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Sustainability Review


It has been a significant year for Barrick. Following the completion of our merger with Randgold Resources we gained full control of new assets in Tanzania and the US and brought all of Barrick behind a new vision for sustainability. Our vision puts our contributions to social and economic development, health and safety, human rights and the environment at the heart of our business. We deliver this through deep and genuine partnerships with our stakeholders, including host governments, communities and our workforce.

We recognize that we must be a trusted long-term partner to be sustainable — and we must be sustainable to be successful.
Mark Bristow
President and CEO

2019 Highlights

+$9 billion in economic value distributed in 20191

Zero fatalities

Approximately $4 billion to national suppliers1

Zero Class 1vi (high significance) environmental incidents

21,869 jobs provided to host country nationals

97% of employees from host countries

Community development investment of $22.9 million

Water reused and recycled up to 73%

Committed to reducing GHG at least 10% by 2030


Water at Operations Recycled and Reused


Total Economic Value Contributed


Group Environmental Incidents

1 On a 100% basis.
2 Compared with 2018.
3 Consolidated figures for legacy Barrick and legacy Randgold in 2018. In July 2019, we formed and took operational control of Nevada Gold Mines, a joint venture with Newmont that combined our mining assets in Nevada. In September 2019, we took control of the mining assets of Acacia Mining plc. Accordingly, data from 2019 reflects performance from these assets starting July 1 and October 1, respectively. Therefore, data year-on-year may not be directly comparable.
4 Amount distributed to both host country and international stakeholders ($) (includes total payments to employees, total purchases, payments to governments and community investments). Figures are rounded and unaudited.
vi, vii Please see endnotes (PDF)


To translate our sustainability ambitions into practical steps on the ground we have identified seven key sustainability principles that guide our actions every day, at every site. We have also put governance in place to entrench the sound management of material environmental, social and governance issues in all our business decision-making.

We empower local communities
We invest in social and economic opportunities including education, water and healthcare and we form locally elected Community Development Committees to help host communities shape and deliver sustainable development on the ground.

Local hiring and buying
We prioritize local hiring and buying
We build the skills and capacity of host country workers and vendors, to multiply our positive impact on local, regional and national economies.

We plan for closure at all stages
We rehabilitate our mine sites as we go and we invest in economic and environmental projects that can be sustained beyond the life of a mine.

We reduce our environmental impacts
Every site is expected to minimize energy and water use, manage waste and land safely and be a responsible steward of its natural environment.

We put safety first
Everyone on our mines, from a General Manager on a safety walk around to employees exercising their Stop Unsafe Work Authority, is part of an organization-wide goal of continuous improvement towards a zero-harm workplace.

We build and maintain genuine partnerships
We constantly work to form and maintain mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships with our core stakeholders including governments, local communities, shareholders and suppliers.

Business conduct
We conduct our business with integrity, transparency and fairness
Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics applies to all staff and contractors. We have zero tolerance of bribery and corruption in all forms. We transparently report on our sustainability performance and impacts.

Bottom-up sustainability governance

Given the different social and environmental contexts of each mine, we put day-to-day ownership of sustainability risks and opportunities in the hands of individual sites. Just as each site must manage its geological, operational and technical capabilities to meet our business objectives, it must also manage its own sustainability performance. To incentivize performance in sustainability, in 2020, 25% of the long-term incentives at Barrick will be tied to sustainability-related indicators.

The Environmental and Social (E&S) Oversight Committee, one of our most senior management-level bodies, holds quarterly meetings to review our sustainability performance and compliance with sustainability policies. The President and Chief Executive Officer, as chair of the E&S committee, connects site-level ownership of sustainability with our Board through quarterly reviews of the reports of the E&S committee with the Board's Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee. Sites are also supported by regular interaction and weekly reporting with the Group Sustainability Executive and specialist regional leads in environment, health and safety and community engagement and development. Our Board of Directors and its committees oversee our sustainability activities as part of their stewardship of business strategy and risk management.

Further details of our governance relating to sustainability is available in our annual Sustainability Report.

