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RAID urges Barrick Gold to resolve past human rights concerns at its newly-acquired Tanzanian mine

Author: RAID, Published on: 11 November 2019

"When Will Bristow Address the Human Rights Issues at Tanzanian Gold Mine?"

Mark Bristow, CEO of the world’s largest gold miner, Canadian company Barrick Gold, has finally secured one of the mines he has long coveted. Bristow has been lauded for orchestrating Barrick’s takeover last month of London-listed Acacia Mining plc, which ensures direct control over Acacia’s prized North Mara gold mine. Yet Bristow’s challenges in Tanzania are only just beginning. How he will resolve the toxic combination of serious human rights abuses and deep discord with North Mara’s local communities will be the real test of his leadership...

Barrick is heralding “a new era of productive partnership” with Tanzania and its people. This fresh start at North Mara will require repairing relations with local communities and stopping any further human rights abuses. Two essential first steps are needed. First, Barrick should suspend the deeply problematic grievance mechanism at the North Mara mine pending an independent review. While waiting for the review to be completed, the company should provide humanitarian assistance to those harmed by its activities. Secondly, Barrick should urgently reconsider the mine’s employment of the Tanzanian police to provide security.

In February 2019 Bristow committed to meeting the human rights challenge, saying that the relationship with communities at North Mara will “definitely change” under his leadership. Now that Barrick is rebuilding operations at North Mara, Bristow has the opportunity to do just that. He needs to show that new management at North Mara represents a change in more than just name.

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Related companies: Barrick Gold