Corporate Social Responsibility: The Case of Barrick Gold Mine

By: Macy Janine Pamaranglas – Art in Tanzania Intern

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business model which involves accountability in terms of the process and impact the company has on the society; it could be social, economic, and environmental. When a company adopts the CSR model, it has the ultimate responsibility to ensure that it does not negatively affect the society; this includes protecting and promoting human rights.

Here is an example to better understand this notion. Starbucks wanted to guarantee the diversity and inclusivity of its workforce. Hence, the company aimed “to hire 25,000 US military veterans and spouses by 2025”. Additionally, it even announced a mentorship program to connect other marginalized members of the community such as people of color and indigenous people, to senior business leaders.

Forbes (source)

CSR & Barrick Gold Mine

Barrick is a mining company which identifies itself as a “sector-leading gold and copper producer” in 18 countries around the world. Its mission is “to be the world’s most valued gold and copper mining business by finding, developing, and owning the best assets…” In efforts of attaining so, Barrick determines several core values, and some of the notable ones are “zero harm workplace” and “responsible and accountable”. Moreover, the company commits itself in protecting human rights by meeting the expectations stated in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs), and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Barrick Gold Corporation (source)

Yet, in spite of Barrick’s priority for human rights protection, the company faced serious human rights complaints. Ever since Barrick was authorized to conduct operational control at North Mara in Tanzania, police and security forces used excessive force. Unfortunately, it led to the death of at least 4 local residents and the assault of 7 other individuals. RAID, an NGO which works on holding businesses accountable in terms of standing up for human rights, found out that assigned police forces constantly entered residential areas during mine-related operations. They would forcibly enter homes warrantless, arbitrarily arrest and abuse locals, throw teargas, and shoot live ammunition haphazardly.

The Toronto Star (source)

Most recently, 10 Tanzanians joined forces to file a lawsuit at the UK High Court against the mining company, which was formerly known as Acacia Mining. In fact, the company has had few drawbacks in terms of its history and reputation. For instance, Barrick’s current CEO, Mark Bristow, said “The historic problem of Barrick in Tanzania was that no one embraced the communities [around the mine]”. Bristow added that it was “an irresponsibly-run business”.

This year, Barrick officially put out its 2021 Sustainability Report, and the latter mentioned how the company has done “significant reductions” with regards to its security forces at the North Mara mine. It also declared its efforts in “diligently… restoring and rebuilding the relationship with the local community”. However, local residents have stated otherwise; they told RAID that they have not observed any significant improvements in regards to security forces. Moreover, Barrick denied the allegations, and it argued saying that the Tanzanian police forces are of the State’s responsibility and not the company’s.

RAID (source)


Barrick should execute efforts in promoting and protecting human rights. Many local workers endanger their lives for the sake of making a living; hence, as an affluent company, it should invest in the safety and security of its workers by all means. The people are their greatest assets, so it is pivotal for the company to minimize hazards.


About Barrick. Barrick Gold Corporation – About Barrick. (n.d.). Retrieved November 9, 2022, from

African Barrick Gold Lawsuit (re tanzania). Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. (n.d.). Retrieved November 9, 2022, from

Digital Marketing Institute. (2022, September 1). 16 brands doing Corporate Social Responsibility successfully. Digital Marketing Institute. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from

Human Rights. Barrick Gold Corporation – Sustainability – Human Rights. (n.d.). Retrieved November 9, 2022, from

Investors in Barrick Gold should act to halt violence at Tanzania mine. RAID. (2022, April 27). Retrieved November 9, 2022, from

Van Woudenberg, A. (2021, December 15). Will barrick gold CEO go beyond rhetoric to deliver justice for victims of police killings at Tanzanian mine? Retrieved November 9, 2022, from

Whitehouse, D. (2022, March 29). Barrick: LBMA to consider raid allegations over Tanzania Gold-mine deaths. The Africa Report. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s