one major issue affects the lives of women and families at different degrees.

Leave a comment

Filed under Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Allegations of Human Rights Abuses at the Porgera Mine – Village Burning, Forced Eviction, Assault, Rape

2 Comments

Filed under Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Sex assault survivors silenced at Barrick shareholders meeting

Evelyn Guape (left) and Joycelyn Mandi are among more than 100 women victims of sexual violence at Toronto-based Barrick Gold’s mine in Papua New Guinea. (Allan Lissner/MISN)

They say Toronto-based gold miner has yet to provide the compensation promised many of the more than 119 women and girl victims of sexual violence at Papua New Guinea mine

NOW News | May 2, 2017

As allegations of sexual violence continue to shadow Toronto-based Barrick Gold’s mining operations in Papua New Guinea, two women among those victimized by the violence were in Toronto to address shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting last week. 

But Everlyn Guape and Joycelyn Mandi were never given the opportunity to speak. Barrick senior vice-president of communications, Andy Lloyd, is chalking that up to a “misunderstanding”. Namely, a problem with papers filed by activists to allow the women to speak as proxies at the AGM. The Mining Injustice Solidarity Network says the necessary paperwork was filed on time. 

After some confusion in which security attempted to move the women to the back of the meeting room, a representative from MiningWatch Canada ended up reading Guape’s and Mandi’s statements to Barrick shareholders. 

The women are among 119 women and girls who accepted compensation from Barrick (some $10,000 each) as part of a 2012 redress package brokered by the Harvard and New York University legal clinics, MiningWatch Canada, Amnesty International, ProtestBarrick and Human Rights Watch. That, following allegations of widespread rape by security and police at Barrick’s Porgera mine. Eleven other women who refused the compensation package and threatened to sue the company received out-of-court settlements.

Since then, women who accepted the original package say they have yet to receive any money from the company or, in some cases, even to be contacted. They’ve organized to demand fairer treatment and for Barrick to release them from a waiver they signed as a condition of their compensation. 

Everlyn Guape 

I live in the shadow of Barrick’s Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea.

This mine dumps all of its tailings and waste rock directly into the river valleys around the pit. Our villages are surrounded by mine waste. We have to cross this waste to get from one village to another, or to go to our vegetable gardens or schools.

How would you feel if your children had to walk through the stinking chemical waste of a mine?

The mine and the waste have destroyed our traditional livelihood. When we enter the waste to pan for gold for our new livelihood, the mine’s security guards and police attack us.

I was raped. Can you imagine a young girl being brutally beaten and gang-raped on the edge of a river of bright red chemical waste?

After years of denial, Barrick finally decided to give me and the other rape victims some remedy. 

But we were not asked what we needed to repair the many terrible impacts of the rapes in our lives. Barrick’s consultants just told us “take it or leave it.” They told us we were powerless against the company. We had to sign legal waivers to get any remedy at all, so we cannot take legal action now.

We want an open dialogue about what we need to remedy the harm we have suffered, and we want to be able to include human rights experts we trust to support us in this dialogue.

Joycelyn Mandi 

I was raped by mine security when I was a teenager. This happened in 2008, the same year that our fellow Porgerans came to this AGM in Toronto for the first time to tell about the killings and the beatings and the rapes that we were suffering [at the hands of] mine security and police guarding the mine.

I have never received any remedy for the harm that this rape has caused in my life. I am not alone; there are many other victims who have never received remedy. And the sexual violence is ongoing.

Barrick knows this because MiningWatch Canada and human rights clinics at Columbia and Harvard Universities have told about the many women who have never received remedy.

My case was brought to your grievance office in 2015 together with the cases of 80 other women.

We have case number 3936, but until today we have had nothing but excuses from Barrick about why our cases have not been addressed, and no one has spoken to us about our cases.

1 Comment

Filed under Human rights, Papua New Guinea