Menu
Home  >  Sustainability  >  Social & Economic Development

Social & Economic Development

Social & Economic Development

We contribute to the social and economic development of our host countries and communities.

We know building and maintaining a social licence to operate is a critical factor in the success and long term sustainability of our business. There are three main principles we follow to generate our licence to operate. These are simple concepts in theory, but it is their execution that defines success or failure:

  • The primacy of partnership — This means that we invest in real partnerships with mutual responsibility. It is not always easy, but it is at the heart of our approach.
  • Sharing the benefits — We hire and buy local wherever possible; this injects and keeps money in local communities and our host countries. It also builds capacity and creates additional opportunity.
  • Engaging and listening to stakeholders — In 2020, we contributed more than $8.4 billion in economic value in-country across 13 countries through payments and remittances to governments, employees and suppliers, and through community investments.

Highlights in 2020

79% water recycled and reused vs target of 75%

$12.1 billion of total economic contributions in 2020

0.34 LTIFR 32% improvement on 2019

$26.5 million invested in community development projects in 2020

1.68 TRIFR 25% improvement on 2019

$1.8 billion in taxes, royalties and dividends to host governments in 2020

All sites certified to ISO 14001: 2015

$30 million in Covid-19 support for communities in 2020

CDCs (Community Development Committees) established at all operational sites

+$300 million in advanced taxes and royalties paid to support our host governments’ Covid-19 recovery to date

8 independent tailings reviews conducted across 6 operational mines and 2 closure sites

+$1.7 billion in tax and excise revenue paid to the PNG Government since mining at Porgera began in 1990

+$4.5 billion spent with host country suppliers

$4.5 billion to local and national vendors in 2020

Emissions reduction target updated to 30% by 2030 against a 2018 baseline

Largest taxpayer in Dominican Republic, contributing 5% of the country’s total tax revenue in 2020

Supporting socio-economic development is an integral part of our contribution to local communities and host countries

Groundbreaking ceremony for the repair of the La Javilla-La Hondonada rural road in Zambrana, Dominican Republic. The repair of the road was a collaborative project between Barrick Pueblo Viejo and the Zambrana Municipal District.
Groundbreaking ceremony for the repair of the La Javilla-La Hondonada rural road in Zambrana, Dominican Republic. The repair of the road was a collaborative project between Barrick Pueblo Viejo and the Zambrana Municipal District.
A community development committee meeting held at North Mara in Tanzania. This is the first committee of its kind at North Mara and was established shortly after Barrick assumed operational control of the mine.
A community development committee meeting held at North Mara in Tanzania. This is the first committee of its kind at North Mara and was established shortly after Barrick assumed operational control of the mine.
Vegetable farmers from Argentina’s Jachal community with seedlings from Barrick. The seedlings were donated as part of Barrick’s 'fresh vegetables' supply program launched in 2018.
Vegetable farmers from Argentina’s Jachal community with seedlings from Barrick. The seedlings were donated as part of Barrick’s 'fresh vegetables' supply program launched in 2018.

The primacy of partnership

Most companies say that partnership is important to their business. At Barrick, we mean it. Our ability to form and maintain partnerships is just as important to our success as our geological know-how or engineering expertise.

Our approach to partnership is epitomized by the CDC model which we use at each mine. Grounded in the belief that no one knows the needs of local communities better than the communities themselves, the role of the CDC is to allocate the community development and investment budget to those initiatives most desired by the local community.

CDC members are elected and comprise a mix of local leaders (such as village chiefs or mayors), community members and representatives of women and youth groups, as well as a representative from Barrick – though we have just one seat at the table. While self-directed, the CDC model is underpinned and guided by the following core principles:

Priority-based Budgets
The community investment budget for each mine is informed by community priorities rather than based on mine production levels.

Five Investment Focus Areas
Projects and initiatives approved by any CDC fall within our five focused sustainable development categories: Education; Health; Food; Water; and Local Economic Development.