Our devolved management model extends beyond our mine gates, too. We are working to establish Community Development Committees (CDCs) at each of our mines, to empower local communities to allocate a community investment budget to those projects and initiatives they believe are most needed. Each CDC is elected and is made up of a mix of local leaders, community members, Barrick representatives and representatives from local women’s and youth groups.

The success of our sustainability strategy was demonstrated in late 2019 following the consolidation of our interest in the North Mara gold mine in Tanzania.

In September, when we took operational control, the mine suffered from generally poor relations with surrounding communities, so we prioritized the establishment of a CDC to oversee local community investment and start the long road to rebuilding trust between the mine and its surrounding residents. Acacia Mining plc, the previous owner of North Mara, was also locked in a dispute over taxes with the Tanzanian government. Since then, Barrick’s team has reached an agreement with the government for the resolution of all disputes and gives the authorities full visibility of, and participation in, the benefits of the mine. By showing our commitment to creating shared value, we are helping rebuild stakeholder relations in Tanzania.

Mark Bristow at a mass community gathering at Loulo-Gounkoto.

Mark Bristow at a mass community gathering at Loulo-Gounkoto.

Catalyzing economic development

At Barrick, we see our mines’ ability to create jobs and thriving economies, especially in low income areas, as the bedrock of our license to operate.

Barrick distributed over $9 billion in 2019 to our workforce, suppliers, host communities and beyond On a 100% basis. . And our contribution is not only financial: we prioritize local recruitment and training, and provided jobs for more than 21,869 host country nationals in 2019. Our support for local entrepreneurs saw us spend nearly $4 billion on goods and services from host country businesses in 2019 and we funded local suppliers to train in best practice standards in a range of sectors from catering to construction On a 100% basis .

Our investments in health and community-led development projects also make a tangible impact on people’s lives. This year, to name but a few, these projects helped tackle malaria in our Africa and Middle East region, reopened the Paiam hospital — the only recognized tertiary-level health care facility in the Porgera Valley in Papua New Guinea —and improved educational outcomes in all the countries we operate, including North America through, for example, the Western Shoshone Scholarship Foundation in Nevada.

Towards a zero harm workplace

The sustainability of our business depends on a strong safety culture that protects people and nature.

While we operated with zero fatalities in 2019 and saw Lost Time Injuries reduce in the Africa and Middle East region, our group-level safety performance was not good enough. Our Total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) Total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate (“TRIFR”) is a ratio calculated as follows: number of reportable injuries x 1,000,000 hours divided by the total number of hours worked. Reportable injuries include fatalities, lost time injuries, restricted duty injuries, and medically treated injuries. increased by 5% year-on-year, and our Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) rose from 0.46 to 0.50. In analyzing the incidents and frequencies, the combination of assets into Nevada Gold Mines in the North America region did impact our performance, and specific action is being implemented at the Nevada joint venture to improve its safety performance. In 2020, we aim to take a significant step towards a zero-harm workplace by working to certify the safety management systems at all operational mines to the ISO 45001 standard by the end of 2021. Currently three sites (Kibali, Tongon and Loulo-Gounkoto) are certified and we will be launching our Journey to Zero Harm program across the group.

Protecting natural capital

Our safety-first mindset also extends to our mines’ environmental management. Our mines have dedicated teams who work to make sure we manage and avoid any negative environmental impacts from mining. Where impacts cannot be avoided, we act to minimize and mitigate them and/or put appropriate rehabilitation measures in place to help restore the natural environment. By using natural resources and energy efficiently, recycling waste, and working to protect and rehabilitate biodiversity, we deliver significant cost savings to our business, reduce future liabilities and help build strong stakeholder relationships.

Each mine has a robust Environmental Management System in place, and we have a target for all these systems to be certified to the ISO 14001:2015 standard by the end of 2020. 76% of our operational sites are already certified and during 2019, our Lumwana mine in Zambia received its first ever certification. The Jabal Sayid mine in Saudi Arabia and the three former Acacia mines (Buzwagi, Bulyanhulu and North Mara) in Tanzania are the remaining mines set to be certified in 2020.

