Nun versus gold profiteers

Gold profiteers have fallen out with a nun who is leading a community protest against their greed.

She is protesting against the Dominican Republic’s government for not sharing profits from a  gold mine.

“It’s a shame that naturally rich communities live in poverty and whose basic needs go unmet.

“Our communities are among the poorest in the northern region,” said Sr Luisa Suarez.

The community wants the Republic’s president Danilo Medina and Congress share US$28.3M of the profits the government gets from Barrick Gold.

The Dominican Republic’s environment law orders to share 5% of net profits from mining with local communities.

The funds are then invested in development projects and mitigation of impacts.

Suarez said the community and farmers organizations form part of the campaign.

Their role is to ensure each peso of that 5% is used to develop projects and not end up in the hands of corrupt politicians “as in other occasions.”

Until 2014 the government had failed to hand over more than RD$1.3 billion (US$28.3 million) to the mine’s surrounding towns.

“What’s ours isn’t a pittance. It’s all of it.

“It’s 5%. And it’s ours now,” Suarez said.

Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold‘s 60% production share in the mine last year  was 572,000 ounces of gold at $597 per ounce.

Barrick’s share this year is forecast at 600,000-650,000 ounces at all-in sustaining costs of $570-$620 per ounce.



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News category: World.