Statement by ENTRE on Expert Visit to Review Barrick's Plans for Expansion in the Dominican Republic

National Space for the Transparency of the Extractive Industry (ENTRE)

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic


The North American scientist Dr. Steven H. Emerman has been hired to conduct an Independent Review of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for Barrick Gold PVDC’s proposal to build the TSF El Naranjo toxic sludge reservoir next to the El Llagal Tailings Dam, which is slated to be two and a half times larger than the existing tailings dam. 

Dr. Emerman will be in the Dominican Republic for a first site visit between July 11 - 18, 2023. [His visit comes] at the request of the Espacio Nacional por la Transparencia de la Industria Extractiva (ENTRE), which groups more than 150 organizations from across the country and represents them in the Extractive Industries Transparency Commission (EITI). [The visit] is sponsored by the international organizations Earthworks, MiningWatch Canada, and the Global Justice Clinic at the University of New York. 

During his trip, Dr. Emerman will make contact with local authorities, environmental organizations, scientists, and other civil society organizations. He will make a site visit to the area impacted by mining operations, where he will assess the living conditions for communities and the harms to human life and the environment caused by open-pit mining in the province of Sánchez Ramírez, Cotuí. 

The Utah-based researcher has carried out professional work as a consultant for multilateral organizations and [has testified before] Congress for several countries in the Global North. He has extensive experience in reviewing various environmental impact studies, such as: 

  • Risk analysis for the Tailings Dam at the proposed Ariana copper and zinc mine in Yauli, in the department of Junin in Peru
  • Evaluation of the filtered tailings storage facility for the proposed Cerro Blanco gold and silver mine in southern Guatemala

Dr. Emerman will receive the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, constituting 27 documents and nearly 10,000 pages, turned over to ENTRE and ODPP-UASD and published to the MIMARENA website at the request of civil society, in an activity scheduled for Friday, July 14 at 10 AM in the Paraninfo of the Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences, at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD). 

The presence of organizations of communities affected by Barrick Gold’s mining operations, as well as academics, research institutes, the Environmental Commission of the UASD, the Academy of Sciences, members of Congress, government representatives, and the environmental movement as a whole, is requested at this event, to ensure that Dominican society pays close attention and follows this unprecedented initiative in the fight for environmental transparency with the extractive industries. 

National Coordination of ENTRE