All amounts expressed in US dollars
TORONTO, April 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD)(TSX:ABX) (“Barrick”) continues to strengthen its reputation as a trusted partner in its host countries across the world and is actively working to build a more sustainable mining sector fit to attract the next generation of industry leaders, says President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow in the company’s 2019 Sustainability Report published today.
Bristow says Barrick’s commitment to social and economic development, health and safety, human rights and the environment is a key component of its business strategy.
“As a modern mining company, we recognize that we must be a trusted long-term partner for our stakeholders to be sustainable, and that we must be sustainable to be successful,” he says.
Safety is a top priority for Barrick as the company strives for a zero-harm workplace, as is environmental management.
In 2019, Barrick operated with zero fatalities and saw lost time injuries reduce in the Africa and Middle East region. However, despite these improvements the overall total reportable injury frequency rate1 for the group rose slightly, impacted in part by the newly combined assets in Nevada. Identifying gaps and progressing continuous improvement on safety at all mines will be a key focus in 2020. The company also recorded zero major environmental incidents in 2019 and exceeded its water efficiency target of 70%. It has put in place a long-term strategy to manage climate risk and protect biodiversity, and remains vigilant in the monitoring of tailings storage facilities.
Bristow says the most significant contribution a mining company can make to society is to create long-lasting economic opportunities and notes that in 2019 Barrick distributed more than $9.3 billion to host country governments, its workforce, suppliers, host communities and beyond. It prioritizes local recruitment and last year directly employed more than 21,800 of its host country nationals (approximately 97% of employees) and spent more than $4.4 billion on goods and services from businesses in host countries.
“At the time of writing we are engaged in managing the impacts of the coronavirus epidemic on our people and our business. This includes the implementation of strict hygiene protocols at our mine gates and across our sites. We are also working closely with the clinics, hospital and medical professionals in our communities to ensure that they are properly resourced should an outbreak occur,” he says.
Also in the report, Barrick’s Sustainability Executive Grant Beringer says that a sound environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) strategy should be measurable.
“We believe in transparently measuring and reporting our performance and to show this we have developed a sustainability scorecard to rate our ESG performance over the past year. The scorecard ranks against our peers, where applicable, and against our own internal metrics and rolls that performance to an aggregate score. We expect these indicators in the scorecard will evolve over time, but we believe this is an important first step for the company and the industry. We believe our grade this year reflects the improvements in sustainability performance we have made across the group in 2019 and our progress against many of our key performance indicators. It also acknowledges that there is still work to be done,” he says.
“We do not report data because it is popular, or because others do so. We track our sustainability performance because it helps us make better decisions, helps to de-risk projects, discover new opportunities and deliver real value for our business. Sustainable development is truly at the heart of our business and our sustainability vision is embedded in every aspect of what we do — we live it.”
The 2019 Sustainability Report is available at www.barrick.com/sustainability.
President and CEO
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Kathy du Plessis
Investor and media relations
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Total reportable injury frequency rate (“TRIFR”) is a ratio calculated as follows: number of reportable injuries x 1,000,000 hours divided by the total number of hours worked. Reportable injuries include fatalities, lost time injuries, restricted duty injuries, and medically treated injuries.
Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information
Certain information contained or incorporated by reference in this press release, including any information as to our sustainability strategy and vision, projects, plans, or future financial or operating performance, constitutes “forward-looking statements”. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The words “commitment”, “vision”, “believe”, “expect”, “target”, “plan”, “objective”, “aim”, “intend”, continue”, “potential”, “may”, “will” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. In particular, this press release contains forward-looking statements including, without limitation, with respect to Barrick’s sustainability strategy and vision; Barrick’s environmental, health and safety, corporate social responsibility (including social and economic development, water management, tailings and hazardous waste management and community relations) and human rights programs, policies and performance and related sustainability ratings and scorecards; Barrick’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and initiatives to manage the impact of the virus on our people and our business; Barrick’s climate change strategy and greenhouse gas emission target; the estimated timing to achieve environmental, social and energy reduction targets.
Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the company as at the date of this press release in light of management’s experience and perception of current conditions and expected developments, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Known and unknown factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements and information. Such factors include, but are not limited to: damage to the company’s reputation due to the actual or perceived occurrence of any number of events, including negative publicity with respect to the company’s handling of environmental matters or dealings with community groups, whether true or not; changes in national and local government legislation, taxation, controls or regulations, and/or changes in the administration of laws, policies, and practices, expropriation or nationalization of property and political or economic developments in Canada, the United States, and other jurisdictions in which the company does or may carry on business in the future; the risks of operating in jurisdictions where infectious diseases present major health care issues; risks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on operations or Barrick’s supply chain; risk of loss due to acts of war, terrorism, sabotage and civil disturbances; litigation and legal and administrative proceedings; contests over title to properties, particularly title to undeveloped properties, or over access to water, power and other required infrastructure; risks associated with working with partners in jointly controlled assets; employee relations; increased costs and risks related to the potential impact of climate change; risks associated with illegal and artisanal mining; fluctuations in the spot and forward price of gold, copper, or certain other commodities (such as silver, diesel fuel, natural gas, and electricity); the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development; changes in mineral production performance, exploitation, and exploration successes; diminishing quantities or grades of reserves; increased costs, delays, suspensions, and technical challenges associated with the construction of capital projects; operating or technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities, including geotechnical challenges, and disruptions in the maintenance or provision of required infrastructure and information technology systems; failure to comply with environmental and health and safety laws and regulations; timing of receipt of, or failure to comply with, necessary permits and approvals; and our ability to successfully close and integrate acquisitions or complete divestitures. In addition, there are risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining, including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations, pressures, cave-ins, flooding and gold bullion, copper cathode or gold or copper concentrate losses (and the risk of inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks).
Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can affect our actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, us. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. All of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements. Specific reference is made to the most recent Form 40-F/Annual Information Form on file with the SEC and Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities for a more detailed discussion of some of the factors underlying forward- looking statements and the risks that may affect Barrick’s ability to achieve the expectations set forth in the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.
Barrick Gold Corporation disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.