The season of annual reports is upon us. Not only corporations issue information on their activities, but so do anti-corporate groups, specifically CORPWATCH. That organization issued its Barricks Dirty Secrets: Communities Respond to Gold Minings Impacts Worldwide today to punctuate its Global Day of Action Against Barrick.
Leaving aside for the time being what seems to be CorpWatchs unabashed dislike of BARRICK GOLD above all others, here are some of what the organization lays at Barricks doorstep:
The shooting death of a 19-year-old man at a demonstration near the Antamina copper mine in Peru. (Barrick does not have an interest in the Antamina mine, but does mine gold elsewhere in Peru.)
The closure of the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea led to the deaths of alluvial miners. (Barrick has a 95% interest in the mine that cut production temporarily because of limited power availability a year ago.)
Barrick was in cahoots with the corrupt local governor driven out by communities protesting activities in the Famatina area of Argentina.
The unpopularity of the Pascua Lama gold project on the border of Chile and Argentina, high in the Andes Mountains. (Originally the project involved moving a glacier, but Barrick has modified its plans to minimize disturbance.)
Barricks 2006 annual report fails to note that a Chilean land speculator, saying he was duped into accepting $19 for a land deal that he understood to be worth $1 million, won a court judgement against Barrick. (Barrick has appealed.)
I have no idea why CorpWatch has chosen to vilify Barrick. The organization regularly tries to rein in the global gold mining industry, but targeting one company above all others smacks of personal malice. Who really has a bone to pick with one of the most sustainability driven, corporately responsible corporations?
CorpWatch is unlikely to retract its opinions. The movement is clearly driven by emotion not science. Members show no desire to understand the gold industrys side of the equation or to appreciate the benefits mining can bring to individuals and their communities.
Shame on CorpWatch for its emotional rants, biased reports, and alarmist rhetoric. A measure of balance is overdue.