Barrick Gold

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Barrick Gold Corporation
Public
Traded asTSXABX
NYSEGOLD
S&P/TSX 60 component
ISINCA0679011084 Edit this on Wikidata
IndustryMetals and mining
PredecessorPlacer Dome Edit this on Wikidata
Founded1983; 36 years ago (1983)
FounderPeter Munk
Headquarters
Toronto, Ontario
,
Canada
Key people
John L. Thornton
(Executive Chairman)
Mark Bristow
(President)
ProductsGold
Silver
Copper
RevenueDecrease$7,243 million (2018)[1]:101
Decrease$308 million (2018)[1]:101
Decrease$-1,435 million (2018)[1]:101
Total assetsDecrease$22,632 million (2018)[1]:104
Websitewww.barrick.com

Barrick Gold Corporation is the largest gold mining company in the world, with its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[2] The company has mining operations in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, the United States and Zambia.[3] More than 75% of Barrick's gold production comes from the Americas region.[4] In 2018, it produced 4.527 million ounces of gold at all-in sustaining costs of US$806/ounce and 383 million pounds of copper at all-in sustaining costs of $2.82/pound.[1]:31 As of December 31, 2018, the company had 62.3 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves.[1]:29

History[edit]

Founding and early years[edit]

Barrick Gold Corporation evolved from a privately held North American oil and gas company,[5] Barrick Resources.[6] After suffering financial losses in oil and gas,[7] founder Peter Munk (1927–2018) decided to refocus the company on gold.[8] He saw an opportunity to create a gold company based in North America, at a time when Apartheid-era sanctions prevented North American investors from owning shares in South African gold companies, who dominated the industry at that time.[9] Barrick Resources Corporation became a publicly traded company on May 2, 1983,[10] listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.[11]

The company's first acquisition was the Renabie mine, near Wawa, Ontario,.[12] In 1984, Barrick acquired Camflo Mining,[13] which had operations in the province of Quebec[14] and in the U.S. state of Nevada.[15] The company continued to grow with the acquiring of the Mercur mine in Mercur, Utah in June 1985[15] followed by the Goldstrike mine in Nevada in 1986.[15] Goldstrike mine is located on the Carlin Trend.

1986 to 2005[edit]

Reflecting its identity as a North American producer, distinct from its South African competitors, the company's name was changed to American Barrick Resources in 1986.[16] It was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in February 1987.[17] Its name was later changed to Barrick Gold Corporation in 1995.[18]

American Barrick became the third-largest gold mining company in the world when it acquired Lac Minerals in 1994, which owned mining properties in North and South America.[19] Two years later, in 1996, Arequipa Resources, owner of properties including the Pierina mine in Peru, accepted a takeover offer from the renamed Barrick Gold Corporation. A third acquisition followed in early 1999, when Barrick Gold acquired Sutton Resources Ltd., assuming ownership of properties in Tanzania.[20] In 2001, Barrick acquired Homestake Mining Company for $2.3 billion in stock, then one of the oldest mining companies in the United States.[21] The purchase made Barrick the second-largest gold producer in the world.[21]

Placer Dome acquisition[edit]

On October 31, 2005, Barrick launched an unsolicited takeover bid valued at US$9.2 billion for rival Canadian gold miner Placer Dome.[22] Placer Dome initially recommended shareholders reject the offer.[23] In December, Placer Dome's board of directors accepted an increased offer from Barrick worth US$10.4 billion.[24] The transaction closed in early 2006, making Barrick the world's largest gold producer.[25]

2006 to present[edit]

Barrick launched what was then the largest stock offering in Canadian history in 2009,[26] when it launched a $3 billion equity offering, which was increased the following day to $3.5 billion in response to market demand.[27] Proceeds from the offering were used to eliminate the company's gold hedges, which locked in the sale price of future production, rather than selling it at market prices.[28]

In February 2010, Barrick Gold announced plans to create a separate company to hold its assets in Tanzania, called African Barrick Gold.[29] Barrick Gold would retain majority ownership in the new company, after its listing on the London Stock Exchange.[29] African Barrick Gold was listed on the London Stock Exchange in mid-March 2010, with an IPO valuation at US$3.6 billion.[30] The shares offered on the LSE raised just more than 500 million pounds.[31] In June the company was admitted to the FTSE 100 Index.[32]

In April 2011, Barrick beat a takeover offer for Equinox Minerals by China Minmetals.[33][34]

