Norway’s Pension Fund Investment Under Criticisms

Norway’s pension fund, which has a stated policy of ethical investments, is now under criticism due to its USD 145 million share in a Canadian mining company, Barrick Gold, that took over Placer Dome in the Philippines that mined copper, silver and gold on the Marinduque island and has been causing pollution and health problems among the residents.
Studies have shown high concentrations of poisonous metals in the Marinduque’s bay and residents are found to have high concentrations of lead .
The Philippine authorities want to move the community away from the polluted bay but lack funding to do so and now they are suing Barrick to seek compensation for the damages it has caused but the company is strongly opposing the claims.
A statement on the company’s website claimed that Barrick “believes that anything short of best management is unacceptable. Environmental excellence is a strategic business objective. Barrick is committed to protecting the environment wherever the Company is exploring for new resources, or developing, operating or closing mines.”
The ethical policy for Norway’s pension fund is under criticisms for its investment in Barrick and Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen said that the share would be investigated.

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