Archive | Barrick Gold Corporation

[Barrick Gold’s]Aaron Regent: A New-generation CEO – by Globe and Mail Reporter Brenda Bouw (Originally Published December 18, 2010)

Brenda Bouw is the mining reporter for the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous impact and influence on Canada’s political and business elite as well as the rest of the country’s print, radio and television media. This article was orginally published December 18, 2010.
When Aaron Regent walks into Ki, a modern Japanese restaurant in the heart of Bay Street, amid a cluster of other dark-suited businessmen during a recent lunch hour rush, his presence is immediately noted.

Within seconds, the hostess greets him as “Mr. Regent” and whisks him and his party to his usual table, a quiet corner booth located alongside a calming rock and marble water feature.

Ki is a regular lunch spot for Mr. Regent, in part because it’s located inside Brookfield Place, the same downtown Toronto office tower that is home to the head office of Barrick, where he celebrates his two-year anniversary as president and chief executive officer next month. The Irish-born executive has spent much of his career around this particular square mile of prime real estate, working either at Brookfield Asset Management (where he was, most recently, co-head of its vast infrastructure group) or within the nexus of companies affiliated with it.

So when he was offered the Barrick job by legendary founder Peter Munk, the physical move was easy – he merely had to change floors. That is where the simple part ended, however.

Barrick is a complicated beast with interests in 25 mines scattered across five continents, each with its own challenges.

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Mining Corporate Social Responsibility, Barrick Gold and Bill C-300 – by Stan Sudol

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant, who writes extensively about mining issues.([email protected])

As a child of Polish immigrants who came to Canada after the Second World War and settled in the nickel mining centre of Sudbury, Ontario, I witnessed the stable and prosperous life my parents had due to my father’s life-long employment at Inco Limited. In the mid-seventies, I also had the good fortune to work at Inco’s Clarabell Mill for one year before going to college and spent one summer underground at their Frood-Stobie Mine which help pay for my college education.

So I am always surprised about the bad press and demonization major mining companies receive about their activities in lesser-developed countries and am very concerned about Bill C-300, the proposed federal anti-mining legislation introduced by a Liberal backbencher.

Take for example Barrick Gold’s annual meeting to shareholders in Toronto last April where many protesters gathered to denounce the company’s activities in their home countries. Chairman Peter Munk, is a Hungarian-Jew who escaped his Nazi-occupied homeland in 1944 and immigrated to Canada after the Second World War where he founded Barrick in 1983. During his presentation to shareholders, he had a few choice comments about the anti-mining NGOs.

“By moving into these countries and developing their mines, we provide – way beyond the importance of money – we provide human dignity,” Peter Munk said. “We provide an opportunity for these people to earn their money, rather than hold out their hands and depend on charity.”

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June 2, 2005 Speech to the Empire Club by Peter Munk, Chairman, Barrick Gold Corporation – My Views On Globalization

The Empire Club of Canada, established in 1903, in Toronto is recognized as one of Canada’s oldest and largest speakers’ forums with a membership comprised of some of Canada’s most influential leaders from the professions, business, labour, education and government. Over its history it has been addressed by more than 3500 prominent Canadian and international leaders – men and women who have distinguished themselves in many fields of endeavour.

The Empire Club’s luncheon meetings attract audiences of 200 to 1,000 and usually take place on Thursdays at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel from September through June. Consult their events page for a detailed listing of this year’s events and links to their reservation forms. The addresses are broadcast on Rogers Television and many attract newspaper reports and editorial comment.

Peter Munk – June 2, 2005

Thank you Bart. For a moment I thought you were the speaker. It was quite an introduction. I was about to step up here and thank you.

I think it is appropriate for me to warn you that I’m a lengthy speaker. I have difficulty containing my comments. As a matter of fact, I just told Michael that before the wedding of my last daughter she asked me to keep my comments down to six or eight minutes. Being very nice she said: “Daddy, after all it is not your affair. It is not about you.” I said: “Gee, I thought it was because I am paying the bill.”

But that did not convince her so I said: “Darling, you know I have really got a problem with keeping my speeches short. I will not be hurt. I have three daughters. You are the last one to get married. I really will not be hurt if this time you skip me. You have a brother. You have got friends.”

“No, no, no Daddy, you must speak.” So I got onto the podium and I really tried to contain myself and I do want to tell you that 48 minutes later I was given a standing applause. So remember just because it’s long it is not lousy.

