Gold, copper, nickel, gas, and timber are some of the natural resources extracted from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to feed the economies of East and Southeast Asia. Although these Western Pacific Ocean nations grew economically earlier this century, the wealth extracted from the land did not reach the entire population. Two million of Papua New Guinea's more than seven million people live in poverty. The under-five mortality rate is 75 per 1,000 births.

From the 1990s until 2014, the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) produced about $20 billion worth of gold, representing 12% of Papua New Guinea's exports. The exploration that reproduced dollars for the nation brought along with it violence, human rights abuse, corruption, and environmental damage. One example is the Porgera gold mine, a powerful symbol of the dangers, injustices, and financial rewards that extractive industries hold for Papua New Guinea. Canada's Barrick Gold owns 95% of the mine.

A study by Human Rights Watch, an international institution that acts in defense of human rights, denounces massacres, collective rapes, and extermination groups that even involve company employees. Other socio-environmental NGOs emphasized that the governments have closed their eyes to the terrible situation of the population. The operator has also been accused of dumping six million tons of mining waste into the Porgera River every year, which goes against all good practice guidelines for the industry.

There were so many complaints that Barrick, in order not to lose the market for its products or the value of its stock, was forced to take significant steps and promise to allocate resources to the resolution of human rights issues.

The corporation has agreed to bear part of the cost of security deployment and to monitor the performance of the professionals, as well as to fire those accused of raping women and raping children.

The problem is as deep as the damage caused by gold mining to the environment. Most of the world's international mining is done by Canadian companies. There is a worldwide clamour for the government to exercise some oversight over its corporate citizens abroad, which could improve conduct and reduce social and environmental impacts such as those recorded in Papua New Guinea. The grave abuses committed leave irreparable gaps for the people of the regions exploited, for the habitats of plants and animals, for life on the planet.