“When the company first came here, we welcomed them because they promised to bring us development – services to local communities, schools, hospitals, basics. But since they came, they have turned our whole society upside down! Land is going away, our food sources are going away, culture, costume, everything is going away, fading away! It’s worse than you can imagine!”  – Jethro Tulin, Ipili tribesman from Porgera, Papua New Guinnea.

Broken promises, environmental disasters, human rights abuses, and cultural genocide, these are only some of the experiences that indigenous peoples all over the world have had to face when coming into contact with the global mining industry, and it’s perpetual pursuit of profit.

Someone Else’s Treasure includes the stories of affected communities in Australia, Canada, Chile, Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Tanzania. These intimate portraits are both a critique of the myth of progress and a celebration of the spirit of resistance. In an effort to better understand the true cost of an industry that shapes the world around all of us, the focus is on the externalized – the men, women, and children that have been left out of the equations and are therefore forced to pay the price for someone else’s treasure.

TANZANIA (Photoessay)

The following accounts of mass displacements, violent confrontations, lost livelihoods, exploited workers, and contaminated ecosystems raise serious questions about the mining industry in Tanzania and internationally. The focus here is on communities surrounding the Bulyanhulu and North Mara Gold Mines, both owned by the world’s largest gold mining company Barrick Gold, and the Geita Gold Mine, owned by the third largest gold company, AngloGold Ashanti.