Please educate yourself before you purchase any more gold…
Many of Papua New Guinea’s most intractable problems are inextricably bound up with the country’s most promising sources of wealth. Mining for gold, gas, timber and other extractive industries are the most productive sectors of Papua New Guinea’s otherwise ailing economy. But exploitation of these resources has also led to violence, human rights abuse, corruption and environmental damage.
Since the Porgera mine opened in 1990, it has produced over 16 million ounces of gold. At today’s prices, that would be worth more than $20 billion. Barrick (a Canadian mining company) took over the mine in 2006 and production is expected to continue until at least 2023.
The Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea has always been controversial. For years, local activists have alleged that mine security personnel carry out extrajudicial killings and other violent abuses against illegal miners and other local residents. The mine has also been widely condemned for discharging six million tons of liquid tailings (mine waste) into the nearby Porgera River each year—a dangerous policy that is not consistent with industry good practice. The relationship between the mine’s management and its most prominent local critics is deeply dysfunctional, with both sides often more focused on attacking one another than addressing issues of mutual concern.
Please click here to read this report describing a pattern of violent abuses, to read this report describing a pattern of violent abuses, including horrifying acts of gang rape, carried out by members of the mine’s private security force in 2009 and 2010. They also recount Barrick’s history of angrily dismissing human rights and environmental concerns that the company should have treated more seriously and dealt with more transparently. The report examines the impact of Canada’s failure to regulate the overseas activities of its companies and also calls on Barrick to address environmental and health concerns around the mine with greater transparency.