Tag Archives: Zijin Mining

Barrick calls for collaboration with MPs on ‘grim challenges’

Post Courier | October 10, 2017

In the face of a number of grimchallenges, the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) mining operator Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) has now called for greater cooperation from Engan members of parliament towards the achievement of the provinces’ development agenda.
At a recent briefing session with Engan leaders in Port Moresby, BNL executive managing director, Richmond Fenn highlighted a number of challenges that were impeding the progress of the provincial development agenda, which included; illegal mining, the state of the highlands highway, law and order, resettlement and the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) review.
Mr Fenn highlighted the management issues of the Porgera Development Authority (PDA), the Paiam Hospital and functions of the District Administration.
He also raised issues faced by the mine such as the proposed amendments to the Mining Act; the proposed amendment to the MRA Act and increasing the Tax Credit Scheme(TCS) rate.
“While some of the issues we can manage as a company, others are more complex and need considerable amounts of commitment from the government to make it work,” said Mr Fenn.
“The partnerships that we generate from these kinds of gatherings where we are required to work together on issues that affect us all, are of the utmost importance to us,’’ he said.
Engan governor Sir Peter Ipatas supported the call, adding that as a non-renewable venture, sufficient collaborative action needed to be taken to secure the future of Enga.
“We have to work to sustain Porgera to continue to provide services. The mine will come to an end.
In the future, the province will have to fall on its own economy,” said Sir Peter said.
“We have the right leadership and we have to incorporate our plans for development into the government agenda,” he said.
Sir Peter said the national government should consider funding arrangements for Enga’s special project plans, particularly through an increase in the TCS rate.
Given the mines history and contributions to the national economy for over 20 years.

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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.

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All that glitters is profit in China’s gold mines as demand for safe haven boost precious metal sales

All that glitters is profit in China’s gold mines as demand for safe haven boost precious metal sales

Zijin Mining’s first-half profit almost triples as Zhaojin Mining’s profit grows 56 per cent.

Enoch Yiu | South China Post | Sunday, 20 August, 2017

Zijin Mining Group and Zhaojin Mining Industry, among two of the Chinese gold industry’s leading miners, reported bumper interim profits, bolstered by surging gold prices amid rising global demand for safe haven investments, and increasing ales at home.

Zijin’s net profit almost tripled to 1.5 billion yuan (US$224.8 million), or 0.069 yuan per share, in the first six months of the year. Zhaojin’s net income rose 56 per cent to 396.64 million yuan, or 0.13 yuan per share, in the same period.

“Hedging demand triggered by political uncertainty became the main driver of the periodical increases in gold price” in the first half, Zhaojin’s chairman Weng Zhanbin said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The improving earnings underscore how an 8 per cent rise in the global price of gold in the first six months of the year has lifted the fortunes of Chinese miners. Earnings were also bolstered by China’s increasing appetite for the precious metal, both as a safe haven investment and as collectible, with the industry’s sales rising 10 per cent to 545 tonnes during the period.

“Mining segment delivered promising results, with the production volume of gold, copper, zinc and other key metals continuing to lead the industry,” said Zijin Mining chairman Chen Jinghe said in the result statement.

Zijin operates mines in nine overseas countries, extracting silver, zinc and copper. Among them, copper production increased 10 per cent while zinc production rose 8.6 per cent.

“During the reporting period, the company’s overseas projects maintained a good trend of development. The outputs of the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea, the Jilau/Taror gold mine in Tajikistan, and the zinc and multi-metals mine in Tuva, Russia increased,” Chen added.

“ In the second half of 2017, developed economies such as Europe and the United States are expected to stabilise and gradually recover, while the Chinese economy will remain stable and sustain a positive trend, the results of supply-side reform will begin to emerge, and the cyclical consolidation of bulk commodities has probably completed,” Chen said.

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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.

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

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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.

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PNG Rape Survivors Confront Barrick Gold in Canada 

Joycelyn Mandi and Everlyn Gaupe in Toronto/VICE News

Barrick Gold has been accused by Porgera women, of being complicit in their rape by mine security. Corporate consultant Dame Carol Kidu has defended Barrick Gold before the UN, claiming the company has handled the matter appropriately. Survivors have gone to Canada to argue this is not the case!

Women from Papua New Guinea bring rape complaints to Canadian mining company’s door

Hilary Beaumont | Vice News | April 26, 2017

Two women from Papua New Guinea flew half-way around the world this week to tell their stories of sexual assault at a Canadian mining giant’s shareholders’ meeting — but when they arrived at the meeting, they say they were told they couldn’t speak.

Everlyn Gaupe and Joycelyn Mandi allege they were raped years ago by security guards employed by the Porgera Joint Venture mine, which is co-owned by Barrick Gold and Chinese company Zijin Mining Group. The company has compensated about 130 women, including Gaupe, although she says her payment was not enough. Mandi also sought compensation, but didn’t receive any. The women claim that rapes, beatings, and environmental contamination are still happening at the mine’s dumping site today.

Protesters gather outside of a downtown Toronto building where Barrick Gold held its AGM. Photo by Hilary Beaumont/VICE News

“They said no, they told us we were not going to speak, we don’t know why,” Mandi told VICE News inside the meeting. “We followed every rule to come in to speak. We don’t know. Something’s going wrong.”

Mining Watch Canada paid their airfare and arranged for Barrick shareholders to appoint the women as their proxies so they could ask questions at the end to the meeting. But as they entered the AGM, the women said they were told their proxy shares weren’t valid. Instead, a Mining Watch Canada activist read prepared statements for them.

