Mark Bristow, the chief executive officer of Barrick Gold Corp., says the gold sector is in desperate need of fresh young blood to rejuvenate what has become a “dinosaur” industry.
“The industry needs to grow and be more relevant,” Mr. Bristow said in an interview in Toronto, after the release of the company’s fourth-quarter financial results. Mr. Bristow stressed the need for mining companies to both attract younger employees with fresh ideas, and a sprier set of investors.
Attending the annual Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference – one of the industry’s premier events – Mr. Bristow said, is like “walking into an old age home.”
It has been a little more than a year since Mr. Bristow took over as head of Toronto-based Barrick, and he has made a big imprint on the company during his brief tenure. In 2019, Barrick generated US$1.1-billion in free cash flow, compared with only US$364-million in the previous year, as the miner cut reams of head office staff and made productivity improvements across many mine sites.
Barrick also forged a joint venture agreement with Newmont Corp. in Nevada last year, which should generate significant cost savings for both miners over the next decade.
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