Barrick Gold: Pueblo Viejo Mine, Dominican Republic

 The Pueblo Viejo gold mine is a joint venture between Barrick Gold (60%) and Goldcorp (40%). The mine began commercial production in January, 2013.[1]

Many Dominicans believe Barrick’s contract with the government is a bad deal for the country. Voiced complaints include communities’ lack of consultation regarding the mines construction and operation, water contamination (particularly since commercial production began), poor working conditions at the mine, and the preservation of local heritage.[2]

In April 2013, a nationwide 48-hour protest took place in various provinces across the Dominican Republic. Clashes at a student protest at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) against Barrick Gold’s Pueblo Viejo Mine in the Dominican Republic led to several injuries and the deaths of a police officer. Meanwhile, authorities in the town of  San Francisco de Macoris shot one man dead. Protesters were seeking greater social benefits and the nationalization of  Barrick Gold’s Pueblo Viejo Mine in response to Barrick’s alleged collusion with Dominican Republic government officials during contract negotiations. [3]

Also in April 2013, the Dominican Republic fined Barrick Gold $23.2 million for falsifying customs declarations in their gold exports. The company reportedly circumvented customs duties on gold shipments worth an estimated $850 million.[4]

[1] Barrick Gold Corporation (2013): Pueblo Viejo (60%), Barrick, accessed 10.09.2012

[2] MICLA (2013): Pueblo Viejo, Dominican Republic, accessed 18.12.2013

[3] Editor de Nacionales (2013): Dos muertos y varios heridos violentas protestas contra Barrick Gold, 23 April 2013, accessed 18.12.2013

[4] No a la mina (2013): Imponen multa millonaria a Barrick por falsear exportación. 19 March, accessed 10.09.2013

Servindi (2013): República Dominicana: Barrick Gold cometió cadena de fraudes para incrementar beneficios, 2 April, accessed 10.09.2013