Barrick Gold: Human Rights Violations in Tanzania

African Barrick Gold (ABG), now known as Accacia Mining, is a 64% subsidiary of Barrick Gold. Barrick Gold is a Canadian mining company and, with 27 mines in operation, is the largest producer of gold in the world.

Communities of small scale miners have been displaced and disenfranchised by ABG’s North Mara Gold Mine in Tanzania. Since the mine opened, there have been multiple confrontations with the security staff resulting in multiple shootings.[1] Protests against the mine in 2011 ended in violence when police forces killed seven.[2] Police and security forces were also accused of detaining people arbitrarily and sexually assaulting local women.

A 2009 study revealed the concentration of arsenic in local drinking water to be 40 times higher than the WHO limit. The drinking water was poisoned.[3] ABG was also suspected of tax evasion.

On March 2, 2013, police forces killed two people after villagers allegedly invaded the mine. The Daily News, citing a senior police officer at Tarime, reported that there were around 4,000 people involved. However, African Barrick Gold claimed that only a “fraction of that number […] intruded on the mine site.”

A seperate source claims that an additional person was shot dead by security guards in a related incident involving approximately 30 people attempting to break into the mine on March 5, 2013.

The British law firm Leigh Day, in 2013, filed a lawsuit on behalf of 12 villagers with the UK High Court against African Barrick Gold (Accacia Mining) for their complicity in the killing of at least 6 people.1 

One of African Barrick Gold’s newest projects, the Buzwagi open-pit mine, has been operating in northwest Tanzania since 2009 and is expected run through 2020. The mine was constructed in the Khandilo village without prior consultation to surrounding communities. Residents were given the option to move, however, many could not afford to abandon their fields. Those who agreed to move claim they were given a compensation of 700,000 Tanzanian Shillings (approx. €325). Those who chose to remain continue to be subjected to the mine’s blasting activities. Since the mine’s arrival, more than 200 houses near the mine have collapsed into ruins; villagers still mourn a child killed in one such incident.[4]

 


[1] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-23/shooting-gold-diggers-at-african-mine-seen-amid-record-prices.html

[2] http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/3993

[3] http://www.miningwatch.ca/es/node/6356

[4] Ilham Rawoot, Victoria Schneider, Katrin Krämer, Felix Karlsson (2013): Dirty Profits Exposed. The Report, p. 14. www.facing-finance.org/en/publikationen/dirty-profits-exposed/


  1. Leigh Day 2013 Tanzanina Villagers sue london based African Barrick Gold for deaths and injuries []
Case location
Tanzania
Tanzania


Affected topics
  • Human and Labour Rights
  • Environmental and Climate protection
Affected norms and standards Directly and indirectly (through shareholding) involved companies Indirect investors through shareholding

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