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Sunday, 18 September


Barrick Gold: Is the UN all talk or do they really care about Human Rights? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

barrick lies

Samantha Cole | All Africa | 15 September 2016

Today is exactly one year since public reports of the UN 2015 Geneva “criticism” of Canadian Mining Companies.

On September 15, 2015, online media reports exposed the UN Human Rights Committee discussions in Geneva, Switzerland in which there was much focus on the activities of mining companies from Canada.

In the usual non-committal manner in which the UN does everything, the Human Rights Committee “addressed a series of concerns” about the problems caused by Canadian mining companies who operate mines around the world.

Was that was the best they could do?

Only to address concerns?

Women are being raped, men are being killed, village homes are being destroyed, environments are being poisoned, in certain areas in the world, these Canadian mining companies are causing devastation and misery beyond description and the most these UN officials were able to come up with, was that they “addressed a series of concerns”.

An article published by “The Diplomat” on September 15, 2015, reported:

  •  Barrick Gold, were allegedly involved in a mass rape of 137 local women aged between 14 and 80 in Papua New Guinea.
  • Acacia Mining (Barrick’s daughter mining company in Africa) were liable, “through complicity, for killing and injuring of locals at the North Mara mine by police guarding the mine,” … .
  • Violence at the North Mara project was allegedly perpetrated by mine security and local police… ..
  • Likewise, allegations of extreme violence, killings, and the mass rape targeting local women in Papua New Guinea, where Barrick Gold has managed the Porgera mine… ..
  •  Barrick Gold’s (practices) was also called out by the local alliance Justice Foundation for Porgera for the “catastrophically changed” subsistence and livelihoods of landowners in Papua New Guinea.

It is undisputed that the Canadian Government has ignored the complaints about mining companies operating overseas. The Government is perfectly aware of the public scandals of mining companies involving illegal activities such as corruption, bribery and fraud, not to mention murder, violence, rape, environmental disasters, etc – but they take no notice.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have a special unit to investigate Canadian companies operating overseas who are reported to be involved in corruption or fraud or other illegal activities. The RCMP will bring these Canadian mining giants such as Barrick Gold to account for their corruption and fraud activities overseas.

Similarly, in the UK, the Serious Fraud Unit (SFO) have been very successful in the past year cracking down on British companies who are guilty of corruption, fraud and other such crimes in Africa.

Acacia Mining, Barrick’s daughter company, has had a shocking run over the past 14 months in Tanzania since Bloomberg...

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Saturday, 17 September


Farmers lead the way to reduce elephant crop raiding in Tanzania "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

As human settlements convert increasingly more natural vegetation to farms and occupy traditional wildlife migration routes, people and wild animals come into more frequent contact, and much of this interaction is negative. In Africa, when wild animals, especially large, dangerous species like lions or elephants, disperse from protected areas and raid livestock corrals or crop fields, they can devastate subsistence farmers, who may retaliate by killing the next unlucky lion or elephant passing by (Osborn & Parker 2002, Parker et al. 2007). [caption id="attachment_189431" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Lucky so far, these elephants in Tarangire National Park have sufficient food. Photo credit: Sue Palminteri[/caption] Research provides increasing evidence that non-lethal means may be more effective at reducing livestock predation than lethal methods; we are presenting a series of posts that highlight such techniques and technologies used to reduce human-wildlife conflict (HWC). Wildtech spoke with Alex Chang’a, field director of RESOLVE’s Elephant-Chili project in northern Tanzania.  Chang’a has worked with farming communities outside some of the country’s famous national parks, including Tarangire and Mikumi, to test and promote the installment of chili fences around crops and financial support for building and maintaining them. As we discussed in this series’ first post on the use of chili to reduce human-elephant conflict (HEC), elephants have super sensitive noses and dislike the smell of chili, so these fences consist of ropes and pieces of cloth coated with a mixture of ground chili and engine oil. [caption id="attachment_189434" align="aligncenter" width="620"] A chili fence with sisal rope and…


90000 Still In Temporary Housing After Fukushima Disaster "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

The reporting out of Japan doesn’t define who is still homeless due to the nuclear disaster and who is still unable to return home due to the tsunami damage. 45,832 people still live in the tiny prefabricated temporary housing units. Others live in apartment buildings and other residential locations deemed “temporary” housing by the government. Some of the delay has been the slow construction of new public housing developments that were supposed to give residents a new permanent home. There have been accusations in the past that this construction was purposely slowed to prod people into returning home to areas that lack infrastructure or may still be contaminated. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at © 2011-2016, All Rights Reserved Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources is under the respective rights of that content owner. If you are ...



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‘World Class’ Barrick Gold halts Argentine mine on fresh cyanide spill "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"


Veladero, one of the largest gold mines in Argentina, produced 602,000 ounces last year

Cecilia Jamasmie | | 16 September 2016

Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp confirmed Thursday a new spill at its Veladero mine in the San Juan province of Argentina and said it has temporarily suspended operations pending further inspections of the mine’s heap leach area.

The fresh spill happened on Sep. 8, when a pipe carrying process solution in the heap leach area was struck by a large block of ice that had rolled down the heap leach valley slope, Barrick said in the statement. A small quantity of solution left the leach pad as a result.

While the gold giant, the world’s largest by output, did not mention cyanide in its press release, local newspaper El Clarín reports (in Spanish) that Barrick authorities in Argentina have confirmed that was the case.

