Mining boss in hunting scandal resigns from big-cat council
Publish date: 09 October 2018
Issue Number: 577
Diary: Legalbrief Environmental
RandGold Resources CEO Mark Bristow has resigned from the conservation council of a big cat protection organisation, Panthera, following UK reports picturing him on hunting trips. Last week, the Daily Mail published images of Bristow posing next to dead elephants, antelope, gazelle, a hippo, lion, buffalo, zebra, and a leopard. Panthera chairperson Thomas Kaplan said he had accepted Bristow's resignation with 'deep gratitude for the various contributions' he had made to conservation. Kaplan admitted that he had been aware the Bristow was a hunter when he initially invited him to join the council, notes News24. 'I wanted to create a "big tent" for our efforts, with multiple and varied voices that could add new dimensions and further reach to our mission,' Kaplan explained. While Panthera is cognisant of the supposed benefits of hunting, Kaplan made it clear that it does not support trophy hunting. SA-born Bristow has been the CEO of RandGold since 1995 and lives in London. The Independent says the emergence of the photographs comes amid growing debate over developing countries' use of legal big game hunting to pay for conservation programmes. Randgold has its main gold mining operation in Mali and has several connections to wildlife conservation projects, to which it donates funds. In 2016, Bristow's company began a partnership with the Mali elephant project and the firm has given about half a m i l l i o n US dollars towards elephant conservation efforts since 2014 Randgold also gives financial support to Panthera.