Barrick accused of using virtual AGM format to misrepresent or ignore shareholder concerns – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 1, 2024)

Barrick Gold Corp. is being accused of using the virtual format for its annual general meeting to suppress critical questions from stakeholders. After holding a hybrid AGM last year that allowed stakeholders to show up in person, the Toronto-based gold mining company, which is the world’s second biggest by market value, went to a virtual-only format this year.

Virtual AGMs have attracted the ire of some shareholder-rights groups. In an open letter to members of the S&P/TSX 60 Index in April, a group of 38 institutional investors, advisers, portfolio managers and non-profits argued that online meetings can undermine shareholder rights, by allowing companies to cherry-pick questions, or change the wording of them.

After concluding the administrative part of the AGM on Tuesday, Barrick chief executive Mark Bristow fielded a handful of queries from shareholders, proxy holders and guests that were submitted on a virtual chat portal. Catherine Coumans, Asia-Pacific co-ordinator with Mining Watch Canada, attended the virtual meeting.

For the rest of this article: