TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/19/17 -- Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: ABX)(TSX: ABX) ("Barrick" or the "Company") has published its 2016 Responsibility Report, which provides a detailed and candid look at the Company's environmental and social performance. The full report is available on Barrick's website at www.barrick.com/responsibility.
"At Barrick, we partner with host governments and communities to transform their natural resources into sustainable benefits and mutual prosperity," said Peter Sinclair, Barrick's Chief Sustainability Officer. "Managing our social and environmental performance in a transparent, collaborative, and responsible manner is one of the most important ways that we can generate value for all of our partners for the long term. As we move forward, we will increasingly leverage new digital technologies and innovation to improve our social and environmental performance, and increase transparency with our partners."
Sharing the benefits of mining
Barrick extracts metals that belong to nations and their people. Consistent with our Sustainability Vision, we recognize that we will only succeed if we work with host community and government partners to transform these resources for mutual benefit.
-- In 2016, the Company contributed more than $5.2 billion to national economies in the countries where we operate. This included more than $220 million in goods and services from local suppliers, nearly $1.4 billion in salaries and benefits to employees, and more than $1.1 billion in taxes and royalties. In addition, the Company invested almost $22 million in local communities - including nearly $8 million in education initiatives and nearly 1,500 scholarships. -- In 2016, more than half of our employees came from local communities, and 97 percent of our people are citizens of the countries where we operate. -- In 2016, we created a program to make every employee at Barrick a shareholder. In doing so, we became a company of owners with the emotional and financial engagement that this implies. -- Additional information on how we are sharing the benefits of mining with our partners is available in data tables on our website.
People and environment
For Barrick, mining done right means maximizing benefits while carefully managing the risks - both social and environmental - of our activities.
-- As our most valued asset, nothing is more important than the safety, health, and well-being of our people. In 2016, Barrick met its target for a total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR)(1) of 0.40 at our mines - the lowest TRIFR in the Company's history. This performance was tragically overshadowed by the death of Meckson Kakompe, a haul truck driver at our Lumwana mine in Zambia. Our goal remains the same: that all of our people go home safe and healthy every day. -- In 2016, the Company launched a cross-functional Climate Change Committee and we joined the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition - the first Canadian gold mining company to do so - which will expose us to new and innovative thinking from other industry leaders. -- The Company developed a new Water Management Framework in 2016. The cornerstone of the Framework is an enterprise-wide approach to water stewardship that rests on three pillars: assess, assure, and collaborate. -- Over the past two years, we've experienced three incidents involving processing solution at the Veladero mine's heap leach pad in spite of continuing efforts to implement additional monitoring and environmental protections. We are now working with local authorities to implement a plan to significantly strengthen and improve the mine's operating systems, including major modifications to the heap leach facility.
Working respectfully with others
Relationships built on trust and respect are at the heart of our ability to operate successfully - relationships between our employees, with communities and governments, with industry peers, civil society, and others.
-- We are finding more ways to leverage digital technology to bring our operations and our host communities closer together. At our Pascua-Lama project, located on the border of Chile and Argentina, we now publicly share real-time water monitoring data from Chile's Estrecho River. In the future, we intend to make other real-time performance metrics publicly available, along with virtual site tours to bring information about our mining activities to as many people as possible. -- Our community environmental monitoring programs in five countries continue to bring Barrick employees together with local community members to monitor water quality, air quality, and other environmental factors. -- Our sustainability performance is open to third-party scrutiny, including through the ISO 14001 re-certification process, International Cyanide Management Code audits, annual third-party human rights impact assessments, and independent assurance of the 2016 Responsibility Report.
While there is still work to be done, Barrick's efforts are being acknowledged. In 2016, the Company was listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the ninth consecutive year. Barrick was also included in the Euronext Vigeo Index: World 120 in 2016. This index distinguishes the 120 most advanced companies from Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific region for their environmental, social, and governance performance.
Barrick's complete 2016 Responsibility Report is available at www.barrick.com/responsibility.
(1) Total reportable incident frequency rate (TRIFR) is a ratio calculated as follows: number of reportable injuries x 200,000 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 in this press release, including any information as to our strategy, 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 "plan", "objective", "intend", "goal", "continue", "will", "can", and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. In particular, this press release contains forward-looking statements including, without limitation, with respect to: (i) Barrick's environmental, health and safety, corporate social responsibility (including sustainable development, community relations and security matters), and human rights programs, policies and performance; (ii) the estimated timing to achieve environmental, social and energy reduction targets; and (iii) the potential impact and benefits of Barrick's digital transformation.
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: failure to comply with environmental and health and safety laws and regulations; 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; risks associated with the implementation of Barrick's digital transformation initiative; timing of receipt of, or failure to comply with, necessary permits and approvals; changes in national and local government legislation, taxation, controls or regulations and/or changes in the administration of laws, policies and practices; risks associated with working with partners in jointly controlled assets; increased costs and physical risks, including extreme weather events and resource shortages, related to climate change. 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 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.
INVESTOR CONTACTS: Daniel Oh
Senior Vice President, Investor Engagement and Governance
+1 416 307-7474
MEDIA CONTACT: Andy Lloyd
Senior Vice President, Communications
+1 416 307-7414