In 2017, Shandong Gold purchased a 50 percent interest in Barrick Gold's Veladero mine in Argentina, following an agreement between the two companies to each invest up to $300 million in the other company's shares, with Barrick Gold buying shares in Shandong Gold via the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shandong Gold buying Barrick Gold shares in Toronto or New York.[35]

In September 2018, Barrick Gold announced a share-to-share merger with RandGold in a deal worth $18.3 billion.[36] According to this deal, Barrick Gold shareholders will own 67% of the combined company.[37] The deal was effective as of January 1, 2019.[38]

On July 1, 2019, Barrick and Newmont Goldcorp launch Nevada Gold Mines. [39] [40][41]

Operations[edit]

Asset Country Barrick stake Type of mine Gold production, 2017 Gold Production, 2018
Barrick Nevada (including Cortez Gold Mine and Goldstrike mine)  United States 100% open-pit mines (Pipeline, Cortez Hills, Betze-Post) and underground mines (Cortez Hills, Meikle, Rodeo) 2.3 moz
Pueblo Viejo  Dominican Republic 60% (other 40% held by Goldcorp) open-pit mine 650 koz
Veladero mine  Argentina 50% (other 50% held by Shandong Gold) open-pit mine 432 koz
Lagunas Norte mine  Peru open-pit mine 387 koz
Kalgoorlie (including Super Pit gold mine)  Australia 50% (other 50% held by Newmont Mining) open-pit mine 368 koz
Porgera  Papua New Guinea 95% (other 5% held by the Enga Provincial Government, the Papua New Guinea National Government and the Porgera Landowners Association) combined open-pit and underground mine 235 koz
Turquoise Ridge, Nevada  United States 75% (other 25% held by Newmont) underground mine 211 koz
Hemlo, Ontario  Canada 100% 196 koz
Golden Sunlight mine  United States 100% open-pit mine 41 koz
Pascua Lama  Argentina and  Chile 100% open-pit mine

Copper mines[edit]

Asset Country Barrick stake Copper production, 2018
Lumwana (copper)  Zambia 100% 224 million pounds
Zaldivar (copper)  Chile 50% (other 50% held by Antofagasta) 104 million pounds
Jabal Sayid (copper)  Saudi Arabia 50% (other 50% held by Maaden) 55 million pounds

Mines controlled through Acacia Mining[edit]

Tanzania's largest gold mining company, Acacia Mining Plc, formerly African Barrick Gold plc, is owned by Barrick, and operates three mines in Tanzania.

Asset Country Barrick stake Type of mine Gold production, 2017
North Mara Gold Mine (operated by Acacia Mining)  Tanzania 100% combined open-pit and underground mine 323.6 koz
Buzwagi Gold Mine (operated by Acacia Mining)  Tanzania 100% open-pit mine 268.8 koz
Bulyanhulu Gold Mine (operated by Acacia Mining)  Tanzania 100% underground mine 175.5 koz

Selected former operations[edit]

Asset Country
Bald Mountain mine  United States
Round Mountain Gold Mine, (50%)  United States
Ruby Hill  United States
Cowal, New South Wales  Australia
Plutonic Gold Mine  Australia
Pierina, Ancash  Peru
Tulawaka  Tanzania

Mining practices[edit]

Relations to local populations[edit]

In 2008, the company negotiated an agreement with four of five regional Western Shoshone tribes, providing financial resources for education and wellness initiatives, including a long-term scholarship program, allocated at the Tribes' discretion.[42] A former tribal chairman of the Duck Valley Shoshone spoke of the company as "a pretty progressive entity."[43] In British Columbia the Tahltan Nation has thanked the company for encouraging local sustainable development while operating the Eskay Creek mine from 2001 to 2008.[44][45]

In 2010, Barrick Gold Corporation became the 18th company to join the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights[46] which provides "guidance to extractives companies on maintaining the security of their operations in a manner that respects human rights and fundamental freedoms."[47] Admission follows an eight step process that requires approval by the Voluntary Principles plenary,[48] the main decision-making body, consisting of all active members, drawn from participating governments, companies and non-governmental organizations.[49] Barrick Gold participates in a number of corporate social responsibility programs, such as the United Nations Global Compact.[50] The company is a signatory to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.[51] It also participates in The Global Reporting Initiative, Business for Social Responsibility[52] and The Global Business Coalition on HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.[53] On September 7, 2007, Barrick was added to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.[54] The company is a member of The International Leadership Council (ILC) of The Nature Conservancy.[55] In Papua New Guinea, the Porgera Joint Venture participated in the development of a wildlife conservation area in the Kaijende Highlands.[56]

