Mining is an energy-intensive business. From blasting and hauling to crushing and processing, energy is used at every stage of the mining process and represents a significant portion of our overall costs.

We also understand the important link between energy use and climate change. Barrick considers climate change to be a Company, community, and global concern. By effectively managing our energy use, we are able to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, achieve more efficient production, reduce our draw from local energy grids, and save a significant proportion of our direct mining costs. Managing our energy use is therefore a business imperative.


Our Approach

Conservation, energy efficiency and alternative energy sources form our core energy strategies. Barrick’s Energy Management Policy establishes requirements for the effective administration and control of all energy sources (fuel, power, explosives) used by the Company. Throughout the mining process, our approach to managing energy use and climate change is informed by our Environmental Management System and associated Standards.

As part of the Company’s energy strategy, Barrick has put in place a Five-Year Energy Plan with a goal of reducing energy costs by at least 10 percent. By the end of 2017, Barrick plans to conduct a climate change risk assessment and establish targets around climate change.1

Barrick understands the fundamental link between energy use and climate change and sees climate change as a Company, community, and global concern. We have endorsed the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) Position Statement on Climate Change and support placing a market price on GHG emissions.

1 These initiatives are still in the early stages of development and there are currently no specific targets in the Five Year Energy Plan other than reducing energy costs by 10%.

Our Progress

  • In 2016, we made significant progress towards our goal of reducing energy costs by 10% by 2019, by reducing our spending on energy by 45% from our 2014 baseline1, from $880 million in 2014 to $489 million in 2016.
  • Barrick has established an internal Climate Change Committee to build on its existing energy management plan and develop a comprehensive climate change strategy. The Committee is a cross-disciplinary group of leaders at Barrick established to manage climate change risks and opportunities that have the potential to impact our investors, stakeholders and operations. The Committee meets quarterly and includes Barrick’s Chief Financial Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Sustainability Officer and participants from Finance, Operations, Environment, Government Affairs, Legal and Evaluations.
  • In 2016, Barrick joined the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition – the first Canadian gold mining company to do so. The Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition is an international, voluntary partnership between businesses, governments, and civil society organizations. It aims to strengthen carbon-pricing policies, facilitate the integration of existing carbon-pricing policies, and provide platforms for carbon-pricing discussion and collaboration.
  • In 2016, Barrick developed a real-time Energy Management Information System (EMIS) pilot project at Pueblo Viejo that leverages our internal systems to provide dynamic dashboards on energy use, costs, GHG emissions, Mass-Energy Balances, drill-down capability to asset level information, and measurement and verification (M&V) capabilities to validate the actual savings from energy projects and data analytics. Lessons learned from this real- time pilot EMIS project can now be applied to other mines as part of the Digitization Initiative.
  • Barrick increased our total energy use to 44,228,302 GJ in 2016, compared to our 2014 baseline (44,183,211 GJ). In terms of intensity, Barrick actually reduced its energy intensity from 5.33 GJ/oz (2014 baseline) to 5.11 GJ/oz in 2016. In other words, Barrick was 4% more energy-efficient in producing gold in 2016 compared to 2014.  
  • Barrick increased our total GHG emissions to 3,462,064 tCO2e from our 2014 baseline (3,326,834 tCO2e). In terms of carbon intensity, it decreased from 662.6 kgCO2e/oz in 2014 to 660.9 kgCO2e/oz in 2016. The increase in emissions and decrease in carbon intensity is largely linked to increased material moved at the Pueblo Viejo mine, declines in grades at Turquoise Ridge increasing the amount of material moved and processed, increased material moved at Lumwana, and increased grid power carbon intensity (tCO2e/MWh) in the Northwest Power Pool (NWPP) region’s eGrid factor.
  • In 2016, approximately 36% percent of our electrical power, both self-generated and purchased, was sourced from renewables. Barrick is fortunate that in many of the areas (Zambia, Nevada, Peru, and Ontario) in which it mines, the grid-supplied power has a high level of renewable integration. For self-generating mines like Pueblo Viejo and Veladero, Barrick continues to look at efficiency improvements, fuel switching, connecting to the grid and renewables as a way to reduce the costs and carbon footprint associated with our power needs.
  • In 2016, Barrick received an A- Leadership score for its CDP Climate Change Response. Through this questionnaire, Barrick discloses climate change data including how it manages carbon-related issues, such as governance, strategy, initiatives, and greenhouse gas emissions.

1 As part of Barrick’s energy strategy, the Company has established a baseline for energy use and GHG emissions. This baseline does not include sites divested or joint-ventured since 2014. As a result, all changes in energy use or emissions reported against the baseline represent changes in performance, not reductions based on divestment or changes in operational control.

