MAC: Mines and Communities

Barrick claim to make progress at Pascua Llama ...

Published by MAC on 2014-06-02
Source: Statements, Reuters, Mining.com (2014-06-02)

... but communities and law suits say otherwise

Public Declaration From the Directors of the Agricultural Community Diaguitas Huascoaltinos

by Sergio Campusano Villches, President, Diaguita Huascoaltinos Indigenous and Agricultural Community (http://protestbarrick.net/article.php?id=962)

31 May 2014

In light of news of a potential negotiated agreement that would put an end to the social and environmental conflicts generated by the Pascua Lama project in the ancestral territory of the Agricultural Community of Diaguitas Huascoaltinos, we declare that this only deepens the relationship of confrontation that Barrick Gold has imposed in its relationship with the Community that owns the communal property of Diaguita.

The Agricultural Community Diaguitas Huascoaltinos, owner by ancestral right of the territory where the Pascua Lama mining project is located and which has therefore always paid property taxes to the State of Chile, informs the national and international public that the declarations that have been leaked to the media regarding an eventual arrangement to compensate the community, that would give social license to the Pascua Lama mining project in its land, constitute a new attack on its territorial rights.

This is evidence, once more, of the immoral actions of the Minera Nevada mining company (subsidiary of Barrick Gold), for imposing its project without respecting the fundamental rights of Indigenous Peoples recognized by current international agreements ratified by Chile, like Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization.

In effect, they've made public that the company is negotiating with people that claim to represent our territorial rights, when the State of Chile itself and the Superior Court of Justice of the country have both expressly recognized the ownership that the Agricultural Community of Diaguitas Huascoaltinos exercises over its communal property that makes up the Estancia Los Huascoaltinos.

The organizations represented by Mrs. Solange Bordones, that in this case want a negotiated agreement with the Barrick Gold company, do not have a territorial basis nor the political representation to be able to speak in the name of the Agricultural Community Diaguitas Huascoaltinos. The lawyers that represent them lack the mandate to compromise our territorial rights, and neither do they have the impartiality to carry forward an agreement as “mediators”, when according to what they've expressed in the media, their professional services would be paid for by the resources that the company has set aside for this process which amounts to a preliminary sum of 5 million dollars.

We demand that the State of Chile and its authorities take the necessary measures to reestablish the rule of law, to safeguard our fundamental rights and prevent private actors from taking positions of power that threaten indigenous rights.

From the session of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal (PPT) that is taking place in the city of Montreal (Canada), precisely to establish the responsibility of the Canadian mining industry in the systematic violation of human rights in Latin America. The Agricultural Community Diaguitas Huascoaltinos, represented by its President Sergio Campusano Villches and the Citizen Observatory represented by its co-director Nancy Yáñez Fuenzalida, have denounced this strategy of impersonation, and we hope for a report from the PPT that condemns these damaging practices of the Barrick Gold mining company, and urge the governments of Chile and Canada to take the appropriate punitive and regulatory measures.

Sergio Campusano Villches
President
Agricultural Community Diaguita Huasco Altinos

Nancy Yanez Fuenzalida
Co Director
Observatorio Ciudadano


Barrick, Pascua-Lama mine opponents sign MOU - Lawyer

Fabian Cambero

Reuters

28 May 2014

Santiago - Canadian miner Barrick Gold has come to an initial agreement with local indigenous peoples who have opposed its stalled Pascua-Lama mining project in South America, the lawyer for the communities said on Wednesday.

Barrick, the world's largest gold miner, halted the gold and copper project on the Chilean-Argentineborder last year after investing $5 billion into it.

The mine, which the local Diaguita people had strongly opposed, had been frozen by environmental regulators in Chile over demands that infrastructure to prevent water pollution needed to be built.

But a memorandum of understanding between the communities and Barrick has been struck, an initial step towards bringing the two sides together, Lorenzo Soto, the lawyer for the Diaguita, toldChile's Bio-Bio radio.

Newspaper La Tercera earlier reported 15 of the 18 local communities were involved in the deal.

The agreement will last six months during which Barrick will provide project details to the community for corroboration with experts, a process that will be funded by the Toronto-basedmining company.

Should that process be successful, Barrick will enter a dialogue phase that could last "two or three years", Soto said. That phase may involve international observers and include the payment of an "indigenous royalty."

Barrick would not be able to restart construction until the dialogue phase was complete.

Soto also warned that "the communities have not renounced any legal action."

Barrick recently indicated to the Chilean mining ministry that it wanted to proceed with Pascua-Lama, the country's mining minister told Reuters last week.

Barrick declined to comment on the report when contacted by Reuters. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero, Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao)


Barrick putting Pascua Lama back on track

Cecilia Jamasmie

Mining.com

28 May 2014

Barrick Gold stopped work at the project on the Chilean-Argentine border in October, after investing $5 billion in it.

Canada's Barrick Gold has reached an initial agreement with local communities from the north of Chile, which have opposed its stalled $8.5 billion Pascua-Lama gold and silver project in South America, the lawyer for the communities told La Tercera (in Spanish).

The deal between the world's largest gold miner and Chile's Diaguita community is, to say the least, unique, considering that the indigenous group represented by attorneys Alex Quevedo and Lorenzo Soto was the one that managed to halt the project in April last year. They also were the ones who originally requested the miner's environmental permit for Pascua Lama to be revoked.

