Barrick Gold tells UN Human Rights Council that allegations of human rights abuses are ‘unfounded’

Barrick Gold tells UN Human Rights Council that allegations of human rights abuses are ‘unfounded’
Barrick Gold tells UN Human Rights Council that allegations of human rights abuses are ‘unfounded’

In a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday, Barrick Gold said allegations of human rights abuses at its North Mara gold mine were “misdirected, unfounded” and ” without substance.

The special procedures department of the United Nations Human Rights Council sent a letter to the Canadian gold mining company in April, saying it had received information regarding allegations of killings, attacks, torture, sexual abuse and violence against women and girls, among others, committed by security forces and private contractors at the North Mara mine, located in the north of Tanzania.

The HRC letter to Barrick reports “12 deaths that may have occurred during or following operations carried out by security forces assigned to the mine. Six of them are believed to be the result of operations carried out by Barrick .

North Mara Gold Mine Limited (NMGML) is the owner and operator of the North Mara gold mine and Barrick Gold has no direct operations in Tanzania, the company said.

Barrick has held a majority stake in NMGML since 2019.

Barrick said HRC working groups and special rapporteurs have not conducted field visits or had contact with Tanzanian authorities.

“The private security contractor, SGA, is unarmed. There are no lethal weapons or munitions in the possession of NMGML, its employees, or its contractors,” the company said in its letter.

In 2022, Barrick was the subject of several lawsuits over violence committed by security forces in North Mara.

The HRC did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. (Reporting by Tanay Dhumal in Bengaluru)

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