Jacob Sternberg confirmed to VICE News that he appointed Mandi as his proxy holder so she could speak in his place at the meeting. Rachel Small confirmed that she appointed Gaupe as her proxy. That the women were given the impression they couldn’t speak was “disrespectful, to put it mildly,” she said. The company said while the women were told their proxies were invalid, no one told them they couldn’t speak. Barrick knew a week in advance that the women were coming.

Although they didn’t get to read their statements, the women said they felt proud and happy that their voices were heard inside the meeting. “I am feeling lighter now,” Gaupe said after the meeting. “Barrick and the world have heard us and we are satisfied.”

The women’s visit to Canada comes amid new reports of violence near the mine, and renews questions about the accountability of Canadian mining companies operating overseas — something the Liberal government is facing pressure to address.

Trade minister François-Philippe Champagne is “a little pre-occupied with Trump these days” so the mining file isn’t getting much attention, Liberal MP John McKay told VICE News. However the government is actively considering creating a mining ombudsman’s office that would investigate serious complaints overseas, he said. “I have a sense that they do want to get this done. I have a sense they don’t want to be answering these questions come next election.” 

Champagne’s office said the minister, who was appointed to his position in January, is engaged in the file. He met with Canada’s existing Corporate Social Responsibility Counselor to evaluate how to strengthen the counselor’s role, and has also met directly with the mining sector at the annual Prospector’s and Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto in March, according to his press secretary.

On March 25, local police funded by the mine entered a settlement in Porgera, Papua New Guinea and burned down a number of houses. During the raid, police allegedly gang raped women and assaulted men, according to a local human rights group the Akali Tange Association. The company disputes that any sexual assault or beatings happened during the raid.

Days before the shareholders meeting, the ATA’s executive officer McDiyan Robert Yapari said he was arrested and charged with reporting false news about the March 25 raid. He said his phone was confiscated and he was accused of tarnishing the reputation of the police.

The company confirmed the raid took place, but said only 18 structures were burned down — not 150 houses as McDiyan had reported — and the whole operation was conducted legally with warrants. However the company did not provide those warrants when VICE News asked to see them.

In interviews with VICE News, Gaupe and Mandi explained that the mine has drawn a large population into the valley around it in search of wealth, and so the valley is crowded with people living in slum-like conditions, making it difficult if not impossible for them to farm and produce food as they used to. Instead, they say the only way to survive is to go to the mine dump site every day to pan for gold, which they can exchange for money to buy rice.

But Barrick security considers this illegal mining and trespassing, so they chase the miners off the site, threatening them with guard dogs and shooting them with rubber bullets, according to the women.

“When they run and catch us, they do whatever they want,” Gaupe told VICE News. “They beat us brutally. …They arrest us too, and for the women we are likely to be raped.”

“It’s happening now, while I’m talking. They like raping us, the security guards,” she continued. “Two weeks ago, we heard three women were seized up by security personnels and they were raped.”

Company spokesperson Andy Lloyd told VICE News the company was aware of another rape report in the last two weeks, but that no claims had been submitted to the company.

“We absolutely condemn sexual assault, it’s a horrific crime and we don’t support it,” Lloyd said following the meeting. “It’s unacceptable and it’s not something we want to see happening on any mine or around any mine that we operate.”

“There is no question that sexual assault is a huge problem in this part of the world,” he added. “We’ve seen surveys where 80 percent of the women in the community have said they have been sexually assaulted by a family member, by members of the community, so it’s a pervasive problem, it’s not a mine problem.”

Mandi said she had submitted a claim to the company’s grievance process in 2014, but had not heard anything from the company since then.

Lloyd explained that the grievance mechanism takes a long time, and is not set up to address serious human rights violations like sexual assault. If someone does submit a sexual assault claim through the grievance process, it gets put aside into a legal claims process, he said. If it’s found to be valid, the mine “would discuss a remedy.” He was unable to say whether any sexual assault allegations had been resolved through this process.

He said there were a large number of claims submitted together in one batch, and there were “issues with documentation” of some of those claims. “I have no idea if her claim was one of those, but that may be a reason for why it has taken some time to actually pursue.” In 2015 alone, the company says it received 805 complaints through its grievance mechanism, although the company would not say how many of those were complaints of sexual assault versus resettlement requests, employment grievances and other claims.

In some cases, local human rights groups will bring grievances forward on behalf of people who say they were wronged by the mine, and Lloyd said the company must do its due diligence to ensure those groups are authorized to represent the complainant.

“The commitment from [President Kelvin Dushinsky] today was to follow up with her and to understand what her claim was, and whether there is anything we can do to help move it along, I think that’s something we’re happy to do,” he said of Mandi’s claim.

The company has no plans at the moment to re-open its remedy framework that previously compensated women for alleged sexual assaults.

Other than the grievance process, women can report sexual assault allegations to a human rights observer in the valley, or to the police, Lloyd explained, although police themselves have been accused of raping women.

Lloyd said the company “has tried to be a positive force” in the dialogue around sexual assault, training police and employees on human rights, funding a police sexual violence response unit and has brought the anti-gender violence NGO White Ribbon to several of its mine sites to raise awareness about the issue.

Gaupe said the company had promised to pay school fees for her children and medical fees, and set up business for women living in the valley. “Empty promises, it didn’t happen,” she said.

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