Barrick Donation Boosts Health Care in Northwestern Ontario

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

Ontario Mining Association member Barrick Gold’s gift of $150,000 to Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) will enhance health care services in Northwestern Ontario.  Matching support for some components of this donation by the Ontario Trust for Student Support increases the size of the gift to $235,000.

“This gift is in keeping with our policy and objective of giving back to the community,” said Jamie Sokalsky, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Barrick Gold.  “We want to share our success in the communities where we operate.”

Barrick Gold owns and operates Hemlo Mines in Marathon, which includes the Williams Mine and the David Bell Mine.  The donation was made earlier this week at a ceremony. The funds will be used for a number of purposes. The bulk of it ($100,000) will be employed to support the NOSM.

Other funds will be used for upgrading technology and infrastructure at the Wilson Memorial Hospital and Marathon Family Health Centre, a bursary for NOSM students with links to Marathon, support for recruitment and retention initiatives for physicians in the town and funding for a Rural Remote Health Medical conference.  This was reported in The Chronicle-Journal Thunder Bay newspaper. 

“It’s a broad range of initiatives that will touch a broader community and health care is so very important to people around the world,” added Mr. Sokalsky.  “We’re funding more equipment and technology, but I think the biggest part of this contribution is really to be able to develop people in the region.”

Part of the funding will also be used to establish and endow the Barrick Gold Graduate Scholarship, which will be awarded to a graduate student focusing on mining with preference given to persons of Aboriginal heritage.

“Our students can learn and become engaged and employed by the mining sector in the region,” said Brian Stevenson, President of Lakehead University.  “The connection to the First Nation communities in the region is very important.”

With its headquarters in Toronto, Barrick has 25 operating mines and more than 20,000 employees around the world.  The company, which started gold production in 1983, is now the largest bullion producer in the world measured by both production and reserves.

Miners and mining companies are responsible, solution-providing partners in society.  They do more than find, extract and process minerals essential to our modern lifestyles.  These companies are economic enterprises operated by men and women who are members of society and community builders.  As volunteers and donors, they add great value to the quality of life in their communities and beyond.