“The incident did not pose any threat to the health of employees, communities or the environment,” Barrick said in the statement.

Earlier this year, the Toronto-based miner was ordered to pay a 145.7m pesos or $9.8m fine over a cyanide spill at the same mine, which happened almost exactly a year ago.

When Barrick announced the fine in March, it said it had undertaken a plan to strengthen controls and safeguards at the mine, including increased water monitoring.

Regarding the new incident, the company noted it would work with provincial authorities to confirm the integrity and safety of the heap leach facility as quickly as possible, beginning today.

Veladero, one of the largest gold mines in Argentina, produced 602,000 ounces last year. Proven and probable mineral reserves as of December 31, 2015, were 7.5 million ounces of gold. Gold production in 2016 is expected to be 630,000-690,000 ounces at all-in sustaining costs of $830-$900 per ounce according to the company’s website.

Barrick said it didn’t expect the incident to have a material effect on its 2016 operating guidance for the mine.


The Nature Conservancy supporting the expansion of mining "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

The Nature Conservancy, one of the world’s largest ‘conservation’ organistions, is supporting the expansion of large-scale mining in the Solomon Islands, and perpetuating the myth of ‘sustainable mining’

“With good planning and management and meaningful inputs from communities and women, the Solomon Islands has a fantastic opportunity to pave the way for a more sustainable minerals sector”

Of course TNC can’t point to anywhere in the world where this utopian dream exists, international mining companies respecting indigenous communities and caring for the environment, but lets just keep selling the dream…

Audience Mining Forum 2013. Photo © The Nature Conservancy (Robyn James)

Audience Mining Forum 2013. Photo © The Nature Conservancy (Robyn James)

Mining a Better Future for the Solomon Islands

The Nature Conservancy | National Geographic | 15 September 2015

The Solomon Islands are facing dramatic and imminent changes from large-scale mining across the country. Without proper planning and access to information, developments like mining will jeopardize the natural resources upon which most Solomon Islanders depend. With 85 percent of Solomon Islanders living in rural areas, they rely on their natural resources for food, shelter and income. The negative impacts of mining could change their lives forever.

Large deposits of gold, copper, nickel and bauxite have been identified across the country. Despite strong interest and intense prospecting, there has only ever been one fully operational mine in the country, which means communities and government agencies have little experience working with the mining sector. In addition, the Solomon Islands government has highlighted their limited capacity to manage the complex demands of regulating, managing and overseeing the mining development process. While mining offers opportunities for economic development, without adequate management, it also poses direct and urgent threats to livelihoods, culture and social well-being.

The Nature Conservancy is working with community groups to hold workshops and provide information through a program called “What Is Mining?”. This has been designed to help Solomon Islanders understand the impact mining could have on their lives and their natural resources. We partnered with community-based women’s groups in particular to both ensure that women were a part of the conversation and to empower women to make their voices heard.

In collaboration with the Isabel Mothers’ Union, we have trained 40 community facilitators who are raising awareness about the importance of well-informed and inclusive decisions around big issues such as mining. To date, this work has reached over 12,000 people in remote communities, and their input is informing the national mining policy reform process.

The mining awareness work led to the first-ever national mining forum. The Conservancy facilitated the event that inspired the...

Friday, 16 September


Panama: Attack Dogs and Police Respond as Indigenous Fight Hydroelectric Project "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

by Rick Kearns / Indian Country Today Media Network

 Computer rendition of Barrio Blanco Hydroelectric Dam.

Computer rendition of Barrio Blanco Hydroelectric Dam.

Flood gates from a reservoir were opened and washed homes away in August and, according to Indigenous Ngabe protesters in Panama, they were then harassed, shot by police, and now attack dogs have been used at recent protests. Despite these challenges, the protestors are not backing down from their 10-year struggle to prevent a massive hydroelectric dam on their land.

The Ngabe activists and allies are fighting against the controversial Barrio Blanco Hydroelectric Dam project which has again been halted due to multiple protests around the country.

Indigenous activists have been fighting against the project since 2011 but on August 22 both Ngabe-Bugle Chief Silvia Carrera and Panama President Juan Carlos Varela signed an accord that supposedly put the conflict to rest.

Protests against the contract started the next day, when Ngabe activists asserted that the Ngabe communities directly affected by the project, such as the people in Kiad, were not consulted and were against the plan which would displace hundreds of families and cause environmental damage.

In a radio interview on August 23, Ricardo Miranda a spokesman for the National Youth Council of Panama stated that, “…we do not agree with the accord and we want the president to know that we will not back down.”

Miranda also asserted that the President was “behind the violence” against the protestors and noted that they had started to bring attack dogs to the demonstrations.

“We reject this plan and we say that Mrs. Carrera did not have the legal right to sign that accord,” he said.

By early September, Ngabe protesters had staged several demonstrations around Panama. One of the larger protests occurred in the town of Gualaquita between August 25 and 26 when according to various sources, close to 20 Indigenous and several National Police officers were wounded and five arrested in the conflict.

Protests continued at the University of Panama in Panama City and other sites. Miranda also noted that as of September 7, police were still holding Kiel activist Clementina Gonzalez without cause. Gonzalez’ community had already faced displacement from the initial flooding of the Tabasara River basin.

In the meantime the Human Rights Network of Panama (HRNP), representing 25 environmental, legal, ethnic and religious advocacy groups, has requested that the Panamanian government suspend the Barr...

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