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Barrick names panel to advise on rights, ecology

Barrick security guards (blue uniforms) and a Tanzanian police officer (green uniform) facing off against local villagers who have invaded Barrick's gold mine at North Mara, Tanzania. This confrontation, which took place last Friday, is one of the near-daily skirmishes between security forces and hundreds of villagers who are seeking waste rocks that contain small fragments of gold. Photo credit to Geoffrey York.

Geoffrey York/Geoffrey York/The Globe and Mail

Barrick Gold Corp. , the world's biggest gold producer, has appointed a board to advise its managers on human rights and ecology as the company seeks to reduce violence and pollution at its mines.

The company named Aron Cramer, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Robert Fowler, Ed Liebow, Gare Smith and John Ruggie to a new corporate social responsibility advisory board, Toronto-based Barrick said in a statement on Friday. The six have worked internationally on human rights, the environment or both.

"These highly respected individuals bring a wealth of expertise and experience in corporate responsibility matters that will be a great asset to Barrick," Aaron Regent, Barrick's president and chief executive officer, said in the statement. "Their input and guidance will help us to further improve our practices and manage emerging issues affecting our company and the global mining industry."

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Pressure mounted on Barrick to change certain practices after security patrols killed intruders at a mine run by one of its affiliates in Tanzania. Barrick employees have also been killed by local villagers.

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