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Human Rights

Human Rights

Respect for human rights is a foundational value at Barrick and a central part of our sustainability vision.

We work across a diverse range of social, economic and political contexts, and are part of the fabric of society in the communities and countries within which we operate. We know our activities and the activities of those with whom we do business can both promote and negatively impact human rights. We acknowledge our responsibility — and the opportunity — to contribute to realizing human rights for people around the world.

Highlights in 2020

79% water recycled and reused vs target of 75%

Group Sustainability Executive presented to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights plenary

0.34 LTIFR 32% improvement on 2019

Human rights training program updated

1.68 TRIFR 25% improvement on 2019

New Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights standard developed

All sites certified to ISO 14001: 2015

+3,800 public and private security personnel trained in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights

CDCs (Community Development Committees) established at all operational sites

40% of employees have collective bargaining agreements

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

New Socio-Economic Benefit Agreement (SEBA) signed with our indigenous partners at Hemlo in Canada

+$4.5 billion spent with host country suppliers

Updated Collaborative Agreement with the Western Shoshone in Nevada

We updated our human rights training during 2020 with the first face-to-face training taking place at North Mara.
We updated our human rights training during 2020 with the first face-to-face training taking place at North Mara.
As part of our commitment to respecting human rights, we extend our training to public security forces in line with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
As part of our commitment to respecting human rights, we extend our training to public security forces in line with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
The Supplementary Water Project, introduced in 2013 by the Porgera Joint Venture, is designed to give access to potable water to certain local communities near the mine. To date, the program has led to the installation of 151 potable water tanks and associated infrastructure in local communities.
The Supplementary Water Project, introduced in 2013 by the Porgera Joint Venture, is designed to give access to potable water to certain local communities near the mine. To date, the program has led to the installation of 151 potable water tanks and associated infrastructure in local communities.

Human rights management approach

We have zero tolerance for human rights violations wherever we operate. We avoid causing or contributing to human rights violations and actively facilitate access to remedy. Our commitment to respect human rights is codified in our standalone Human Rights Policy and informed by the expectations of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs), and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Our policy is implemented on the ground via our Human Rights Program. This program was reviewed during 2019 following the merger with Randgold to ensure it was fit for the scale, geographies and different operating contexts of our expanded business.

During 2020, we reviewed and revised our human rights training program and updated several standards including the Use of Force Standard, and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights standard.

Responsibility for the oversight and implementation of our Human Rights Program sits with our Group Sustainability Executive, with support from our SVP Business Assurance, Risk and Business Integrity, as well as our Human Resources Executive.

At a site level, the mine General Manager, security managers and the community relations team are responsible for the on-the-ground implementation of our Human Rights Program.

Our policy includes commitment to:

  • Training
    Provide training on our human rights expectations to all new employees and all relevant existing employees.
  • Due Diligence
    Conduct human rights due diligence for all new projects as well as significant modifications to existing operations where there is the potential for negative human rights impacts, and seek to employ reasonable measures to mitigate those impacts.
  • Compliance
    Comply with and demand that all suppliers and contractors comply with all national laws, the International Bill of Human Rights, and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Core Conventions.
  • Periodic Audits
    Conduct periodic audits and reviews at different sites, of different operating units, and of different contractors, to give us confidence that we are meeting the letter and spirit of this policy. We may conduct audits ourselves or use external third parties. Where appropriate, we will establish performance improvement action plans to respond to the findings of these audits and reviews.


Since 2010, we have been a member of and followed the VPs in our dealings with public and private security providers, local communities and potential victims of human rights violations. The VPs require us to embed human rights principles in contractual requirements with security providers. We require security personnel at our sites to undergo pre-employment screening that includes a criminal background check. Contractor security personnel must also provide a proof of a background check when assigned to the site.

Security personnel also receive specific training on human rights, the VPs and Barrick’s Use of Force Procedure, which is aligned with the United Nations Guidelines for the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. Any private security personnel who carry firearms must be trained in and sign off on this procedure annually. Barrick employees do not carry firearms. Our mines in Zambia, Peru, DRC, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Tanzania and the Dominican Republic have memoranda of understandings in place with public security agencies, all of which reflect the terms of the VPs.

The Porgera Joint Venture has a memorandum of understanding with local police forces in Papua New Guinea which also reflects the terms of the VPs.

A key focus of our human rights program in 2020 was to progress formal alignment of the legacy Randgold operations with the requirements of the VPs. The General Managers of each mine are responsible for ensuring that our security operating procedures are followed.


In 2020, we trained more than 3,500 private and public security personnel on the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.

During 2020, all employees who completed the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics refresher training underwent updated training on human rights as part of the course.

Updating our human rights training

Barrick is committed to respecting human rights, and one of the key ways we actively avoid causing or contributing to situations where human rights could be endangered is through specialist human rights training for our people and security forces.

Each year, we aim to provide training to 75% of our workforce on human rights, with a focus on the expectations of the VPs. The VPs are a set of principles — jointly agreed by governments, NGOs and corporations — to help guide companies on how to conduct their security operations.