Self-Sustaining
Any project should aim to be sustainable and self-sufficient over the long term.

Deliver Benefit to Operations
Projects should also return some benefit to our mines. For example, investments in anti-malaria programs in the community not only strive to eliminate the scourge of malaria from our host communities in sub-Saharan Africa but also help to reduce worker absenteeism, up to 25% of which is attributable to malaria.

Third Party Involvement
Wherever possible we partner with public and private sector specialists to maximize community development and align with regional and national government development plans. This helps to drive additional investment, add scale to projects and multiply the positive impacts.

Following the merger with Randgold at the start of 2019, we set a group target for all operational sites to have a CDC in place by the end of 2020, and this was achieved by the middle of the year.

Investment Themes

Education

At NGM, we entered a two-year partnership with the Nevada Department of Education and Discover Education to bring high-quality online education content to students across Nevada. This included a $2.2 million investment alongside the Nevada Department of Education to provide students, educators and families access to Discover Education's instructional resources.

Access to Health Care

Despite the Porgera mine being in care and maintenance since April 2020, we continued to provide support to the Paiam hospital near the Porgera Joint Venture in Papua New Guinea, following our significant investment in 2019 to rehabilitate the hospital. Paiam hospital is the only recognized teritary-level healthcare facility in the Porgera Valley Region and treats approximately 2,000 patients each day.

Food Security

At the North Mara mine in Tanzania, the CDC has continued to support the development and expansion of the Kemanyanki poultry project. The project was estabslihed in 2019 and is run by the local youth association, supplying eggs to the North Mara mine and the local community.

Near the Veladero mine in Argentina, we continued to work with the catering contractor ARAMARK to promote and increase local agricultural production during 2020. This included providing local communities with a vegetable washing and drying tunnel machine. The washing tunnel increases the number of vegetables local producers are able to sell to market.

Water

In 2020, nine community water sources were built and equiped for communities near the Loulo-Gounkoto Complex in Mali, and a further 10 for communities near Kibali in the DRC. In Tanzania at Buzwagi, equipment was provided for a water reticulation system at the Mwendakulima health centre, while work commenced on the building for a major water supply system for the village of Tongon in Côte d'Ivoire. This project is expected to be completed in 2021. In Argentina near the Veladero mine, two new drinking water plants were constructed in the towns of Las Flores and Rodeo.

Local Economic Development

In Argentina near the Veladero mine, we supported a number of business incubator programs for local entrepreneurs. These programs provide attendees with training on business operations and standards. Businesses that benefited include the San Cayetano Bakery, a bakery run by a collective of local housewives, and Iglesian Furniture, a family owned custom furniture builder. Economic development and support also underpinned our response to Covid-19 — for example at Hemlo, we provied our employees with 'Chamber Checks' which are vouchers that can be redeemed at local shops and restaurants.

Establishing CDCs at North Mara and Pueblo Viejo

We resolutely believe that no one knows the needs of local communities better than those communities themselves. That is why at each of our operational sites, we have established CDCs with the local community. It was a model we developed, tested and have realized significant two-way benefits from over 25 years working in Africa at legacy Randgold.

That success in delivering robust community relations is also why implementing a CDC at North Mara was one of our highest priorities when we acquired the minority shareholder interest in the former Acacia Mining plc in September 2019. When we assumed operational control of North Mara, it had a legacy of extremely strained relations with the local community, evidenced by more than 80 unresolved community grievances, some of which were a number of years old.

By the end of 2019, we had established a CDC at North Mara and a year later, while still in its infancy, it has helped to drive improved community relations. In terms of economic development and opportunity creation, the CDC has funded a poultry farming project run by the local youth association. The project now supplies eggs to the mine, delivering vital additional income to the community.

Similarly, at our Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic, we introduced CDCs for three communities near the mine in 2020. As part of the establishment process, each CDC signed a Charter which sets out the role and responsibilities of the CDC for the delivery of community development programs and projects. The Charter is based on principles of shared responsibility and lays the groundwork for strengthened community relations and partnership going forward.

