- December 15, 2015

Acacia Mining (Acacia), a subsidiary of Barrick Gold Corp., in its public reaction to RAID’s 17 November press release with MiningWatch Canada ( makes a number of unfounded assertions. The company refers to ‘factual inaccuracies’ in material about its subsidiary, the North Mara Gold Mine Ltd (NMGML) in Tanzania, and claims that MiningWatch and RAID have repeatedly failed to engage with Acacia, NMGML, and its NGO partner, Search for Common Ground ( see Acacia Mining's website at:

RAID’s public communications are based on extensive, well-documented, case material gathered in field visits to the North Mara mine with MiningWatch, before and after the recent settlement of claims brought by Leigh Day & Co. on behalf of victims of violence at the mine site.  The claims, though denied by Acacia, resulted in an out-of-court settlement in February 2015 here.

The level of violence surrounding the North Mara mine remains extremely high.   Acacia itself acknowledges that in the last month (November 2015) the mine has ‘investigated and assessed’ 35 security-related grievances, although only four of these resulted in remedy agreements.  The process by which the company investigates and assesses the merits of such cases goes to the heart of the problem with this operational grievance mechanism – namely its total lack of independence and inherent structural power imbalances that puts the victims at a disadvantage.  

Acacia gives a wholly misleading impression that RAID has been unwilling to meet with the company and its subsidiary, NMGML. RAID and MiningWatch met NMGML staff at the mine site on two occasions: in July 2014 and November 2015.  There have also been contacts with Search for Common Ground (SFCG), the community-relations NGO hired by Acacia to work with NMGML.

Acacia should drop its pretence that RAID and MiningWatch Canada are unwilling to engage. In a letter to Acacia and NMGML of 3 November 2015, RAID and MiningWatch asked for a meeting to discuss the functioning of the complaints office, as well as urgent humanitarian cases. 

Given their concerns about the deeply-flawed company grievance mechanism, RAID and MiningWatch have written to Acacia calling for greater safeguards for alleged victims  before they enter into the process, including dispensing with the requirement that claimants waive their legal rights to sue in order to receive compensation.   

Acacia should put in place an independent human rights grievance mechanism and do much more to make the mechanism more accessible and transparent.

For the full response see (

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