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African Barrick Gold lawsuit (re Tanzania)

On 30 July 2013 a group of 12 Tanzanians filed a lawsuit in UK High Court against African Barrick Gold and North Mara Gold Mine Limited (NMGML).  The plaintiffs claim that the companies are complicit in the killings and injuries of villagers by police at the North Mara Mine in Tanzania.  The plaintiffs allege that the police are an integral part of the mine’s security and that they shoot at the villagers using tear gas and live ammunition.  The claimants further allege that the mine and NMGML are controlled by African Barrick Gold and that African Barrick Gold failed to prevent the use of excessive force by security and police at the mine.  The companies deny the allegations.

In July, after the UK legal proceedings had been initiated, African Barrick Gold's subsidiary NMGML initiated legal proceedings in Tanzania asking a local court to declare that the company could not be held liable for the actions of the police.  After learning of the Tanzanian legal proceeding, the plaintiffs sought and obtained an injunction from the UK court barring the defendants from initiating legal action in Tanzania on matters being litigated before the UK court.  This injunction was upheld in December 2013.

In November 2014, Leigh Day, which acts for Tanzanian villagers in their UK claim, stated that the claimants intend to obtain orders from the court requiring African Barrick Gold to disclose internal documents and to take further steps in proceeding to trial. Early in 2015, African Barrick Gold (now Acacia) and and its subsidiary NMGML reached an out of court settlement with the claimants.

- Tanzanian villagers sue African Barrick Gold over 2011 violence, Sarah Young, Reuters, 30 Jul 2013
- Barrick’s African subsidiary faces suit over Tanzania deaths, Alistair MacDonald, Wall Street Journal, 30 Jul 2013

- African Barrick Gold:
- Statement Regarding Legal Claim, 30 Jul 2013

- Leigh Day [counsel for the plaintiffs]:
- Statement from Leigh Day in relation to legal action against African Barrick Gold, 9 Feb 2015
- High Court orders African Barrick Gold to stop suing Tanzanian villagers, 4 Dec 2013
- Tanzanian villagers sue London-based African Barrick Gold for deaths and injuries, 30 Jul 2013

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Article
23 February 2015

Mind the justice gap: The abuses British companies get away with overseas

Author: Mary Milne, Traidcraft via Fabian Society

…[V]ictims of corporate abuse in countries with weak judicial systems have not been able to get their cases heard…As Western companies have grown and internationalised over the past couple of decades, the impact they are having on people around the globe has grown too. But while profits flow, accountability does not. The gap in accountability is well known…the UK government’s own National Action Plan reiterates that the state duty to protect human rights includes ensuring access to remedy…And in the absence of serious political leadership, the buck is being passed between civil servants in the Department of Business, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Justice…Today’s [Global Law] Summit celebrates the ‘Rule of Law as the cornerstone of a fair and just society’. We are proud of the UK’s legal tradition, but…too many overseas victims of corporate abuse by UK companies are denied a hearing in the UK…[Also refers to Acacia (formerly African Barrick Gold)]

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Article
9 February 2015

Statement from Leigh Day in relation to legal action against African Barrick Gold

Author: Leigh Day (UK)

In 2013, a number of Tanzanian claimants represented by Leigh Day initiated proceedings against African Barrick Gold plc (now Acacia Mining plc) and its subsidiary, North Mara Gold Mine Limited (NMGML), in the English Courts in relation to injuries and fatalities at the North Mara mine.

The claims were denied by Acacia Mining and NMGML. The litigation and further claims have been settled out of court.

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Article
6 February 2015

Acacia Mining settles group claims out of court

Author: Henry Lazenby, Mining Weekly (So. Africa)

Acacia Mining, formerly African Barrick Gold (ABG), has settled outside of a UK Court with a group of Tanzanian locals regarding alleged deaths and injuries [at] the company's North Mara mine, which had a history of illegal artisanal mining…An Acacia spokesperson declined to provide more information, saying the settlement was subject to a confidentiality clause…Leigh Day was assisting at least nine local villagers to pursue claims against ABG and its Tanzanian subsidiary NMGML…for deaths and injuries they claimed were a result of the excessive use of force by mine security and police, including the frequent use of live ammunition. Six of the claims related to deaths by gunshot, while injured young men brought three claims, including one man made paraplegic by a gunshot wound through his spine…

