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Barrick's Dirty Secrets: Communities Respond to Gold Mining's Impacts Worldwide

May 1st, 2007

Canadian-owned Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold producer, is exploring, building and operating huge, open-pit gold mines on nearly every continent on the planet.

On average, gold mining today produces 70 tons of waste for every ounce of gold, while also consuming and polluting massive amounts of water. An estimated 50 percent of these mining operations occur on native lands.

For many Indigenous peoples, who often rely on their environment for food and necessities, mining threatens not only their livelihood, but also their spirituality and traditional way of life.

These new "modern mining" projects leave thousand-year legacies of acid mine drainage, destruction of ecosystems, disease, and regional climate change. Riches in the form of gold, silver and copper are exported to first world shareholders, leaving behind poverty, dependency and pollution.

A new CorpWatch report details the operations of Barrick gold in nine different countries, focusing on the efforts on the part of the communities to seek justice from this powerful multinational.

In the report, you will discover:

  • individual profiles on Barrick's operations in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, the U.S., Australia, the Philippines, and Canada.
  • how Barrick's Valedero and Pascua Lama projects got placed in a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve;
  • a roundup of mine security and police repression in Peru;
  • how "illegal" miners have had their lives threatened and taken away in Tanzania and Papua New Guinea;
  • how Barrick threatens indigenous spiritual grounds of the Wiradjuri in Australia and the  Western Shoshone in the U.S.
  • how Barrick threatens the water sources in water scarce areas in Chile, Argentina, Australia, and Nevada. In New South Wales, Australia, Barrick's mine is licensed to use 17 million liters on water per day. Meanwhile, that region is experiencing their worst drought in the last hundred years.
  • profiles of on-going community struggles against Barrick around the world

Download "Barrick's Dirty Secrets: Communities Worldwide Respond to Gold Mining's Impacts"

Download Spanish version of report

Barrick has prepared a response to the CorpWatch report that is available on their website.

Other Research on Barrick

Testimonies from Ipili people

Mining Watch Case Study: Porgera Joint Venture (Papua New Guinea)

ProtestBarrick.net's Fact Sheet on Barrick's Lies regarding the Pascua Lama project

Testimony of Luís Faura Cortes: a critique of the Water Shares Agreement and Barrick's "94% approval rating"


CorpWatch welcomes Barrick's criticism and has amended the report for clarity and fairness. CorpWatch will also repost all of Barrick's responses to our website.

Other reports from Barrick's website: 

Go to Barrick's Social Responsibility Report

Download Barrick's Social Responsibility Report in Spanish

Download Barrick's 2006 Annual Shareholders Report

Contact: Sakura Saunders, sakura@corpwatch.org, 510-271-8080

Also on May 2nd, as part of an "International Day of Action" against Barrick, protests will take place in six different countries as well as in Toronto, Canada, where Barrick is based. On the same day, Canada's second largest gold mining company, GoldCorp, will be protested at their annual meeting in Vancouver. For more information about these actions, go to protestbarrick.net.

This report was made possible in part by a generous grant from the Hurd Foundation