The Toronto-based company, which is the subject of a number of class-action lawsuits over the project, stopped work at the project on the Chilean-Argentine border in October, after investing $5 billion in it, saying it will restart it when "conditions improve."

Sources close to the ongoing negotiations told MINING.com the agreement reached today could be seen as a first step for the company to obtain the coveted "social license" for Pascua Lama.

Sources close to the ongoing negotiations told MINING.com the agreement reached today could be seen as a first step for the company to obtain the coveted "social license" for Pascua Lama.

The memorandum of understanding establishes that negotiations will last six months during which Barrick will provide project details to the community for corroboration with experts. The process, to be funded by the Canadian company, will follow international standards, the sources added.

The not binding agreement does not force communities to relinquish their right to pursue further legal actions.

Pascua Lama is expected to produce around 850,000 ounces of gold and 35 million ounces of silver in its first five years. Production, scheduled to begin this year, has now been delayed until mid-2016.

Barrick's sahres were down 2.2% this morn ing in Toronto hitting $16.92 at 11:43 am ET.


Barrick Gold Class Action - Robertson Stromberg LLP Files Statement of Claim Against Barrick Gold and Other Defendants

CNW Group - statement

27 May 2014

SASKATOON, SK - On May 26, 2014, Robertson Stromberg LLP, counsel in the Barrick Gold Corporation securities class action filed a statement of claim in a $6 billion action against Barrick Gold Corporation and others. The claim alleges wrongdoing against Barrick Gold Corporation and its senior officers Aaron Regent, Jamie Sokalsky, Ammar Al-Joundi and Peter Kinver.

The detailed claim alleges there were misrepresentations in Barrick's public disclosure relating to Barrick's development of the Pascua-Lama mine located on the border between Chile and Argentina. In particular, Barrick publicly referred to this being a feasible and highly economic project due to the low cost to construct and produce gold and silver from the Pascua-Lama mine. The claim alleges that Barrick knew or ought to have known that the significant costs to construct and produce gold and silver from this project would render it, at best, a speculative venture.

In addition, the defendants represented compliance with mandatory environmental conditions imposed on the Pascua-Lama mine and made statements that Barrick was safeguarding or protecting the environment and water surrounding the mine. The claim alleges that these representations were inaccurate, misleading or omitted key facts regarding Barrick's failure to comply with environmental conditions, regulation and permits, and regarding Barrick's failure to safeguard or protect the environment.

The action was commenced on behalf of Barrick Gold investors who acquired Barrick securities during the period from May 7, 2009 to November 1, 2013.

If you acquired Barrick Gold Corporation securities during the period from May 7, 2009 to November 1, 2013, please contact Robertson Stromberg LLP at 1-888-723-4305.

Robertson Stromberg is part of the consortium of firms prosecuting the Barrick class action headed by Koskie Minsky LLP, Sutts, Strosberg and Groia & Company Professional


Canadian firms sue Barrick over divisive Pascua-Lama project

Cecilia Jamasmie

Mining.com

22 May 2014

A group of Canadian law firms are pursuing a class action against Barrick Gold, and a few of its current and former senior executives, claiming they misrepresented how much risk the miner really faced when it kicked-off construction at the now shelved Pascua-Lama project in South America.

The suit, filed Wednesday with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, alleges the Toronto-based company marketed the project as "feasible" and "highly economic," while the company knew or should have known that it would have to overcome significant obstacles, Canadian Press reports.

Barrick is a sophisticated mining company that has constructed and operated mines all over the world. The challenges in developing Pascua-Lama were or should have been readily apparent to Barrick," the claim contends.

"Barrick is a sophisticated mining company that has constructed and operated mines all over the world. The challenges in developing Pascua-Lama were or should have been readily apparent to Barrick," the claim contends.

The $8.5 billion gold and silver project straddling the Chile-Argentina border has brought one headache after another to the world's top bullion producer, from protests, strike threats and fines to costs overrides.

Last year the proposed mine suffered a number of defeats in Chilean courts about water use and the impact on glaciers in the area.

Argentina, on the other hand, has been a vigorous backer of the project. While only around a fifth of the deposit is located in Argentina many of the above-ground facilities will be built on that side of the border. Barrick recently laid off 1,500 of the 5,000 workers on the Argentinian side.

Pascua Lama, which would produce about 800,000 to 850,000 ounces of gold a year in the first full five years of its 25 year life, was scheduled to start production in the second half of 2014. Last year, however, Barrick decided to suspend the controversial project, which was once set to become one of the top gold and silver mines in Chile, the world's N.o1 copper producer.

Yesterday's suit is being handled by three law firms: Koskie Minskie; Sutts, Strossberg, and Groia & Company. They are demanding financial compensation for nearly $6 billion and a pronouncement that Barrick is liable for the acts and omissions of the individual defendants, including former chief executive Aaron Regent and the current leader, Jamie Sokalsky.

Shares on the company took a steep dip in both the Toronto and New York stock exchanges on the news. The stock recovered a bit after mid-day and was trading at $18.17 at 1:55 pm ET in Canada, a 0.82% drop from Wednesday's closing price.

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