But on this occasion I was fortunate enough to be asked by both Michael from the Canadian Club and Bart from the Empire Club. I asked them how long they would like me to speak and they said 20 minutes. I thought 20 minutes each; that’s 40 minutes. I think I’ll be alright. I think Michael then said: “Well that’s alright with us too, but if you don’t mind all of us will be leaving at 2 o’clock. So I said: “I don’t mind either.” There will be no hard feelings if anyone of you decides to leave.

To get on to a more serious vein, I don’t quite know exactly how the title of this presentation was verbalized. I did want to speak about globalization. I think it is the topic of the day. I did want to make sure that my presentation to you is globalization from a highly personalized view. Globalization is a theory that is now throughout the world. It is possibly one of the most debated, most discussed and most thought–about subjects currently in existence. Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold’s Pascua-Lama Project Supports the Indigenous Diaguita of Chile

This article is from the April 2009 issue of Beyond Borders: A Barrick Gold Report on Responsible Mining.

For more than a thousand years, the Diaguita have made Chile their home and thrived as a culture within its borders. Today, they are recognized as a distinct indigenous community living in Chile’s Huasco Valley. They have formed a close relationship with Barrick based on a shared mining history and a common focus for the future.

Barrick’s Pascua-Lama project is located 45 kilometers away from the nearest Diaguita settlement, making them the company’s closest neighbors.

THIS IS THEIR STORY

The history of the Diaguita begins around 1000 A.D., when the indigenous group first descended from the Andes mountain range to settle in Chile’s valleys. Anthropologist Franko Urqueta, who was hired by Barrick to study the Diaguita and has since written a book on the culture, says the population flourished between the eighth and 15th centuries, settling in the Norte Chico valleys and growing to a population of nearly 30,000 at their peak. The Diaguita formed an agrarian-based society, creating an extensive and highly efficient irrigation system able to sustain a large population. They were known as walking farmers – moving from the coast to the mountains depending on which climate would give them the best agricultural results. According to Urqueta, the Diaguita were an advanced society that valued art and artisans. Throughout Chile, they were known for their varied and beautiful pottery and weaving. These artisanal traditions continued despite years of submission, first by the Inca empire and then by the Spaniards. Today, less than 1,500 Diaguita remain, making their home in the Atacama Region, specifically in the Huasco Valley. One of the smallest of nine indigenous groups in the country, they are a tight-knit and vibrant community.

“Right from the beginning, we have respected the Diaguita and their ties to the land,” says Igor Gonzalez, president of Barrick South America. “We opened up the channels of communication and invited members of the community to discuss issues, to openly ask questions and to work together with us on the Pascua-Lama project.” Globally, Barrick actively engages with indigenous peoples in the areas where the company operates. The aim is to develop long-term relationships that are constructive and mutually beneficial.

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Barrick Gold Contributes to a New Beginning for Australia’s Aboriginal Wiradjuri

 Photo Courtesy of Otis WilliamsThis article is from the April 2009 issue of Beyond Borders: A Barrick Gold Report on Responsible Mining.

Known as the people of the three rivers, the Wiradjuri have inhabited modern-day New South Wales, Australia for at least 40,000 years. At the time of European colonization, there were an estimated 3,000 Wiradjuri living in the region, representing the largest cultural footprint in the state. Their country extends from the Great Dividing Range in the east, and is bordered by the Macquarie, Lachlan and Murrumbidgee rivers. The Wiradjuri were a hunter-gatherer society, made up of small clans or family groups whose movements followed seasonal food gathering and ritual patterns. The decline of the Wiradjuri population in New South Wales was accelerated in the 1820s when indigenous people were forced off their traditional lands by an influx of European settlers. Today, major Wiradjuri populations can be found in the New South Wales towns of Condobolin, Peak Hill, Narrandera and Griffith. (With files from Bathurst Regional Council, New South Wales)

Five years ago, the Wiradjuri community of Condobolin decided to take their future into their own hands. In the words of one Elder, it was to be “a new beginning” for the long marginalized, oft en overlooked indigenous community in the heart of New South Wales, Australia.

 That hope for a better future and “a new beginning” was enshrined as the motto of the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC), an organization that is transforming the lives of local Wiradjuri people, creating new opportunities for the community that were unthinkable just a few years ago.

