30 Apr 2011

PNG activist disappointed at Barrick snub

8:34 am on 30 April 2011

A Papua New Guinea member of the Porgera Alliance says he's disappointed the Canadian mining giant, Barrick Gold Limited, wouldn't allow him to address the company's annual general meeting this week.

Jethro Tulin was among 200 people barred from addressing the meeting to try and bring about policy change.

He says the company has to do more to stop the abuse his people suffer at the hands of Barrick's security forces, such as beatings, shootings and rapes.

"Every year the number has grown in support of what we are struggling for around the globe and Im very happy to be here and I'll do what I can to do and expose what has gone wrong with Barrick's operations in Papua New Guinea."

Meanwhile, Barrick has announced a 22 percent rise in first quarter earnings to just over three billion US dollars.

Barrick's AGM 2011 report says at Porgera, it has changed its security function, increased its support to women, strengthened grievances mechanisms and developed a training programme.

Barrick did allow an investigation by Human Rights Watch into their security operations at Porgera, which resulted in five Barrick employees being dismissed, with eight former employees implicated in the abuse.