Case story

  • Tanzania

CAO Case - Tanzania / Bulyanhulu Project-01 / Kankola

Lawyers Environmental Action Team Complaint Regarding Barrick Gold Corp. of Canada, Tanzania 2002

This case story originates from, a platform based on wiki style contributions from a virtual network or individuals, companies and organizations with relevant expertise. Though some of the information may be outdated or inaccurate due to the wiki-nature of the BASESwiki platform, they still present a valuable resource. ACCESS is reviewing and updating all BASESwiki case stories. 


Bulyanhulu Gold Mine is an underground mine and mill complex established by Kahama Mining Corp. Ltd (KHMC). The area in which the project is situated is an area where small scale miners have been highly active for many years. In January 2002, the Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT) lodged a complaint with CAO on behalf of the Small Scale Miners Committee of Kakola, Tanzania expressing the following concerns:

  1. 1. The process of consultation regarding eviction and land clearance as well as resettlement and compensation of small scale miners in 1996;

  2. 2. The transfer of concession to Barrick Gold upon its acquisition of Sutton Resources and the consequent resettlement of people in 1998;

  3. 3. Failure of MIGA to neither conduct thorough and competent due diligence nor address issues through consultation;

  4. 4. Human rights abuses as a result of the eviction process

CAO Action

In 1994 the Government of Tanzania (GOT) granted a prospecting license to KHMC, a subsidiary of Sutton Resources. In June 1999, Barrick Gold obtained the property by purchasing Sutton Resources. In July 1995, GOT decreed that all small scale miners should leave the area, but action was not taken to ensure that the land was vacated. Barrick’s acquisition of the property ended IFC’s potential involvement in the project, however MIGA remained involved as a political risk insurer.


Case Status: Closed

In the Assessment Report, completed in October 2002, CAO highlighted that it did not believe that the project merited a compliance audit and were impressed with the way in which the mine was developing its social and environmental capacity. Following a site visit in March 2001, CAO determined that the available evidence indicated that the mine was not in fact culpable for the deaths of 52 miners. Furthermore, CAO found that the claims concerning the extent of forcible relocation were distorted. Finally, it was determined that the mines’ activities were in conformity with best practice as applicable to the mining industry. CAO stressed the unique opportunity posed by this project for all relevant parties to strengthen their partnership in order to achieve greater investment in local peoples. The complainants' response to CAO’s assessment was unfavorable and the case was closed in January 2005.


 CAO case story page:

Contributor(s): This article was modified by Nicolaclayre (4), Pic1 (2), and Kyle (1).