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Article
6 November 2014

ABG to appear in UK court over Tanzania violence victims suit

Author: Henry Lazenby, Mining Weekly (So. Africa)

Tanzanian locals have sued African Barrick Gold (ABG) in the UK for the alleged deaths and injuries caused by security and police guarding the company's North Mara mine, which has a history of illegal artisanal mining. On November 19, the claimants in the proceedings against ABG would seek orders from the English court, requiring the company to hand over internal documents and take other steps to get the cases to trial...At the North Mara mine...the company had been dealing with deterring illegal artisanal miners from entering the property. Martin [representing the claimants] reported that impoverished villagers, tempted onto the North Mara mine to illegally scratch out rocks for tiny amounts of gold, were regularly being shot at with live ammunition...ABG on Thursday pointed out...that it had made a comprehensive effort to improve community relations and security at North Mara to prevent violent confrontation, which was reflected in a 35% reduction in the number of illegal miners on site in 2013 compared with 2012...

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Article
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Author: Leigh Day & MiningWatch Canada

African Barrick Gold, dont le siège est situé à Londres, fait l’objet d’une poursuite au Royaume-Uni par des villageois tanzaniens. Les forces de sécurité et de police, qui gardent la mine North Mara de la société, auraient causé des blessures et des morts chez les villageois. Shanta Martin, associée chez Leigh Day, qui représente les demandeurs tanzaniens…[a demandé à] Barrick Gold Corporation, de remplir ses engagements vis-à-vis de la responsabilité sociétale des entreprises et des droits de la personne… La Barrick Gold Corporation déclare qu’elle respecte les droits de la personne partout où elle fait des affaires et qu’elle reconnait la dignité des personnes avec qui elle interagit tous les jours…Le 19 novembre 2014, les demandeurs dans la poursuite contre African Barrick Gold tenteront d’obtenir une ordonnance de la cour anglaise obligeant la société à remettre ses documents internes et à prendre d’autres mesures pour en venir au procès…

Article
26 April 2014

[PDF] Steep Rise in Allegations of Human Rights Abuse as Boom in Investment Brings Hope of Prosperity

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In a new briefing paper...Business & Human Rights Resource Centre...identifies three key trends in companies’ human rights impacts in the region...Executive Director...Phil Bloomer said: “The threat of the infamous ‘Resource Curse’ hangs heavy over East Africa. Something is very wrong when a boom in inward investment...leads to [a] five-fold leap in allegations of company abuse...The good news is that Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania still enjoy vibrant civil society which demands that this investment benefits the many...and that a small group of companies is trying to show how responsible investment can protect and enhance...human rights..." Joseph Kibugu...principal author of the briefing, said: “The burgeoning discovery of natural resources and the growing multinational investment...is a window of opportunity to transform lives...[Bold] action is needed to ensure investments to contribute to alleviation of endemic poverty rather than compromising the dignity of locals.” [refers to AngloGold Ashanti, Japan Tobacco Intl., Philip Morris Intl., Barrick Gold, Johnson & Johnson, Safaricom, Bedford Biofuels, JPMorgan Chase, Sinovatio, Kaweri Coffee (part of Neumann Kaffee Gruppe), Strategic Friends Intl., British American Tobacco, Kenya Commercial Bank, Tanzania Breweries (part of SABMiller), China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), Kenya Pipeline Company, Thomson Safaris (part of Wineland-Thomson Adventures), DAO Group, MTN, Total, East African Mining/East African Gold, Tullow Oil, Eland Coal, Nevsun Resources, Unilever, Fenxi Mining Industry, Oil Palm Uganda (joint venture Bidco Uganda, Wilmar Intl.), Finfisher, Paladin Energy, ZTE, Gamma Group, PetroChina]

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Article
4 December 2013

High Court orders African Barrick Gold to stop suing Tanzanian villagers [UK]

Author: Leigh Day

London-based African Barrick Gold (ABG) failed yesterday to overturn a High Court injunction that prevents them from using what the judge described as a “Tanzanian Torpedo” against victims of violence. Law firm, Leigh Day, represents Tanzanian villagers who claim that ABG and its 100% subsidiary, North Mara Gold Mine Limited (NMGML) are liable for the deaths and injuries allegedly caused by the use of excessive force by mine security and police at the companies’ mine in Tanzania. Both companies deny the allegations…Proceedings against the companies were commenced on 28 March 2013…Despite knowing that proceedings had been commenced in England, in July 2013 NMGML issued proceedings in Tanzania…In a judgment handed down yesterday, Mr Justice Green found that there was no need for the companies to have launched their pre-emptive strike…when they did and without notice to either the claimants in the English action, Leigh Day, or the English Court.

