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MiningWatch Canada’s Allegations of Forced Evictions at North Mara

MiningWatch Canada’s Allegations of Forced Evictions at North Mara

Statement  Previous Response to MiningWatch Canada / November 2022

December 13, 2023

Barrick is aware of the MiningWatch Canada report titled Evicted for Gold Profits: Indigenous Kuria forced off land in expansion of Barrick Gold’s North Mara Gold Mine in Tanzania (the “Report”). Barrick refutes this report which merely recycles unsubstantiated claims from Mining Watch Canada’s report published in October 2022.

North Mara follows a land compensation process that was agreed upon by local and national government, the Chief Valuer and Village Chairpersons.

The agreed compensation plan included the following principles:

  • No forced evictions: The forced eviction or removal of any person from their land, or the use of violence when dealing with any person, is strictly prohibited.
  • Independent valuation process: All offers of compensation to affected persons are based on an independent valuation process, including valuators that are appointed by the Government of Tanzania.
  • Compensation: Fair compensation is provided to all affected people based on the outcome of the independent valuation process and signed off by the Chief Valuer of Tanzania.
  • Inspections: The resettlement process led by North Mara is regularly audited and inspected by independent third-party organisations.

All land that has been acquired was subject to compensation agreements and no relocation took place without the Project Affected Person (PAP) agreeing to and signing the agreement. The majority of the court cases referenced by MiningWatch Canada were initiated by PAPs that agreed to, signed and took receipt of the compensation, before going to court in an attempt to increase the quantum of the agreed and accepted amount.

The Report fails to detail the considerable speculation — fraudulent activities — undertaken by certain PAPs during this process. Speculators use various means to illegally develop areas through infrastructure development or crop planting, after a moratorium has been established and are thus illegal. This speculation is often funded by exploitive individuals who take a large portion of any compensation that may be offered to a landowner or tenant. Barrick refuses to pay compensation to speculators who are not legally entitled to compensation.

MiningWatch Canada made the claim that they were on site in September 2023 as part of a visit to Tarime. It is regrettable that MiningWatch Canada chose not to visit the mine and verify the information that they allege to have received. As we have noted before, this has become the apparent modus operandi of MiningWatch Canada to disengage from Barrick, while continuing to publish unsubstantiated and irresponsible allegations.

We had previously requested MiningWatch Canada to detail their due diligence process to ensure that they are not amplifying and supporting illegal activities. MiningWatch Canada declined.

In our previous response letter to MiningWatch Canada, we had requested information regarding their claims to cross reference with North Mara’s land compensation process. Here again, MiningWatch Canada refused to share such information.

Please refer to our letter to MiningWatch Canada responding to, and raising the above, more than a year ago.


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