"This step of forming Community Development Committees will create the conditions for initiating true development of Zambrana communities, especially in those communities near the mine,” says Maxima Ant. Rosa Vasquez, President of CDC - Zambrana Down, one of the CDCs for the Pueblo Viejo mine.

North Mara General Manager Luiz Correia inspects the Kemanyanki Group Poultry Farm which supplies eggs
to the mine and local community. The farm was one of the first community projects born from the North
Mara CDC and is run by the local youth council. This photo was taken before the Covid-19 pandemic.
North Mara General Manager Luiz Correia inspects the Kemanyanki Group Poultry Farm which supplies eggs to the mine and local community. The farm was one of the first community projects born from the North Mara CDC and is run by the local youth council. This photo was taken before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tackling the scourge of malaria and HIV

Diseases such as malaria and HIV can hamper the social and economic development of our host communities, particularly in the remote parts of sub-Saharan Africa where we have a number of operations. These illnesses can also negatively impact our operations. Malaria, for example, can account for as much as 25% of all worker absences in Africa. Working to reduce and eliminate these diseases from our communities is therefore not only an important part of our community health strategy, but it also delivers benefits to the business.

Our African operations where malaria and HIV are endemic have focused prevention programs in place. The anti-malaria program includes distributing insecticide impregnated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying and larvaciding on site and within a 10km radius of each of our mines, providing insect repellent to night shift workers and prophylactic medication during the high transmission season.

We also work to educate workers and emphasize behaviour change to avoid mosquito bites and minimize breeding sites. In total, we spent more than $900,000 on anti-malaria initiatives in 2020. We monitor the success of the program by tracking our malaria incidence rate and have a target to reduce malaria incidence by 5% year on year. In 2020, this was 18.01% compared to 19.23% in 2019, and we achieved our performance target for the year.

To protect our communities and workers from HIV/AIDS, we aim to partner with expert NGOs at each of our mines in Africa. The aim of these partnerships is to raise community awareness and provide access to voluntary counselling and testing (VCT), as well as treatments and monitoring. We aim to increase the number of VCTs we conduct each year. As part of our HIV/AIDS program in 2020, we distributed 482,471 free condoms and our clinics provided 11,833 free VCTs.

Our program is aligned to the UNAIDS Fast-Track Strategy, which aims to reduce new HIV infections and AIDS related deaths by 90% by 2030, compared to a 2010 baseline. The strategy is underpinned by ensuring that 90% of employees are aware of their HIV status, 90% of those positive are under HIV treatment, and 90% of those under treatment have viral suppression.

The indoor spraying team at Bulyanhulu gold mine. Barrick has rolled out an effective malaria prophylactic campaign
to its assets in Tanzania, following our acquisition of the minority shareholder interest in Acacia in September 2019.
The indoor spraying team at Bulyanhulu gold mine. Barrick has rolled out an effective malaria prophylactic campaign to its assets in Tanzania, following our acquisition of the minority shareholder interest in Acacia in September 2019.

During 2020, we invested over $26 million in community development projects at our mines. We track our community development spend to ensure that the communities closest to our operations receive their rightful share of the benefits from our presence in their community and the development of their national resource.

Nevada’s I-80 Fund offers financial lifeline to local businesses

Like many parts of the world, the local economy surrounding NGM was hit hard by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Long-standing community businesses from beauty salons to builders faced devastating impacts and the threat of closure.

In response, NGM launched several initiatives, including the innovative I-80 Fund. Beginning in July, this program provided vital support through low-interest small business loans, with the ultimate goal of easing the burden on NGM’s host communities until the economy reopened. The Fund offered the chance to rebuild, and even strengthen, the local economy in the wake of the pandemic. Businesses like popular ice cream parlour Sacha’s Sugar Shack in Eureka have said the support is a lifeline. “My business was just getting on its feet when Covid-19 hit, and we were shut down. The loan from the I-80 Fund made it possible for me to keep my business. If not for this Fund, I would’ve had to close my doors permanently,” says Sacha’s Sugar Shack owner Sacha Olson.

