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Covid-19 Response

Covid-19

Strong Structure, Partnership Culture Drive Prompt and Effective Pandemic Response

Barrick has provided more than $20 million in support to its host communities, much of it in the form of medical supplies and equipment.
Barrick has provided more than $20 million in support to its host communities, much of it in the form of medical supplies and equipment.

 

A fit-for-purpose management structure coupled with its deeply embedded health and welfare commitment enabled Barrick to buffer the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its business, people and communities as well as to provide vital support to its host governments.

President and chief executive Mark Bristow says the company’s flattened and regionally devolved management formation provided the ideal platform for immediate site-appropriate action and swift engagement with local stakeholders.

“Caring for the wellbeing of our employees and communities is a key characteristic of the Barrick DNA. Our financial strength, well-established prevention practices and procedures, and the experience we gained from dealing with two Ebola pandemics around our African operations stood us in good stead as we faced this new and unprecedented challenge,” he says.

“At all our sites, strict access, screening, sanitation and isolation measures were implemented and through our community engagement channels, we also took the lead in introducing these protocols, supported by education programs, to our neighbours. The provision of rapid antibody testing kits to local clinics and hospitals was particularly valuable in helping them to manage the pandemic’s initial onslaught.”

 

Reusable face masks issued across Barrick’s Africa and Middle East operations to employees, and various members of our communities, were proudly sourced from members within our local communities. These reusable face masks are not only associated with the protection of our employees and community members, but also with providing a sustainable source of income to our host communities. To date, we have proudly sourced approximately 50,000 reusable face masks from our local community suppliers. Together we can beat this.
Reusable face masks issued across Barrick’s Africa and Middle East operations to employees, and various members of our communities, were proudly sourced from members within our local communities. These reusable face masks are not only associated with the protection of our employees and community members, but also with providing a sustainable source of income to our host communities. To date, we have proudly sourced approximately 50,000 reusable face masks from our local community suppliers. Together we can beat this.
The Kibali mine, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, hosted a mini “Motorcycle Rally” on October 15 with support of the local motor-taxi associations, which coincided with Global Handwashing Day. The In-Reach Covid-19 public transport awareness campaign was designed to encourage the transport sector to become more involved and work together in the implementation of the Covid-19 preventative measures, whilst transporting passengers in the local region.
The Kibali mine, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, hosted a mini “Motorcycle Rally” on October 15 with support of the local motor-taxi associations, which coincided with Global Handwashing Day. The In-Reach Covid-19 public transport awareness campaign was designed to encourage the transport sector to become more involved and work together in the implementation of the Covid-19 preventative measures, whilst transporting passengers in the local region.

Barrick’s group sustainability executive, Grant Beringer, says that to date the company has provided more than $20 million in support to its host communities, much of it in the form of medical supplies and equipment. In addition, some of its businesses have prepaid taxes to ease the pandemic’s pressure on their host countries’ economies.

In the Dominican Republic, Pueblo Viejo prepaid $113 million to the tax authorities, bringing its total tax payments to the government to more than $2 billion since 2013. In Mali, the Loulo-Gounkoto complex made an early tax and royalty payment of $20 million and in Côte d’Ivoire, Tongon prepaid $5 million. In Nevada, the state legislature has approved an offer by Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) to prepay net proceeds tax as a Covid-19 relief measure. Under this arrangement, NGM expects to pay $170 million to the state by March 2021. In addition, NGM has chosen not to take up the option of deferring payroll tax payments amounting to $40 million. Deferral of these payments is allowed under US legislation aimed at supporting businesses through the pandemic.

“We recognize the importance our tax contribution makes to Nevada’s economy and NGM is stepping up to support the state at a time when other businesses there find themselves in financial distress,” says Bristow.

“In Nevada, as elsewhere in our global operations, our aid has not been prompted by self-interested commercial considerations, but by Barrick’s foundational philosophy of partnership, which in this time of crisis has again demonstrated its value to our stakeholders.”

 

Barrick Lumwana handed over their second batch of Covid-19 medical supplies and equipment to the North Western Provincial and District Administration on May 26, 2020, during a colourful ceremony held at Lumwana Copper Mine in Zambia.
Barrick Lumwana handed over their second batch of Covid-19 medical supplies and equipment to the North Western Provincial and District Administration on May 26, 2020, during a colourful ceremony held at Lumwana Copper Mine in Zambia.
Various Covid-19 awareness sessions continue to be hosted at the schools in the community adjacent to Kibali Gold Mine in the DRC. The sessions include interactive discussions with children about the preventative measures, and face masks are also distributed.
Various Covid-19 awareness sessions continue to be hosted at the schools in the community adjacent to Kibali Gold Mine in the DRC. The sessions include interactive discussions with children about the preventative measures, and face masks are also distributed.

Beringer notes that Barrick operates in 12 countries, each with its own culture and at different stages of economic development. Consequently, aid was tailored to their particular needs in consultation with their governments.

“In Latin America, support has been focused on infrastructural and equipment needs. In Africa, the emphasis has been on improving existing healthcare facilities and capacity. Where financial donations were made, we engaged thoroughly with the governments to identify specific requirements and assisted them in sourcing equipment and supplies. In the DRC, we converted Kibali’s Ebola isolation centre into a 100-patient Covid-19 treatment facility tailored to government guidelines. In North America we sought to stimulate local economies, for example by donating vouchers to employees that are only redeemable at stores and service providers in the local community. NGM has also established a fund to help local businesses impacted by the pandemic,” he says.

“The commitments our sites made to community investment and development prior to the Covid-19 outbreak remain intact and are being fulfilled in conjunction with our pandemic support programs. These include major projects such as the Durba road in the DRC and the shift to local contractors and suppliers in Tanzania.”

At the group level, all Barrick’s significant expansion projects remain on track, with internal teams having been trained to lessen reliance on external contractors. Among these are the solar power programs in West Africa and Nevada, the expansion of Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic, the Bulyanhulu underground project in Tanzania, and the Goldrush and Turquoise Ridge developments in Nevada.

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