Following a review of our Human Rights Program in 2019, we worked with independent human rights specialists Avanzar to update our human rights related policies, standards and training and to develop online training on the VPs. This has been especially timely given the Covid-19 pandemic.

During 2020, we also worked with Avanzar to develop and facilitate in person human rights workshops for managers and supervisors at each of our high-risk sites.

The workshops provide exercises including role-plays on common scenarios faced at operational sites that help our people to understand, identify, report and prevent human rights risks. In January 2021, we conducted our first workshops at our North Mara and Bulyanhulu mines in Tanzania.

We plan to roll these in person workshops out to most of our high-risk sites in 2021.

Our 80% rule

More generally across our portfolio of mines, our sites provide induction and annual refresher training on human rights to all private security personnel. Training includes five modules: human rights, use of force, vulnerable peoples, arrest and detention, and corruption. All guards must receive a passing grade of 80% in order to begin or continue work. In addition, each site reviews key concepts related to its specific security and human rights related policies and procedures during daily shift changes. At sites where we have a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in place with local police, we also provide human rights and security training to all police officers who arrive under the MoU. The training covers the same topics as those covered with private security personnel.

Most crucially perhaps, all our training encourages our personnel to listen to the people and communities affected by our work and remain open to new practices that can ensure zero tolerance for human rights violations wherever we operate.

Upgrading our human rights training.

Addressing our legacy issues

When Barrick and Randgold merged at the start of 2019, the new management team was aware that there were a range of legacy issues which needed additional attention. Since this merger, the management team and operational level staff have worked to ensure these issues are satisfactorily resolved, or whether, after viewing with fresh eyes, alternate solutions can be found. While the majority of issues have been resolved, some have continued to negatively impact our reputation and licence to operate.

Some of these legacy issues and the steps taken to resolve them are:

Riverine tailings at Porgera in Papua New Guinea

Barrick utilizes a riverine tailings disposal method at the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV). Riverine tailings disposal means that rather than depositing tailings on a tailings storage facility (TSF), Barrick releases the tailings and erodible rock into the nearby Porgera River. This is not ordinarily our preferred method of tailings and waste rock management. However, in the PJV context where the risk of catastrophic failure of a tailings impoundment or dam are unacceptably high due to geological and climatic factors, riverine placement has proved on balance to be the lowest risk option. We also take care to ensure we are managing and minimizing the risk.

For example, prior to discharge, tailings undergo a two-stage treatment process to comply with stringent discharge criteria. This includes a series of chemical processes that destroy cyanide and a multi-step neutralization process to raise the pH level of the water. We have also built a tailings paste plant so that some of the tailings material can be used to produce cemented fill to backfill the underground workings. This has helped to reduce the amount of tailings material entering the river by approximately 13% since 2011.

Further to this, the PJV’s environmental permit requires extensive river monitoring and strict compliance with discharge requirements. It works closely with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, to monitor impacts on the river. In additional to the regulatory monitoring, PJV requested the CSIRO develop an extensive monitoring program downstream to the mine. Monitoring is undertaken in the upland river, lowland river and Lake Murray ecosystems. The monitoring program is participatory in nature and involves engagement and participation with the communities as well as local, provincial and national governments. The results of the monitoring are made public in the Annual Environmental Report which is independently reviewed by the CSIRO. Results show that the PJV complies with the environmental permits issued by the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government and that overall, the condition of the environment is consistent with predictions made prior to operations commencing in 1990.

Alleged complicity with human rights violations at the PJV

Law and order is a persistent challenge for the Porgera region in the Enga Province of PNG. Tribal conflict regularly occurs in Enga and can often turn violent. In addition, the Porgera mine regularly manages large influxes of illegal miners attempting to access the mine. Since the PJV commenced operations, there have been allegations of human rights violations linked to local police and private security forces. This includes, between 2008 and 2011, allegations of sexual abuse, use of excessive force and forced evictions.

Porgera Remedy Framework

When credible allegations of sexual assault by mine employees came to light in 2010, Barrick conducted extensive inquiries and commissioned an independent investigation. A number of employees who were implicated in, or had knowledge of sexual assaults, had their positions terminated and the company handed over all relevant information to the police, urging a full criminal investigation.

Barrick also worked with stakeholders to develop the Porgera Remedy Framework, a comprehensive program to compensate victims of sexual violence. The framework was launched in 2012 following 18 months of extensive consultation and research with leading national and international experts in human rights. It was independently administered by highly qualified Papua New Guineans, including Dame Carol Kidu, a former parliamentarian and cabinet minister in PNG, and Ume Wainetti, the National Director of the PNG Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee.

The Porgera Remedy Framework was open for two years, and during that time more than 90% of women who filed eligible claims resolved them under the framework. The framework concluded in 2015 and 120 cases were resolved.

15 additional cases were remedied outside the framework. Since the conclusion of the Porgera Remedy Framework, no further credible allegations have been received. Any accusation received is treated seriously and thoroughly investigated with the appropriate authorities.