A partnership approach is central to the Fund. The loans are administered through the Rural Nevada Development Corporation (RNDC) non-profit with NGM providing a $5 million starting investment. Other industry partners, such as the NV Energy Foundation, Cyanco and Small Mine Development have also contributed.

The intention of the I-80 Fund is twofold. Initially, it focused on disaster relief and recovery loans for established small businesses impacted by Covid-19, with loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, and a low 2% interest rate. Currently, the program has moved into its second phase, whereby the Fund will now be used for small business development loans, which will help stimulate and support economic long term growth across northern Nevada.

Following its launch in July, the I-80 Fund approved a total of 15 loan applications in 2020 worth over $1.5 million. These included support for a diverse set of local businesses ranging from those in education to fitness and car washing.

“We want to see our communities and the State of Nevada not only recover from these challenging times, but come out of this crisis stronger than before,” said Greg Walker, NGM Executive Managing Director.

Barrick has previous experience in facilitating microfinance loans across emerging markets, and during 2020, we set up similar Covid-19 support funds in the DRC and in Latin America.

Chamber checks

In addition to the I-80 Fund, NGM has offered other financial stimuli to local communities on top of maintaining its usual community investment program. In April 2020, NGM issued each of its 7,000+ employees $150 in Chamber Checks. Chamber Checks are notes issued by local Chambers of Commerce, redeemable at member businesses in the same way a gift certificate would be.

The program provided $1.1 million of financial stimulus to local businesses in northern Nevada.

Sacha’s Sugar Shack, an ice cream/deli shop in Eureka, Nevada,
was a beneficiary of the I-80 Fund launched by Barrick to financially
assist local businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.
Sacha’s Sugar Shack, an ice cream/deli shop in Eureka, Nevada, was a beneficiary of the I-80 Fund launched by NGM to financially assist local businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

Movic, our local Tanzanian partner, conducts quality steel fabrication and pipework in our workshop to support the Bulyanhulu plant refurbishment.
Movic, our local Tanzanian partner, conducts quality steel fabrication and pipework in our workshop to support the Bulyanhulu plant refurbishment.
Barrick president and CEO Mark Bristow engaging students from the Barrick-funded agricultural college near the Loulo-Gounkoto mine in Mali.  We believe the most effective community engagement is managed and delivered at the local level.
Barrick president and CEO Mark Bristow engaging students from the Barrick-funded agricultural college near the Loulo-Gounkoto mine in Mali. We believe the most effective community engagement is managed and delivered at the local level.

Sharing the benefits

We believe that our host countries and communities must benefit from the development and mining of their national assets. How we create value and deliver social and economic development for our host countries and communities is based on four key pillars: paying our fair share of taxes; prioritizing local hiring; prioritizing local buying; and investing in community-led development initiatives.

The taxes, royalties and dividends, as well as taxes we pay on behalf of others, provide significant income for our host countries and help to fund vital services and infrastructure.

We want to pay the right amount of tax in our countries of operation and believe the taxes we pay reflect our profitability and success as a business. Our approach to tax and tax planning is set out in detail in our Tax Policy (available in the Sustainability section of our website), which summarizes our commitment to comply with the laws and practices of all the countries in which we operate, deal with the authorities openly and with integrity, and ensure our tax planning is based on reasonable interpretations of the law and aligned with our economic activities. Simply put, our approach is to pay the right amount of tax, in the right place, at the right time, and to transparently report all payments we make. This simple policy is underpinned by the following:

