MAC: Mines and Communities

Barrick Gold encounters problems in Dominican Republic

Published by MAC on 2010-10-25
Source: Dominican Today, Canadian Press

Environmentalists ask Dominican Republic court to stop Canadian mine project

Canadian Press

19 October 2010

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - Opponents of a big mining project in the Dominican Republic asked a judge Tuesday to halt the Canadian company's operation until it addresses their concerns over the environmental impact.

A consortium involving Barrick Gold and Goldcorp is making a $3 billion investment to reopen the Pueblo Viejo mine and plans to begin extracting gold, silver and other minerals late next year.

The judge at the hearing in the capital of Santo Domingo ordered a 20-day period for each side to respond to the opposing arguments before she issues a decision.

Environmentalists claim the company is relying on a permit granted in 2001 when the scope of the project was much smaller.

"We want Barrick's operations stopped until they complete impact studies and they have a new license,'' said Alexander Mundaray, a plaintiff in the lawsuit and among environmentalists who have led demonstrations against the project.

A Barrick spokesman, Jorge Esteva, said he could not discuss the company's documentation because of pending legal proceedings but added that "our operations are always conducted within the framework of the law."

The Caribbean nation's environmental ministry presented documents at the hearing to demonstrate that the project already has been approved.

The mine previously operated from 1975 to 1999.

Barrick Gold Dominican mine workers clash with police, 6 injured

Dominican Today

14 October 2010

COTUÍ, Dominican Republic.- Six people were injured by shotgun pellets during protests staged today by workers of the mining company Barrick Gold in Cotuí, who demand the bonuses and respect of their rights, said the spokesmen for the demonstrators.

The victims were identified as Jose Peralta Rodriguez, Alejandro Guzmán, Eliseo Disla, Manuel Jose Contreras and Miguel Garcia, while the sixth preferred anonymity. Garcia said the company executives have been allegedly retaliating against a group of workers who decided to form a union.

Police agents were posted on the bridges that access the mining company and dispersed the demonstrators with tear gas.

Local popular groups joined the protesters, while hooded demonstrators shattered the windows of several vehicles.

Local media report that executives of the Barrick Pueblo Viejo domincana Corp. weren't available for comment on the incidents.

Barrick Gold denies Dominican mine workers' protest

Dominican Today

15 October 2010

Santo Domingo.- The miner Barrick Gold's local operation affirmed Thursday that the disturbances staged yesterday in the central town Cotuí, which the media reported as a protest by employees against that company on labor demands was in fact "a group of people who forcibly prevented its workers' movements."

"We are requesting the support of the authorities to determine the actors behind these actions to take the pertinent measures and guarantee our rights and those of our employees and suppliers," the company Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corp. said in a statement.

According to unconfirmed reports, six people were injured in the protest, stoked by popular groups of the area of Pueblo Viejo, Sanchez Ramirez Province.

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