Barrick Gold Corp. chief executive Mark Bristow pledged to continue exploring in West Africa and Latin America, even as a “rising tide of resource nationalism” has scared away other mining companies who see too much risk there.
“If you want to focus on world class assets, which is our stated objective, and my obsession, asset quality always overrides jurisdiction,” Bristow told the Financial Post on Wednesday when the company reported its third quarter earnings.
The reason why so many mining companies run into problems in emerging economies is because they’re unwilling to share benefits from mining with the local community, he said.
“People come to the emerging markets and think they’re doing everyone a favour, making money for their shareholders,” said Bristow. “You can’t go to a country as a foreign investor, and not give a return to your host country when you’re mining a national asset.”
During the quarter, in July, Bristow engineered a deal to buy out the minority stake in its subsidiary Acacia Mining Plc, which had been in a years-long spat with the Tanzanian government over taxes and economic benefits of its mine there.
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