  • Tax governance – The tone is set from the top and our President and CEO is regularly apprised of tax matters through our weekly Executive Committee meeting. Tax matters are discussed at both the quarterly Audit & Risk Committee meetings as well as Board meetings. The executive team and the Board are actively involved in reviewing all major tax matters.
  • Tax Policy – We have a clear and detailed Tax Policy which is owned by the business and is carefully considered against our day-to-day decision making.
  • Relationship with tax authorities – We are committed to complying with the tax laws of all the countries in which we operate. Where a matter is not clear, we seek the advice of qualified tax professionals and, where appropriate, seek guidance from the tax authorities. We seek open and transparent relationships with the tax authorities in our host countries. Where disputes arise in interpretation of tax law, we approach the matter in a professional and transparent manner.
  • Tax planning – Our tax planning is based on reasonable interpretations of the law and is aligned with our economic activities.
  • Managing tax risks – Tax rules change regularly and disputes can arise from their interpretation. We monitor and manage tax risks through employing appropriately qualified professionals in all our key jurisdictions who report to local financial leaders in the operations as well as to the corporate tax group. Through this mechanism, we ensure risks are understood and managed locally and are also monitored and reported to the executive team.
  • Tax transparency and disclosure – In addition to complying with mandatory disclosure regimes such as the Canadian Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) and the OECD BEPS Action 13 Country-by-Country Reporting, we also seek to comply with voluntary transparency regimes where appropriate. We were the first Canadian mining company to be a signatory to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and we annually publish our payments to our host governments as required by ESTMA.

Paying taxes is an important way that Barrick contributes to economic development in the countries and communities in which we operate. We paid a total of $1.8 billion in taxes, royalties and dividend payments to the governments of our host countries in 2020.

Advanced tax and royalty payments to help our partners in the Dominican Republic

Last year was like no other and countries such as the Dominican Republic, where our Pueblo Viejo mine is based, suffered significant hardship from Covid-19, which was exacerbated by the country’s reliance on the tourism industry. That’s why, in the spirit of partnership with our host country, we offered to pay some of our taxes and royalties in advance.

In total, Pueblo Viejo prepaid more than $200 million to tax authorities in 2020, bringing its total tax and royalty payments to the government to more than $2 billion since 2013. These contributions are helping support the Dominican government’s efforts to combat the health and economic crisis caused by Covid-19. Pueblo Viejo will not receive any discount or charge interest on the advance tax and royalty payments.

Alongside these measures, Pueblo Viejo has stepped in with a further $1 million of measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the communities around the mine and beyond. These include the donation of tests, pulsometers, masks, gowns, oxygen, antibacterial gel, non-perishable food kits and 83,000 gallons of alcohol for sanitization.

Pueblo Viejo also paid $20 million in indirect taxes in 2020, resulting mainly from withholding taxes for salaries, wages and payments to foreign suppliers.

Our efforts in the Dominican Republic are not isolated. We have also made early tax and royalty payments to the governments of Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and the US state of Nevada, providing economic assistance in this difficult time because supporting the communities in which we operate is at the heart of our business.

The jobs we create provide valuable training and employment in regions where opportunities are often scarce.

Our recruitment strategy is to employ talented individuals from the communities closest to our mines and provide them with world-class training and genuine opportunities to progress. If we are unable to find staff with the appropriate skills from the local community, we seek to recruit from the state (or wider province), then host country nationals, before finally looking internationally. It is a strategy that enables us to build an efficient and effective workforce, at a competitive cost base, and plays a critical role in building strong community relations and a secure environment for our operations.

We require all our mines to develop localization plans that identify, create and maximize opportunities for local people to work at the mine. We track and report the percentage of nationals employed to the E&S Committee each quarter, and have a group level target for 97% of our workforce and 80% of site senior management to be host country nationals.

The priority we place on buying goods and services from local communities and host countries leverages our supply chain and multiplies the economic benefits of our presence.

