Barrick Gold’s John Thornton sees compensation surge in 2018 amid lacklustre share performance – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – April 6, 2019)

Barrick Gold Corp.’s top executive saw his pay package surge in 2018 – a lacklustre year for shareholders that saw the miner strike its biggest acquisition in seven years.

In a regulatory document released on Friday, Barrick said executive chairman John Thornton earned US$12.8-million last year, a two-thirds increase compared with the US$7.7-million he made in 2017.

The bulk of Mr. Thornton’s compensation was a US$9.7-million long-term incentive payment, the majority of which must be put toward share purchases. That stock must then be held by Mr. Thornton until he leaves the company and the minimum holding period is three years.

In the Friday release, Barrick’s lead director, J. Brett Harvey, singled out Mr. Thornton’s contributions in negotiating the firm’s US$6-billion zero-premium acquisition of Randgold Resources Ltd. last year.

While Barrick shares rallied strongly after the Randgold deal was announced in September, they fell by 3 per cent over the course of the entire year. Among the company’s troubles in 2018 was a continuing gold-concentrate export ban on its subsidiary Acacia Mining PLC and a flat gold price.

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