NYSE- and TSX-listed Barrick Gold Corporation’s status as an industry leader in socioeconomic development was underscored by a World Gold Council (WGC) report, released earlier this week, which highlighted the role of its members in contributing to socioeconomic development in the countries and communities in which they operate.
According to the report, this contribution amounted to almost $38-billion in 38 countries last year, in the form of payments to governments, employees and suppliers.
About 97% of Barrick’s employees and contractors were host country nationals, compared with 95% reported cumulatively by the WGC member companies.
Barrick also paid $1.8-billion out of the total $7.6-billion reported in taxes, royalties and dividends to host governments, as well as spent $4.5-billion of the total $26-billion spent on goods and services with local and national suppliers.
Barrick’s economic contributions amounted to $12.1-billion out of the total $37.9-billion contribution reported for the 2020 year.
Barrick president and CE Mark Bristow says the company’s ability to share the benefits of mining was one of the key ways it measured its success.
“We partner with our host communities and countries to transform their natural resources into tangible benefits and mutual prosperity. Additionally, we hire talented individuals from the communities closest to our mines and train them to world-class standards.
“We leverage our supply chain to facilitate the growth of thriving and self-sustaining businesses and our taxes further contribute to the economic development of the countries and communities in which we operate,” he says.
“This all happened against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic when our prompt and effective responses protected our businesses from the worst of the virus and provided a further opportunity for us to demonstrate our commitment to partnerships,” Bristow adds.
Barrick spent more than $30-million on Covid-related community support measures in 2020 and prepaid more than $300-million in taxes and royalties. It also supported communities through a number of initiatives ranging from medical supply donations to local hospitals, loans to small businesses, setting up food banks and delivering food packages.