We see our supply chain as an enormous opportunity to achieve a central goal of our sustainability strategy, which is to contribute to local economic development and facilitate the growth of thriving and self-sustaining businesses that can succeed long after the mine gates have closed. To the extent practical, we prioritize the use of local suppliers. We consider host country-based companies to be those with at least 51% equity ownership by a citizen or have at least 80% executive and senior management positions filled by host country nationals.

Similar to our approach to local employment, where the products or quality we require is not immediately available in the local community, we look for vendors in the province or wider region, then host country operators, before finally looking to international companies.

Where skills and standards are lacking, we also take a longer-term view and our site supply teams work with local companies to build capacity and improve standards – either through mentorship programs, skills and business training opportunities, or by providing loans to cover the cost of materials needed.

In 2020, we procured goods and services worth $847 million with suppliers from communities closest to our operations. In total, we spent $4.5 billion on goods and services from local and host country suppliers. This equated to 75% of our total procurement spend for the year.

Managing supply chain risk

While leveraging our supply chain is one of the best opportunities we have to support sustainable development, it is critical that our suppliers follow safe and ethical practices. We have developed processes to make sure our suppliers meet our standards and to identify potential risks. These steps are included in figure 10.

Pre-contract due diligence

We conduct due diligence on potential vendors to gain an initial understanding of their business and risk profile. Aspects considered include financial health, human rights protection, safety, environmental management and history of malpractice. Pre-qualification checks undertaken include prohibited party as well as anti-bribery and anti-corruption screening.

Additional reviews or advanced due diligence procedures are carried out for potential ‘high-risk’ suppliers and post engagement operating controls are implemented where necessary. These include suppliers who fall into the following categories:

  • Involved in the sale and transport of cyanide or explosives;
  • Where we anticipate a large spend;
  • Based in high-risk jurisdictions; and
  • Linked to, referred by or controlled by government officials or agencies.

There may from time to time be additional categories to determine the risk potential.

Our standard contracts include clauses that commit vendors to uphold our core sustainability policies such as our Conflict-Free Gold, Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption and Human Rights policies, as well as our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and our Supplier Code of Ethics.

Ongoing monitoring

Throughout the contract life, our site and regional procurement teams work with vendors to identify, evaluate and manage risks. We conduct periodic risk assessments based on a rotating and risk-based schedule. For our largest or high-risk vendors, checks and risk assessments may be undertaken annually, depending on the risk profile.

Our Supply Chain

Pre-contract due diligence

  • Onboarding with baseline due diligence on all vendors. Aspects considered include: financial health, human rights protection, safety, environmental management and history of malpractice.
  • Additional checks and controls implemented for potential ‘high-risk’ or ‘Tier 1’ suppliers.
  • All standard contracts include clauses with sustainability commitments in areas such as anti-corruption and human rights.

Post-contract monitoring

  • Ongoing training provided to suppliers to build skills and capacity.
  • Risk assessments on a rotating and risk-based schedule.
  • Hotline to report any supply chain concerns.
  • Potential due diligence checks on an annual basis for Tier 1 suppliers.

Production

  • Barrick’s mines.

Refining

  • Onward distribution to accredited refineries and gold markets.

Downstream users

  • Gold used in industries such as jewellery, electronics, as well as bars and coins.

 

Building capacity and raising standards

We realize that vendors from our local communities may not immediately meet the standards we expect. Rather than not use these vendors, we see it as an important opportunity to develop local skills, increase capacity and improve performance. It is a strategy that takes time but ultimately helps to diversify local economies and reduce dependence on the mine.

Partnership workshop at Loulo-Gounkoto

During 2020, we developed and are running an accelerator program to build the capacity of local suppliers near our Loulo-Gounkoto complex in Mali. The program, which runs for 13 months, seeks to improve the management processes and service quality of local suppliers with the ultimate aim of building trust in the quality of local suppliers by the wider mining industry. Selected companies are provided with:

  • Organizational assessments;
  • Training sessions;
  • Business coaching and mentoring; and
  • Access to expert advice from lawyers and accountants.

In 2020, 12 local companies were selected to be part of the program.

