Jethro Tulin’s testimony read to Barrick shareholders at their 2008 Annual General Meeting

Jethro Tulin gave this presentation at Barrick’s Annual General Meeting in Toronto, Canada on May 6, 2008. The following segment was cut from the Barrick’s webcast of the event, immediately following the meeting.

My name is Jethro Tulin and I hold a proxy from Mr. David Wurfel.

Mr.  Munk,  I  am an indigenous  Ipili  from the  Highlands  of  Papua  New Guinea.  I have travelled half way across the world, together with Mark Ekepa, Chairman of the Porgera Landowners Association and Anga Atalu, Secretary of the Porgera Landowners Association to speak out  against  the grave conditions my people face because of your Porgera mine.

When you came to our place you offered us cash-for-land deals that have turned our traditions upside-down.

Your mine has destroyed our ancestral land, our sacred places, and our gardens, which we need to feed ourselves. You dump your mine waste directly into our river system contaminating 600 km of river all the way to the sea.  You do this, even though you know that it is illegal to dump your waste into rivers in Canada.

As you know, our people have been pushed to living on the very edges of your open pit and very close to your massive piles of waste rock. Our houses are so close to the mine pit and to your mountainous waste dumps that our people, especially our children, are always in grave danger of falling into the pit. As you know, many of my people have already lost their lives this way. Others have been swept away and drowned when they have tried to cross the river of mine waste because there are no safe bridges across.

Finally, as you know, your security guards have been shooting and killing our people and raping, even gang-raping, our women with impunity for years now. This issue has now been raised with the Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial killings at the United Nations.

Mr. Munk, you have destroyed our land, our water, our safety and our ability to feed ourselves. We know that we can no longer live on our ancestral land. We know that we must leave our place so that our children can have a future. But now your company – Barrick – is refusing to offer us fair terms for our relocation.

My questions for you, Mr. Munk, are:

1. When will Barrick agree to move the more than 5,000 families who live within your mine lease in a way that is fair and will provide us an opportunity to be healthy, to feed our families, and to educate our children?

2. When will Barrick finally pay fair compensation to the families who have lost their loved ones to the guns of your security forces, to the rape victims, to the families who have lost members in your open pit and in the waste dumps and who have drowned in your river of  tailings?

3. When will Barrick finally carry out the recommendations of the 1996 CSIRO report that was commissioned by the mine management that recommended an end to the dumping of mine waste into our river? And when will Barrick agree to an independent assessment of the metal levels in the river and the accumulation of metals in soils and biota in the river and surrounding areas downstream from the mine? And when will Barrick provide compensation to the people who have been damaged by your mine waste in the river?

For more information contact: Jethro Tulin – 1-310-848-7543   or   416-710-5430

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