The WCC was created through a Native Title Agreement between the Wiradjuri people and Barrick, negotiated during the development of the company’s Cowal gold mine. That agreement included provisions and funding to ensure Wiradjuri share in the benefits of mining, empowering them to break the cycle of despair that had gripped their community for years.  Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold Empowers Women in Papua New Guinea

 

This article is from the April 2009 issue of Beyond Borders: A Barrick Gold Report on Responsible Mining.

 

 

About Porgera Joint Venture, PNG

  • Barrick is the operator (95 per cent interest), PNG government and landowners (5 per cent)
  • 2, 500 employee and over 500 contractors
  • Significant investments in health, education, skills training, infrastructure and local business development
  • A partner in the “Restoring Justice Initiative”,  a government community effort to strengthen law and order, which encompasses issues such as violence against women

Women in Papua New Guinea’s Porgera Valley, home to the Porgera Joint Venture mine, are using resources provided by the company to pursue higher education, gain new skills and become financially independent.

Through its assistance programs, the Porgera mine is helping local Porgeran women become respected members and leaders in a society that has traditionally been male-dominated. In 1999, the company funded the establishment of the Porgera District
Women’s Association, a non-governmental organization that now has a membership of more than 2,000 women across 20 wards in PNG. With financial support from the mine, the group is providing local women with training in leadership and management skills, health and education, law and order, micro business and agriculture.

 

 

 

MICRO CREDIT SCHEME

One of the association’s most successful programs is the micro credit scheme project, which loans money to women for small-scale projects that generate income. The program has a very successful 99.9 per cent repayment rate. Since it commenced in 2000, it has enabled 181 women to become self-reliant.

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Barrick Gold’s Tanzanian Corporate Social Responsibility: The Lake Zone Health Initiative

 

 

 

 

 

Barrick's Lake Zone Health Initiative in Tanzania

Barrick's Lake Zone Health Initiative in Tanzania

 This article is from the April 2010 issue of Beyond Borders: A Barrick Gold Report on Responsible Mining. The Lake Zone Health Initiative was established by Barrick to help combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and improve access to health services for underserved populations. This collaborative effort involves the Tanzanian government, aid agencies and other partners.

They are called the Big Three. They are HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Together, they kill thousands of people each year in Tanzania.

These life-threatening diseases pose a serious risk to employees in the mining sector and communities near mining operations, resulting in soaring health care costs and a high rate of employee absenteeism.

Building on a long history of providing successful disease prevention programs in Tanzania, in 2008 Barrick launched the Lake Zone Health Initiative in an effort to improve health services to underserved populations in the Lake Zone region. Home to nine million residents, Tanzania’s Lake Zone wraps around Lake Victoria and spans seven regions, including the Mara and Kahama districts where the Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi and North Mara mines are located. While these mines are now operated by African Barrick Gold, the new public company created by Barrick earlier this year, the commitment to continue this flagship community health program remains as strong as ever.

The public-private sector health initiative is making it possible for companies, the government, health NGOs and donors like USAID to work collaboratively together to combat HIV, malaria and TB. Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold’s Dominican Republic’s Environmental Clean-up Reflects Modern Industry Approach – by Nancy White

This article is from the April 2010 issue of Beyond Borders: A Barrick Gold Report on Responsible Mining.

At the Pueblo Viejo project in the Dominican Republic, one of the most ambitious environmental clean-up efforts in recent mining history is underway. When the former Rosario Dominicana mine shut down its operations in 1999, proper closure and reclamation was not undertaken. The result has been a legacy of polluted soil and water and contaminated infrastructure.

Barrick acquired the property in 2006 as part of the Placer Dome acquisition. Today, what was once a hazardous area has been transformed into a safe and busy construction site, as some 4,500 employees and contractors converge to build the new Pueblo Viejo.

The clean-up is also creating a healthier living environment for nearby residential communities that have also been affected.

A Partnership Approach

Responsibility for the clean-up is shared between Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corp. (PVDC), a company jointly owned by Barrick (60%) and Goldcorp (40%), and the Dominican government. A special lease agreement (SLA), which set out the terms for both parties, was ratified by the Dominican National Congress and President Leonel Fernandez in November 2009. Continue Reading →

Barrick Target of Yellow Journalism – by Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. She is one of Canada’s most senior mining commentators.

Toronto’s Barrick Gold, being the world’s biggest gold miner, is also on the receiving end of the world’s worst media abuses. “Yellow journalism” has not gone out of style, and today the Internet provides the means of spreading disinformation worldwide at speeds unheard of a century ago.

Case in point. Headline: “Deadly toxin invades Barrick’s Dominican gold mine, Thousands hospitalized.”