Developing anti-corrosion skills in the Dominican Republic

The process plant at our Pueblo Viejo mine requires regular corrosion control painting. During 2020, we worked with and trained local painters in corrosion control skills, with the aim that over time, local businesses can take responsibility for the painting of the plant and similar work.

Revving up local economic engines in the Dominican Republic

Alongside heavy machinery, our mines also have a large number of light vehicles on site. These require regular maintenance and upkeep. During 2020 at our Pueblo Viejo mine, our supply chain team identified a workshop in the nearby community of Cotui, which can service our light vehicles including the repair of transmissions. The workshop employs four local people, and in 2020 carried out more than $30,000 of repairs for us.

New security firm in Tanzania

In 2019, when we took operational control of the North Mara and Bulyanhulu mines in Tanzania, security services and forces were provided by an international security firm. During 2020, in line with our commitment to leverage our supply chain to maximize local economic development, we replaced the international firm with a 100% Tanzanian owned and managed security company, Nguvu Moja Security Services.

Nguvu Moja personnel have been fully trained in:

  • Basic legal principles regarding security and the legal framework in which they work;
  • Expected conduct and the effective use of equipment;
  • International Security and Human Rights Principles and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights; and
  • Barrick’s Human Rights Policy and Security Standards, including the new Use of Force standard.

Supporting businesses in Nevada

In Nevada, our focus is on using and supporting businesses with a presence along the I-80 corridor, and during 2020 we ran a number of initiatives to help build and develop our Nevadan supplier base. This includes:

  • Identifying and ringfencing certain goods and services that are only to be bought from local vendors;
  • Unbundling our capital projects to ensure that local companies can compete and subcontract for services (eg labor, equipment hire, welding and fabrication services); and
  • Subcontracting our freight and logistics services. We use Crane Worldwide Logistics (a North American company) for the bulk of our freight needs – 25% of our total freight spend through Crane is now with local Nevada carriers such as Maga Trucking, who now do our daily runs, and Capurro Trucking who are now responsible for our ore hauling.

Performance

In 2020, we contributed $8.4 billion in economic value to our host countries. This includes wages and benefits to over 40,000 employees and contractors, payments to suppliers, dividends, taxes and royalties paid, as well as over $26 million invested in community development projects. Further to this, we also provided an additional $30 million in direct Covid-19 related support to our communities and countries.

We recognize that the dollar value of investments made or the number of people employed are lagging indicators. We believe that an important part of our partnerships with our communities and host countries is tracking and transparently reporting these figures. Communities and governments expect to see benefits from the development of their resources and returns on development from our presence in their communities, and we need to be honest about what these returns are. Equally important, if the data shows us that the economic benefits and jobs are not reaching the local community or the country, we know something is wrong and we can work to fix it before our licence to operate is affected.

Listening to stakeholders

Our communities rightly expect the opportunity to contribute and participate in decisions that may affect them. We therefore work to establish transparent and participatory engagement mechanisms which help deliver timely information regarding mining operations, and to provide access to company representatives who listen to, and act on, community concerns. Effective engagement also provides a forum for the resolution of community grievances or to discuss the risks and opportunities linked to our mines in a fair and open manner.

Management approach

We believe the most effective community engagement is managed and delivered at the local level. We set out our commitment to developing strong community relations and positive engagement in our Social Performance Policy. We require our sites to:

Engagement
Engage with host communities through means that are culturally appropriate and transparent, and duly consider the circumstances of vulnerable persons and groups.

Management
Establish management systems for community relations in line with international and industry best practice, that help us identify and manage significant social risks and opportunities.

Structures
Establish context-appropriate engagement structures and systems to involve stakeholders in decisions that affect them, making our development initiatives more effective and sustainable over the long term.

