Barrick has made an apology

Letters, Normal

The National, Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I REFER your report “Porgera landowners in Toronto to protest abuse at mine” (May 2) which included claims by members of the so-called Por­gera Alliance that Barrick Gold, managers of the Por­gera mine, had not res­ponded to calls by Mining Minister John Pundari for an apology over comments attributed to Barrick chairman Peter Munk.
In fact, Barrick provided such an apology.
It was published three weeks earlier, April 12, in The National.
Your journalist did not contact either the Porgera Joint Venture or Barrick Gold to seek their views on the claims made by the Porgera Alliance, nor did he contact the minister’s office to determine whe­ther the claims made by the members were true.
The journalist also claimed, without provi­ding any evidence, that “due to pressure from Human Rights Watch, Barrick finally allowed for an investigation of their security …” this year.
Contrary to that claim, it is a matter of public record that when Human Rights Watch provided Barrick with credible information regarding possible criminal behaviour by Barrick employees late last year, the company acted quickly, and of its own regard, to conduct an extensive internal investigation into the claims.
We also requested, and helped support, the ongoing police investigation into these allegations.
All of us at Barrick, including our chairman, strongly condemn human rights abuses anywhere they occur in the world.
We do not tolerate these kinds of activities, and we seek to bring the perpetrators of such acts to justice.
We also recognise that violence and the abuse of human rights is not ac­cep­ta­ble to the people of PNG.
Our chairman personally made this point in his open letter to the mining minister in PNG.
Senior Barrick representatives have also met with the minister to reiterate the company’s position on these matters.
Barrick is a guest in PNG.
I can assure your readers that as a company, and as individuals, we have the utmost respect for our host country and its citizens.


Gary Halverson
Regional president
Barrick Australia-Pacific