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Article
3 December 2013

Tanzanian villagers claim abuse of legal process by African Barrick Gold

Author: Leigh Day & Co.

Leigh Day will go to the High Court…to ensure an injunction remains in place against London-based African Barrick Gold (ABG) to prevent the company from what lawyers have alleged was an abuse of the English court process. Leigh Day represents Tanzanian villagers who claim that ABG and its 100% subsidiary, North Mara Gold Mine Limited (NMGML), are liable to compensate them for deaths and injuries allegedly caused by the use of excessive force by mine security and police at the companies’ mine in Tanzania. Both companies deny the allegations…Proceedings were commenced on 28 March 2013 in the UK High Court…Despite knowing this, in July 2013 the companies issued proceedings in Tanzania trying to have the local court determine overlapping legal issues.

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Article
19 September 2013

[PDF] Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin – Issue 10, Sep 2013

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Welcome to the 10th issue of the Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin. To assist all those following corporate legal accountability issues, we send this bulletin to highlight key developments, new cases profiled on our site, updates to existing profiles, and other news. Our Corporate Legal Accountability Portal is an online information hub providing resources for non-lawyers as well as lawyers – including victims, advocates, NGOs, businesspeople, lawyers bringing lawsuits against companies and lawyers defending companies. The portal provides impartial, concise information about lawsuits against companies in which human rights abuses are alleged – its aim is to demystify these lawsuits. Each case profile includes materials from both the plaintiffs and defendants, to the extent they are available…This bulletin is now available in Spanish and French. [Refers to African Barrick Gold, Alstom, BP, CACI, Chevron, Coca-Cola, COMILOG (part of ERAMET), Daimler, Danzer, Dow Chemical, Drummond, ERAMET, Ford, HudBay Minerals, IBM, KBR, Ledesma, Mercedes-Benz (part of Daimler), Monterrico Metals, Nestlé, PA Child Care, Qosmos, Rio Tinto, Shell, Sinter Metal, SNCF, Texaco (part of Chevron), Thomson Safaris, Total, Union Carbide (part of Dow), Vedanta Resources, Veolia (part of Veolia Environnement), Veolia Environnement, Walmart]

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Lawsuit
30 July 2013

African Barrick Gold lawsuit (re Tanzania)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

On 30 July 2013 a group of 12 Tanzanians filed a lawsuit in UK High Court against African Barrick Gold and North Mara Gold Mine Limited (NMGML).  The plaintiffs claim that the companies are complicit in the killings and injuries of villagers by police at the North Mara Mine in Tanzania.  The plaintiffs allege that the police are an integral part of the mine’s security and that they shoot at the villagers using tear gas and live ammunition.  The claimants further allege that the mine and NMGML are controlled by African Barrick Gold and that African Barrick Gold failed to prevent the use of excessive force by security and police at the mine.  The companies deny the allegations.

In July, after the UK legal proceedings had been initiated, African Barrick Gold's subsidiary NMGML initiated legal proceedings in Tanzania asking a local court to declare that the company could not be held liable for the actions of the police.  After learning of the Tanzanian legal proceeding, the plaintiffs sought and obtained an injunction from the UK court barring the defendants from initiating legal action in Tanzania on matters being litigated before the UK court.  This injunction was upheld in December 2013.

- Tanzanian villagers sue African Barrick Gold over 2011 violence, Sarah Young, Reuters, 30 Jul 2013
- Barrick’s African subsidiary faces suit over Tanzania deaths, Alistair MacDonald, Wall Street Journal, 30 Jul 2013

- African Barrick Gold: Statement Regarding Legal Claim, 30 Jul 2013
- Leigh Day [counsel for the plaintiffs]:
    - High Court orders African Barrick Gold to stop suing Tanzanian villagers, 4 Dec 2013
    - Tanzanian villagers sue London-based African Barrick Gold for deaths and injuries, 30 Jul 2013