Papua New Guinea: Barrick (Niugini) Limited allegedly violates locals' right to water at Porgera gold mine
A report published by the Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic and the The Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity at Columbia University's Earth Institute entitled Red Water: Mining and the Right to Water in Porgera, Papua New Guinea, alleges that the companies operating the gold mine in Porgera, Papua New Guinea are in breach of their obligation to respect the locals' right to water. It calls upon the PNG government, Barrick Gold, Zijin Mining, and their jointly controlled operator of the mine, Barrick (Niugini) Limited (BNL) to:
- Provide emergency access to safe water to households to meet minimal basic needs... [and] improve water infrastructure to guarantee stability in water access and quality...;
- Fund and undertake environmental, social, and health impact assessments...with the consent and participation of community members including through improved company due diligence and a government-led Independent Environmental and Social Audit of the PJV mine...;
- Establish comprehensive and effective monitoring and reporting processes to track implementation of measures; and
- If core human rights requirements cannot be met, pursue resettlement of the Porgeran communities away from the mine...
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Barrick (Niugini) Limited (BNL) to respond to the allegations in the report. The response is included below.