By Hilary Beaumont, VICE News, April 27, 2016
Four activists crashed the annual general meeting of the world's biggest gold mining company on Tuesday morning while, outside, around 60 protesters chanted at company shareholders, "Quit while you're ahead, Barrick Gold is dead."
But inside the meeting in front of about 200 shareholders, Barrick Gold's executive chairman of the board John Thornton emphasized that "Barrick is back" and "gold is here to stay." While the company pushed the message that it was taking human rights seriously, four activists used proxy shares to speak about rape allegations and environmental damage at the company's mines in Papua New Guinea, Tanzania and Argentina.
Given a chance to speak at the meeting, MiningWatch Canada Research Co-ordinator Catherine Coumans called Barrick's Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea and its North Mara mine in Tanzania "extremely violent places" where women and men have allegedly been beaten and raped by mine security guards.