Many people around the world maintain their livelihoods through artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). The individuals and groups engaged in ASM near our operations are key stakeholders and we engage with them with a view to a safe, healthy and profitable coexistence.
In early 2007, in collaboration with the government of Tanzania, Barrick initiated a program to assist the ASM communities near our North Mara and Bulyanhulu mines. An external expert was hired to ensure the program design incorporated lessons from other experiences in the ASM sector. In 2008 and 2009, Barrick continued to develop this program. Our goal is to continue to review and assess opportunities to work with these artisanal mining communities to help them transform their activities into regulated, safe, productive and sustainable small-scale mining operations. During 2010, the program focused on undertaking risk assessments in relation to potential projects.
In Papua New Guinea (PNG), where there is also a concentration of artisanal miners near our Porgera mine, we are working in collaboration with the PNG government and local communities to establish programs which enhance the income-generating potential of artisanal mining, or to provide alternative livelihood options. For example, our Porgera mine has partnered with a PNG vegetable marketing cooperative, Alele, to help re-establish livelihoods in the highlands potato industry.
In 2010, there were a number of allegations of human rights abuse at our Porgera mine involving artisanal miners and Barrick security personnel. For more information on this issue, please see Significant Incidents and Concerns in 2010.