MAC/20: Mines and Communities

ARGENTINA

Published by MAC on 2007-05-02

ARGENTINA

Open letter to Annual General Meeting of Shareholders and Directors of Barrick Gold in Toronto

2nd May 2007

Barrick Gold Out of Argentina and Chile!

Directors and Shareholders
Barrick Gold Corporation
Toronto, Canada

In this annual meeting of shareholders and directors of Barrick Gold in Toronto on May 2, 2007, the following communities, organizations and persons of Chile and Argentina would like to communicate the following:

The communities of the basins of the Huasco Valley in Chile and of San Juan and La Rioja in Argentina are directly threatened by the Barrick Gold Corporation. We stand opposed to the mega-mining complex Veladero/Pascua Lama as well as exploration of Barrick Gold in La Rioja and anywhere in our countries. Civil society throughout countries is opposed to all megamining projects in our lands.

It is unacceptable to apply your methods of mineral extraction upon our ecosystems. Our Andes and foothill mountain ranges constitute an ecosystem essential for human and ecological life. Our water is born in these glaciars, springs, oases, rivers and aquifer. Barrick Gold is putting our lives and future into risk, contaminating, causing desertification and climate change.

Barrick's mining projects are incompatible with agricultural activity. They are incompatible with traditional forms of life, with public health of our communities and cities. Big mining is incompatible with sustainable development of the communities of both sides of the Andes.

Barrick Gold is not financially capable of, nor has shown any interest in paying the true costs of mitigation and restauration for the damages they are causing: Acid mine drainage, spills, accidents, heavy metals contamination and the desertification of regions dependent upon fresh water. This impact upon our agriculture, health, environment and upon our chidren's lives is unacceptable.

Our communities have never given prior informed consent to these projects. We demand democratic popular referendums. We are OPPOSED to mining as a means of economic development. We will fight for our mountains, for our future -- for the rights of our mountains, the rights of our children, are our very own human rights.

WE WILL NOT PERMIT THE PLUNDER OF OUR COMMUNITIES, THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR ENVIRONMENT, CULTURE, HEALTH AND SOVREIGNITY OF THE PEOPLE OF BOTH ARGENTINA AND CHILE.

WE DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE CEASE OF YOUR MINING ACTIVITIES WE DEMAND: OUT WITH BARRICK GOLD!

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