Papua New Guinea[edit]

In 2011, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report that alleged that the private security force at Barrick's Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea had carried out "gang rapes and other violent abuses", which include repeated acts of mass rape and other sexual abuse, murder, arson, forcible eviction and other forms of violence against community members near the Porgera Joint Venture mine over a period of several years.[57][58][59] [60][61] The tension between Barrick and the local population stems from impoverished locals illegally trespassing on Barrick property to scavenge for bits of gold in the mine's waste dumps. Barrick employs the local police to keep community members off of company-owned land. Many of the victims reported having been raped or otherwise assaulted on Barrick property when they were discovered while trespassing.[62] Barrick conducted an internal investigation, assisted a police investigation and a number of security personnel were arrested and charged. HRW said the company should have "acted long before Human Rights Watch conducted its research prompted them into action" but had "taken meaningful steps to investigate past abuses and make it less likely for similar abuses to occur in future".[63][64] Barrick Gold revealed in 2013 that, after an independent investigation, the company was paying indemnities to 14 women raped by mine security guards in Tanzania. In addition to cash, the women were also receiving therapy, job training, relocation, and child education expenses.[65]

Sarah Knuckey, a human rights lawyer and the Director of the Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic, described the rapes as “some of the most vicious assaults [she’s] investigated anywhere in the world”. A joint report by Harvard University and Columbia University states that Barrick offered most of the women less than $6,000.00 each. A group of 11 women rape survivors rejected Barrick's initial offer and received significantly larger settlements after they obtained legal representation in the United States.[66]

In June 2014, Amnesty International reported that Barrick Gold's security guards from the Porgera mine burned more than 200 homes in a raid on June 6, 2014.[67]A police officer involved in the raid said that Barrick had ordered police to burn the houses.[68]

Tanzania[edit]

Human Rights Violations[edit]

Security guards hired by Acacia Mining, 63.9% of which was owned by Barrick Gold at the time, have shot and killed 22 people at the North Mara gold mine since 2014, and injured 69 others.[69] Tanzanian human rights groups estimate as many as 300 mine-related civilian deaths since the mine's opening in 1999. Acacia included only 17 civilian deaths at North Mara in their annual report in 2014, and six civilian deaths in the 2016 report. Financial Times reported, “In 2015, without admitting liability, Acacia settled out of court for an undisclosed sum after a case was brought against it in the London High Court following an incident in which six people were allegedly killed by police hired by Acacia. The company admits to providing per diem expenses for the police at its mine, but says it does not pay them directly”.[70] No Acacia security guards have been killed on duty.[71] The International Council of Jurists said, after a September 2017 visit to North Mara, Tanzania, that it was “deeply concerned about the gravity of many of [the] allegations and the difficulties [victims] experienced in accessing any adequate remedy and reparation”.[72]

Corruption[edit]

Beginning in 2013, Barrick-controlled Acacia Mining reportedly bribed Tanzanian government officials–Adam Yusuf and Jerry Minja–and others responsible for valuing land near the North Mara gold mine that it wanted to buy. The purported bribes totaled more than $400,000.00 paid in cash. Jerry Minja, a district land officer who received cash payment, stated that his agreement with Barrick prevents him from commenting on the details of the arrangement. [73] The Wall Street Journal reported that the original whistleblower intended to report the payments to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act units of the United States Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Tanzanian authorities charged three Barrick affiliates with conspiracy, organized crime, forgery, money laundering and corruption.[74] Despite Barrick's insistence that the payments were legal, The Wall Street Journal reported in 2018 that the British Serious Fraud Office had opened an investigation into Barrick's business in Tanzania.[75]

Tax Evasion[edit]

In 2016, a Tanzanian government tribunal ruled that Barrick Gold had organized a “sophisticated scheme of tax evasion” in Tanzania[76] and fined Acacia Mining $190 billion for under-declaring export revenues from the Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines between 2000 and 2017.[77] Barrick Chairman John L. Thornton told The Globe and Mail that “Acacia never paid a dime of income tax” to the Tanzanian government.[78][79]

In 2017, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression reported that journalists in Tanzania had been threatened and persecuted for reporting on Barrick and Acacia mines by agencies working for Barrick Gold.[80]

