Investors are undermining the gold industry’s ability to grow by demanding a bigger share of profits from high bullion prices, according to the CEO of the world’s second-largest producer.
“Fund managers just bash the table and want money — they’re not interested in this industry reinforcing its foundations,” Barrick Gold Corp. Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said in an interview Wednesday. “Then they turn around and get hysterical when a host country demands returns.”
While Toronto-based Barrick is returning a sizable chunk of earnings and divestment proceeds to shareholders, Bristow urged fund mangers to take a longer-term approach to generating returns for their customers.
Miners have to navigate tricky jurisdictions and geologies as well as gain the trust of politicians and populations at a time of rising environmental standards, he said.
It’s not the first time the investment community has resisted growth at times of high prices and earnings. Fund managers took some convincing on Barrick’s 2018 tie-up with Randgold Resources, which kicked off a flurry of deal making in the industry, Bristow said.
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