Building a mine in a foreign jurisdiction is no easy task, but one thing that needs to be high on any lawyer’s agenda is affirming locally the company’s social licence to operate, said Jonathan Drimmer, deputy general counsel at Barrick Gold Corp., this year’s recipient of the Social Responsibility award.
“I think we are seeing a slow, gradual change with lawyers becoming more involved in issues related to the social license to operate,” Drimmer said.
He should know. Prior to joining Barrick in 2011 to help oversee its social responsibility efforts, Drimmer was a private practitioner and law professor, teaching courses on humanitarian law and business. He once prosecuted war criminals for the U.S. Department of Justice. “I came to Barrick because of the company’s commitment to enhance its existing program,” he said.
He helps oversee Barrick’s international regulatory and compliance programs with a focus on anti-corruption and human rights. He also oversees internal and external investigations.
Barrick has put in place a robust governance framework, which sets out how the company expects its employees, contractors and suppliers to conduct themselves. Its business conduct and ethics code covers a wide range of areas, including health, environment, safety, security, human rights and community.
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