Rebuilding Trust at North Mara, Tanzania

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Rebuilding Trust at North Mara, Tanzania

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Summary

The North Mara mine is located in an isolated, underdeveloped part of Tanzania 30 kilometers from the Kenyan border. In-migration from other areas and countries is rampant and law enforcement capacity is limited, making the area a magnet for organized crime.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 10:41am

CONTENT: Press Release

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) February 15, 2012 - African Barrick Gold (ABG) has partnered with Search for Common Ground to facilitate conflict resolution and help reinforce the company’s own efforts to improve relations between the North Mara mine and the villages surrounding the Tanzanian operation.

Search for Common Ground is an internationally-recognized non-governmental organization (NGO) that uses a multi-faceted approach to resolve conflict in non-violent, culturally appropriate ways. The NGO is providing human rights and conflict resolution training to police and residents who live and work near the North Mara mine. It’s also designing an external grievance mechanism to deal with community concerns and developing a proposal for initiatives to address violence against women in the Mara region, among other things. Search for Common Ground has already completed four training sessions on human rights with local police, and at least two more are planned, says Reme Moya, Director of Sustainable Business Practices for the NGO. “They were very appreciative and have asked for more sessions,” she says, adding that human rights training in local communities also recently got underway.

The North Mara mine is located in an isolated, underdeveloped part of Tanzania 30 kilometers from the Kenyan border. In-migration from other areas and countries is rampant and law enforcement capacity is limited, making the area a magnet for organized crime. Civil unrest due to poverty is also a problem. “It is a warrior culture and many local men join the military,” Moya says. “There is also a long history of artisanal mining in the area.”

A number of legacy issues and historic community grievances predate Barrick’s acquisition of the mine in 2006 and continue today. North Mara is now operated by Barrick’s subsidiary, ABG, and efforts to secure social license and community support have been challenging, particularly in light of ongoing law and order and security issues. Illegal entry into the mine is a constant security concern that can sometimes have serious consequences. In May, a mass intrusion of the mine’s ore stockpile resulted in a confrontation between police and armed intruders that left five intruders dead and a number of police officers injured.

The problem of violence — and even allegations of sexual assaults — have challenged the company to find new and enduring solutions that address the company’s legitimate security needs consistent with the international human rights standards, specifically the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. A range of measures are underway to improve and enhance security at the site, including construction of a wall around the property, hiring more female security officers and installing additional CCTV cameras. At the same time, the company has also been focused on reducing community conflict and ensuring local residents benefit from the operation. “North Mara is a long-term asset for us, and for Tanzania,” says Greg Hawkins, President and CEO of ABG. “The mine is a major contributor to the economy of the region and the country. We are committed to the success of this operation and to addressing issues that impact the community.”

Read more at BarrickBeyondBorders.com

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Contact

Barrick Gold Corporation
http://www.barrick.com
Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Human Rights | Mining | NGO | barrick | community support | tanzania

CONTENT: Press Release

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