Those are eye-catching words, but no more accurate than the picture of artisanal miners identified as the “Barrick Gold mine in Coui, Dominican Republic” used to illustrate the article.

The article posted at www.BusinessInsider.com went on to say that over 1,000 people were felled by an unknown chemical so toxic that health care workers who attended them had to wear masks. It also reported a boiler explosion at the site that may have been the root of the problem.

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Barrick Gold Brings Artisanal Miners into the Fold – by Nancy J. White

Tanzania’s Artisanal Miners Often Work in Unsafe ConditionsThis article was first published in “Beyond Borders”, a BARRICK GOLD quarterly report on responsible mining, edited by Nancy J. White, the company’s communications director for responsible mining. “Beyond Borders” contains several other items highlighting Barrick’s initiatives around the world. It will be posted soon at www.barrick.com.

At age 13, Alfaxad Chacha started digging. He never stopped. Seven days a week, 14 hours a day, he sifted through the red mud and rock of the Tanzanian landscape under an equatorial sun. With a little luck and a lot of backbreaking labour, Alfaxad and his friends eked out a meagre living on the miniscule bits of gold they uncovered.

It was difficult work, using dangerous explosives and toxic chemicals. But for 1.5 million Tanzanians, this primitive form of artisanal mining is a daily reality.

Today, Chacha is 50 years old. He lives in the village of Kerende in Tanzania’s Mara region. A life of digging for gold under the ground has hardened him.

“I am an artisanal gold miner. I have been all my life and so were my parents before me, but I’m not too proud of what I do,” Chacha says. “My work is barely able to support me, my family and my community. It is very hard work for very little money. This is not the life I dreamt of, but it is all I have.”

Like many others, Chacha spends his days digging, crushing and grinding ore, to unlock the small particles of gold it contains. He sells his product for a fraction of its true value to gold dealers who pass through the village. It’s part of an underground gold industry in Tanzania – one with no government regulation or oversight of any kind.

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Barrick Gold and World Vision Fight Child Malnutrition in Peru

Photo-Philip Maher, World Vision

In the mountainous rural regions of Peru, malnutrition affects six out of every 10 children. Many children living in poverty subsist on a daily diet limited to basic starches like potatoes, while lacking other essential food groups. This daily diet may relieve hunger, however it fails to support proper growth and development or defend against diseases.

Barrick and World Vision Canada have teamed up with local residents in a collaborative approach to tackle these problems in communities surrounding the company’s mines in Peru. The project started in May 2003, when Barrick made an initial commitment of US$1 million over five years to help impoverished families near its Pierina mine. Building on the success of the first program, in 2007 Barrick contributed a further US$1.3 million to start up a similar project near its Lagunas Norte mine in northern Peru. World Vision has complemented Barrick’s funding thorough its popular child sponsorship program, which is supporting over 3,000 children in these areas.

“Our partnership with World Vision is based on a shared vision of children free from the dangers of malnutrition and illness, with access to clean water and education,” says Greg Wilkins, Barrick President and CEO, “Strong, healthy children are able to perform better in school and can go on to achieve their potential later in life.” 

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Barrick Gold/NGO Partnership Makes Dental Care in Tanzania a Reality

Dentist from Bridge2Aid in Rural Tanzania Photo Supplied by Barrick GoldOver 5,000 villagers living in Tanzania’s Lake Victoria area have received free emergency dental care, thanks to a unique partnership Barrick established with Bridge2Aid in 2003. Bridge2Aid is a British NGO specializing in providing dental care in Tanzania, where experts estimate 70 to 90 per cent of the population have no access to dental care.  

Barrick’s involvement began five years ago, when the company’s chief medical officer, Dr. Rob Barbour, recognized that dental problems were becoming increasingly serious at the Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania. In many cases, employees were experiencing significant pain and infection associated with oral health issues. At that time there was only one option: patients were referred to a dentist in Dar es Salaam, over 800 kilometers away. As a result, employees spent more time away from the mine site and productivity began to suffer.

Meanwhile, for other residents living in the Lake Victoria area where Barrick’s mines are located, oral health care was virtually out of reach. This lack of accessible dental services reflects a larger, country-wide trend. Today in Tanzania there is only one dentist for every 300,000 people, in contrast to the United States where there is one dentist for every 1,700 people. Moreover, many economically disadvantaged Tanzanians lack the income to pay for and maintain good oral health.

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