Priorities in 2017

  • Barrick’s newly formed Climate Change Committee is composed of multi-disciplinary senior-level executives working together to broaden Barrick’s Energy Strategy and integrate more effectively the potential impact on climate change. As part of this work, Barrick will introduce a revised Climate Change Strategy Framework and Climate Change Policy. This strategy will address both GHG reductions from energy management initiatives and adaptation to climate change risks.
  • Barrick is working to set targets around climate change in 2017. As part of the target-setting exercise, the company is developing scenarios outlining the mine plans, processing requirements and expected energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. From these scenarios, we will work to identify initiatives that can be put in place to lower our carbon emissions and our targeted emissions. 
  • We will continue our efforts to reduce energy costs by at least 10 percent, in line with our Five-Year Energy Plan.

Barrick’s Five-Year Energy Plan

In 2014, Barrick developed a Five-Year Energy Plan with the goal of reducing energy costs by at least 10 percent. 

To accomplish this, the company is exploring a range of energy initiatives for the short, medium and long term, including fuel substitution, renewable energy opportunities, lighting upgrades (such as moving to LEDs), the use of variable-frequency drives (VFDs), energy contracts, ore movement options, compressed air, smart grids, mine electrification, biofuels and waste heat recovery.

In addition to these initiatives, Barrick has implemented a Monthly Energy Reporting System (available to all staff via Barrick’s intranet) that provides detailed insights into our energy usage, costs, areas of opportunity, key performance indicators, and the ability to track and validate energy savings.

Considering GHG Emissions in Business Decisions
In order for potential financial risks associated with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to be appropriately considered, Barrick includes the potential impact of carbon emissions when making material decisions about projects or operations. For example, when making acquisitions, environmental due diligence may include the calculation of a carbon footprint. For new projects, an energy study is performed and includes optimization of project energy efficiencies and an assessment of carbon emissions associated with potential power supply options. Finally, on site projects, as part of the economic analysis, Barrick calculates the potential financial impact of carbon emissions. In countries where the price of carbon is known, Barrick applies the appropriate $/tCO2 factor. However, in countries that are still developing a carbon market (carbon tax, cap & trade), Barrick applies a “shadow” price of carbon to financial modeling.

Goal 7: Affordable & Clean Energy

Harnessing Renewable Energy from Wind, Solar, and Biofuels

Energy Initiatives

Over the past several years, all of our operations have conducted energy self-assessments to identify areas for improvement in energy efficiency and conservation. We have identified a wide variety of opportunities that range from increased energy awareness education, to improved ventilation fan monitoring, to enhanced fuel-management programs.

Many of the opportunities that have been identified will be able to be implemented without additional capital. For example, Barrick has begun negotiating non-capital–based strategies and entering partnerships that will allow us to use the energy savings stream from a project to finance the project. This will reduce the need for capital, expedite the implementation of projects, provide new resources and increase the number of projects that can be implemented to reduce energy costs and GHG emissions.

Fuel switching is another strategy we are exploring that will enable a site to reduce costs with little to no capital investment. For example, the Quisqueya I power plant, at the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic, is a dual-fuel system that can operate on heavy fuel oil, diesel, biofuels, or natural gas. We are currently evaluating a switch from heavy fuel oil to liquid natural gas, which would reduce operating cost while lowering our GHG emissions.

Similar efforts are being made in regard to switching haul trucks from diesel to natural gas (liquid natural gas [LNG] or high-density compressed natural gas [HDCNG]) at our Nevada operations to reduce operating costs, and GHG and particulate matter emissions.

Detailed Energy Workshops held at our mine sites have identified and quantified many new opportunities ranging from LED lighting, variable frequency drives and compressor plant improvements to heat recovery for power production, renewable energy opportunities and improved material movement systems.  

In the long term, we are looking for opportunities to develop energy efficient, “low-carbon” mines, which can similarly drive down costs and emissions. For example, current diesel haul truck technology for moving materials has a high-energy intensity compared to electric-based options like conveyors and rail (up to 75 percent in potential energy savings). Electric-based material movement opportunities also open up new renewable energy and regeneration-based complementary strategies, as well.

Goal 13: Climate Change

Hemlo’s Innovative Energy Conservation Program

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May 6, 2015 files/design/bodybg/our-approach.jpg
2014 Responsibility Report

Our vision is the generation of wealth through responsible mining — wealth for our owners, our people, and the countries and communities with which we partner.

World Gold Council MemberMember of ICMM

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