2 May 2011

Barrick Gold says it has strong local support despite protests over violations

1:38 pm on 2 May 2011

The Canadian based mining giant, Barrick Gold Limited, maintains it has strong support from governments and local communities where it operates, including at Papua New Guinea's Porgera mine, despite protests during its annual general meeting last week.

Protest groups had voiced their opposition outside of Barrick Gold's AGM in Toronto.

They had raised concerns that the company has failed to deal with violence and human rights violations at its mining operations.

In an emailed statement, Barrick Gold's spokesman, Andy Lloyd, says the protest was relatively muted, though the company respects the rights of any group to make a peaceful protest.

He says, despite the criticism which followed a report by Human Rights Watch, Barrick has earned the trust of communities by operating to high social and environmental standards.

Mr Lloyd says the company is also an engine of economic growth and a creator of emplyment in local communities.