We performed well against several key environmental metrics in 2019. We had zero ‘Class 1’ (high significance) Class 1 - High Significance is defined as an incident that causes significant negative impacts on human health or the environment or an incident that extends onto publicly accessible land and has the potential to cause significant adverse impact to surrounding communities, livestock or wildlife. environmental incidents and 13 ‘Class 2’ (medium) Class 2 - Medium Significance is defined as an incident that has the potential to cause negative impact on human health or the environment but is reasonably anticipated to result in only localized and short-term environmental or community impact requiring minor remediation. incidents, a 56% decrease on 2018 During 2019, we reviewed and reclassified our 2018 environmental incidents against our new classification system. . We also surpassed our target to recycle or reuse over 70% of the water withdrawn at our mine sites, achieving 73% for the group. Managing water responsibly is one of the most critical parts of our sustainability strategy. By reducing the volume of fresh water we use and protecting water quality, we reduce our environmental footprint and maintain community and stakeholder support.

We understand the important link between energy use and greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. By effectively managing our energy use and implementing renewable energy solutions, we can reduce our draw from local energy grids, reduce our GHG emissions, achieve more efficient production and reduce direct mining costs. The company has updated its GHG emissions reduction target to achieve reductions of at least 10% by 2030 (against a 2018 baseline that combines legacy Barrick and Randgold data) while maintaining a steady ounce production profile. Barrick’s actions to achieve this target include increasing the proportion of renewable energy sources in the company’s energy mix and switching to cleaner energy sources.

In 2019, we progressed the conversion of the Quisqueya I power generation facility in the Dominican Republic from heavy fuel oil to natural gas. We expect the power plant to receive its first liquefied natural gas deliveries in Q1 2020. The conversion will help reduce the mine site’s power generation costs and GHG emissions by 30%. We also advanced a power transmission project at Veladero to connect the mine to clean grid power and started construction of a solar plant at Loulo-Gounkoto to reduce usage of our site thermal power generation plant in 2020.

In Nevada, we are implementing a plan to convert our coal-fired TS power plant to natural gas usage to significantly reduce its carbon footprint. The company continues to work to identify new opportunities for further reductions, and will regularly review and update its targets to integrate and reflect opportunities identified and realized. New solar projects are currently under consideration in Nevada and in the Dominican Republic.

The tragic tailings dam collapse at Brumadinho a year ago was a stark reminder of the catastrophic consequences should a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) fail and we have embraced the industry-wide call for greater transparency of tailings management. Barrick currently manages 70 TSFs, of which 22 are operating, 47 are closed facilities and one is inactive. During 2019, we reviewed the technical specifications of all our TSFs and also undertook independent third-party reviews of the facilities at our Cortez, Goldstrike, Pueblo Viejo and Hemlo operations and at our Giant Nickel, Nickel Plate, and El Indio closure sites. In 2020, independent reviews will be conducted at our Carlin, Hemlo, Loulo-Gounkoto and Tongon mines, and again at Pueblo Viejo as well as the Giant Nickel and Nickel Plate closure sites. We are committed to making sure our tailings facilities meet global best practices for safety and will continue to work across the industry and with civil society to improve global tailings management.

Helping lead the industry on sustainability

Throughout this noteworthy year, from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Dominican Republic, we have continued to work to build our reputation as trusted partners and as an industry leader on mine-level management of sustainability related risks and opportunities, and we have collaborated with industry to develop global standards such as the World Gold Council’s Responsible Gold Mining Principles. We also continue to be recognized for our sustainability performance including being listed on the Dow Jones World Sustainability Index for the 12th consecutive year.

While many companies are freshly discovering the importance of ESG consideration for their business, this is business as usual for Barrick and we have been integrating these factors into our business decisions for many years. As part of this work, we have developed a sustainability scorecard this year to rate our ESG performance including key performance indicators aligned to priority areas set out in the group's strategy. We intend to evolve the scoring methodology over time and rank ourselves regularly against our peers in each indicator, rolling up our performance to an aggregate score.

We will continue in the year ahead to work towards international best practices, to minimize our environmental impact and to maximize our economic contributions.

We invite you to read more in our annual Sustainability Report.