Community engagement activities

Some of our community engagement activities include:

  • Annual risk, impact and opportunity assessments to provide site management with enough information to design, develop and implement community engagement strategies.
  • Dedicated site level resources responsible for on-the-ground day to day implementation of our community engagement work. The number of resources varies based on the local context. Smaller sites may have just a single officer, while the community team at Porgera in Papua New Guinea typically has more than 140 members.
  • Annual stakeholder engagement plans to map local stakeholders, including vulnerable groups. Our mines aim to consult and inform our local stakeholders in a timely manner about activities and operational matters that may impact them.
  • Monitoring and reporting on our performance to both internal and external stakeholders. Internal  channels through which community engagement is discussed include daily briefings onsite with department heads, weekly calls with regional leads and the Group Sustainability Executive, a weekly Executive Committee meeting and the quarterly E&S Committee meetings.
  • Grievance mechanisms to enable communities to formally lodge grievances. We track the number of community grievances lodged on a monthly and quarterly basis. This helps us understand and address any community concerns before they escalate. Our goal is to respond to all grievances lodged within 30 days of receipt, and to resolve all grievances through our grievance mechanism.

Resolving legacy grievances

The bulk of the open community grievances across our business flows from just two sites: 1) North Mara in Tanzania which had 84 open grievances at the start of October 2019 after Barrick assumed operational control; 2) Porgera in Papua New Guinea which had 447 open grievances at the end of 2018, just prior to the completion of the merger with Randgold when the new management team started.

Since then, a key priority for our management and site teams has been to understand and work to resolve these legacy grievances, and to improve relations between the mines and the community to reduce the number of grievances received at these sites each year. By the end of 2020, there were 19 open grievances at North Mara, six of which were legacy grievances, and 265 open grievances at Porgera.

Performance

The success of a grievance mechanism — or of a site’s relations with local communities — should not be measured by the number of grievances received. A lack of complaints may indicate a mechanism or company that is not trusted or deemed unapproachable by local stakeholders. Conversely, large numbers of grievances can indicate open lines of communication and robust community engagement activities.

However, by tracking the number and type of grievances, we can identify issues that are important to communities before they become social risks.

During 2020, we received a total of 368 grievances across the group. This is a significant reduction on the number received in 2019. However, this is partially because when we placed Porgera on temporary care and maintenance in April 2020, we had to close the grievance office. During 2021, we will continue to work to resolve the remaining legacy grievances at Porgera.

Resettlement

Resettling households is one of the most sensitive challenges a mining company and community face, and if not well planned and carefully managed, resettlement can damage relationships with the local community, harm our social licence to operate or result in regulatory action from the government.

As set out in our Social Performance Policy, our approach is to avoid, minimize or mitigate the need for resettlement. These documents are guided by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards, and compel us to:

  • Work to make sure that the affected parties are fully engaged in, and help to shape, the resettlement process; and
  • Improve or at least restore the relocated persons’ standard of living.

The starting point for any resettlement process is the establishment of a resettlement policy framework followed by a Public Participation Process (PPP). The PPP encourages the inclusion of any and all opinions and grievances in the compensation process. The results of the PPP are used for the development and implementation of a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP), which must be agreed to prior to any resettlement occurring. No significant resettlements took place at our mines in 2020.

Artisanal and small-scale mining

Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is a complex and widespread challenge faced across the gold mining industry. It is estimated that ASM provides livelihoods for up to 100 million people worldwide. However, it is often unregulated and associated with negative health, safety, human rights and environmental impacts.

ASM activity was present on or near the following sites in 2020: Pierina (Peru); Loulo-Gounkoto (Mali); Tongon (Côte d’Ivoire); Kibali (DRC); Porgera (Papua New Guinea); and Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi and North Mara (Tanzania). Our approach to ASM within our permits is based on the principle of no-conflicts, no-invasions and aligns with ICMM guidance. As practicably as possible, we work in partnership with our host communities, governments and specialist NGOs to develop mutually beneficial long term strategies to reduce or eliminate ASM. A key part of this approach includes working to develop alternative livelihood opportunities for ASM communities.