Renewable energy[edit]

DeWind D8.2 2MW wind turbine[81] at the Veladero mine in San Juan Province, Argentina

In 2007, Barrick Gold installed the world's highest-situated wind turbine at the Veladero mine in San Juan Province (Argentina) at nearly 4,200m elevation.[81][82]

The company has made a request to Chile's environmental authority, COREMA, to expand a proposed wind farm project in Chile's Region IV from ten wind turbines to eighteen wind turbines, that would generate 36 megawatts of electricity into the national power grid.[83][84] In Nevada, Barrick operates a 1-megawatt solar panel farm.[85] There are also plans to build a 9-turbine wind farm at the Golden Sunlight mine in Montana when the operation closes.[86]

Legal controversy[edit]

Cyanide spill in San Juan, Argentina[edit]

In March 2014, Barrick Gold spilled over one million liters of cyanide solution into five rivers near Barrick's Veladero site in the San Juan province of Argentina.[87] Barrick waited six days to report the spill and initially neglected to identify the leaked chemical solution as containing cyanide,[88] but eventually connected the million-liter spill to “a frozen valve and a sluice gate that was left open at the time of the valve failure.” Some Argentine provinces ban mining processes that involve cyanide.[89] Cyanide is used to separate gold from ore.[90]

Raman Autar, a former senior manager of global maintenance for Barrick Gold in 2013 and 2014, was abruptly dismissed from his role in March 2014 after raising concerns about maintenance and safety risks at the Veladero mine. He alleged that he was fired for being a whistleblower. Barrick Gold extracted 602,000 ounces of gold from the Veladero site in 2015, and has another 7.5 million ounces in reserve. Numerous organizations – including Friends of the Earth International, Chile's National Water Commission, Argentina's Center for Human Rights and Environment and the National Environment Management Council – have demanded Barrick stop environmentally destructive mining practices, citing noncompliance with environmental laws resulting in contaminated water and other environmental devastation.[91] In 2018, Barrick announced their strategic cooperation with Shandong Gold Group, a Chinese mining company, at the Veladero mine. Barrick hoped to benefit from Shandong's investors, capital suppliers, political connections and regional influence.[92]

Talonbooks defamation suit[edit]

In February 2010, lawyers for Barrick Gold threatened to sue the Canadian publisher Talonbooks for defamation if it proceeded with plans to publish the book Imperial Canada Inc.: Legal Haven of Choice for the World's Mining Industries by Alain Deneault.[93] Publisher Karl Siegler described this as "libel chill," pointing out that since the book had not yet been published, Barrick Gold could not know whether or not its contents actually constituted defamation.[94] Subsequently, Talon decided to publish the work (ISBN 9780889226357)[95] and "issued a statement saying they 'intend to show the complete manuscript to Barrick prior to the book's release, to allow Barrick the opportunity to "correct" any "falsehoods" about how they conduct their business affairs, worldwide, that they feel it may contain.'"[96]

A 2011 decision in Quebec Superior Court had ruled that Barrick Gold had to pay $143,000 to authors Alain Deneault, Delphine Abadie, William Sacher and publisher Les Éditions Écosociété Inc, to prepare their defence in a "seemingly abusive" strategic lawsuit against public participation. Despite the Québec ruling, a book "Noir Canada" documenting the relationship between Canadian mining corporations, armed conflict and political actors in Africa was never published as part of a settlement which, according to the authors, was only made for the sole purpose of resolving the three-and-a-half year legal battle.[97]

Through 2009 and into 2010 Barrick Gold's Cortez Hills project was the subject of litigation in Nevada, seeking to block the project.[98] Opponents appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, challenging a ruling in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, which denied the bid to block the project.[99] The Appeals Court "upheld a federal judge's finding that opponents of the mine failed to prove they were likely to prevail on claims the mine would cause visual harm to Mount Tenabo and create a substantial burden on the tribes' ability to exercise their religion" but ruled the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's previous environmental review of water and air pollution impacts "was inadequate under the National Environmental Policy Act" and ordered the District Court to provide "appropriate" injunctive relief while the Bureau of Land Management conducted further study.[100] In March 2011 the Bureau of Land Management approved a subsequent study on environmental impacts, allowing the mine to operate as originally proposed.[101]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

  • Rohmer, Richard (1997). Golden Phoenix: The biography of Peter Munk. Toronto: Key Porter Books. ISBN 1-55013-912-6.

External links[edit]