Barrick scales back on its annual general meeting as mining footprint shrinks – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – April 25, 2018)

No more fancy digs. No free food. And no epic speeches. In a sign of its more modest state, Barrick Gold Corp. hosted a sharply scaled back annual general meeting on Tuesday, the morning after delivering a first-quarter earnings report that was better than analysts expected.

Of the roughly 100 people in attendance at the AGM in a small conference room at the Cisco Toronto Innovation Centre, around 60 were Barrick representatives. Bankers, analysts, human rights protesters, and a smattering of shareholders filled out the rest.

Barrick’s executive chairman, John Thornton, paid tribute to company founder Peter Munk, who died last month at the age of 90. Mr. Thornton called Mr. Munk, who grew the company from scratch into the world’s biggest gold producer in the span of 23 years, an “iconic Canadian” and a “visionary entrepreneur.”

But a good chunk of Mr. Thornton’s speech on Tuesday was a repeat of the presentation he made to investors in February, stating the need to build ties with China, and stressing that Barrick intends to double down on its mining operations in Nevada.

More accustomed to the plush John Bassett Theatre at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Barrick’s former AGM home, which accommodates 1,200 people, long-time shareholder Geoff Richards didn’t know what to make of Tuesday’s affair.

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