Other steps taken include:

We have a memorandum of understanding in place with the national police, and provide support by way of training, particularly on human rights issues. We only ask the police to come to our site or engage with us on criminal matters.

With many of the legacy human rights issues effectively managed, Barrick is looking to the future in an effort to build a strong and lasting partnership with the landowners of the Porgera Valley and Enga Province. The partnership has and will continue to provide improved socio-economic outcomes for the people of Enga and PNG more broadly.

Updates since 2019

The PJV was placed on temporary care and maintenance in April 2020 and Barrick continues to facilitate community development programs during this time. This includes providing funding and ongoing support for the local Paiam hospital.

Since the merger with Randgold, Barrick has also focused on resolving outstanding community grievances. During 2019, approximately 660 grievances were closed. Unfortunately, as a result of the temporary cessation of mining operations, no grievance resolution is currently progressing, pending recommencement of mining operations.

The challenges of mining in Porgera are clearly significant and complex. However, we remain optimistic about the real contribution and opportunities that mining can bring, and indeed has already brought to the Porgera Valley. By developing partnerships of depth and trust with the community and government, we can help reduce poverty, generate sustainable economic development, and improve access to human rights and the rule of law.

Tanzania: Alleged failure to prevent water pollution at the North Mara mine

In the first half of 2019, allegations were made against the former Acacia Mining plc of water pollution and poor waste management at the North Mara TSF, including seepage from the facility. As a result, the Tanzanian National Environment Management Council (NEMC) ordered the closure of the TSF in July 2019.

When Barrick acquired the remaining minority interest in Acacia and assumed operational control of the Tanzanian assets, the North Mara TSF was not operating. We also found that it was holding significantly more water than design capacity. Barrick is committed to the highest standards of tailings management and improving the TSF at North Mara became an urgent priority. Throughout 2019 and 2020, the Barrick team, with assistance from independent specialist consultants, worked hard to address the Tanzanian government’s concerns regarding seepage and to reduce the volume of water stored on the TSF.

This included detailed groundwater research to understand the extent and impact of any seepage, structural analysis of the TSF, and a hydro-census of local community boreholes. Results from the hydro-census showed the community borehole water was clean and without mine impacts, and also met Tanzanian water standards. Since 2019, we have also significantly reduced the volume of water on the TSF and the increased freeboard is now within design capacity.

Allegations of violent conflict, sexual assaults and human rights violations at the North Mara mine

Law and order has also been an on-going challenge at the North Mara mine. North Mara is located in a remote part of Tanzania close to the Kenyan border. There has been significant in-migration to the area and law enforcement capacity is limited. Civil unrest due to poverty has also been a problem in the area, and this has been recognized by the Tanzanian authorities.

Since the mid-1990s, there have been allegations of human rights violations at North Mara linked to local police and private security forces. This includes allegations of sexual abuse and the use of excessive force.

Progress since 2019

Since we assumed operational control of the North Mara mine, we have worked to restore and rebuild the relationship with the local community. A key focus has been to ensure the local community meaningfully benefits from our presence. One of our first actions was to establish a CDC, and to engage with the local community to explain our plans for the mine and our commitment to the community. We also worked to understand and detail the promises made by the previous owners and have worked to fulfill them.

Other actions include reviewing the relationship with the local police to establish clear boundaries. Police now only enter the mine site when requested by senior management to engage on criminal matters. During 2020, we replaced the international security provider with a local company. Using a local security firm means that the security team is part of the community, and knows and understand their needs and concerns. It also provides further economic benefit to the community through the creation of jobs. We also no longer keep ammunition stored on site.

Independent reviews and assessments

The MMTC-PAMP refinery processes gold from North Mara and in light of the above allegations, appointed Synergy to undertake an independent human rights review at the mine. In January 2021, independent human rights consultants Avanzar visited North Mara to provide training to the mine’s security forces and local police on human rights and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. They also conducted a human rights impact assessment. The Synergy report concluded that the assessment team did not identify any areas of unacceptable risk management and that MMTC-PAMP should continue trading with North Mara Gold Mine.

While there remains much work to do, we are encouraged by the progress. The number of intrusions to the mine site have decreased. We have also resolved a number of historic grievances, with the number of new grievances received each month steadily declining. The CDC is working effectively and the Kemanyaki poultry project (the first project supported by the CDC) is providing alternate economic opportunities for local youth. The Synergy report concluded that the assessment team did not identify any areas of unacceptable risk management and that MMTC-PAMP continues trading with North Mara Gold Mine.

Pascua-Lama Project

The Pascua-Lama project is a mining project located in the Andes mountains, and straddles the border between Chile and Argentina. Due to the environmental concerns raised, the Chilean environmental authority (SMA) suspended site works on the Chilean side of the project in 2013, and ultimately issued an order in 2018 imposing sanctions and ordering the closure of existing surface facilities on the Chilean side of the project in addition to certain monitoring activities.

In 2020 following a legal process, Chile’s Antofagasta Environmental Court upheld the closure order and sanctions imposed by the SMA in 2018. Barrick confirmed that it will not appeal the Environmental Court’s decision, and the Chilean side of the Pascua-Lama project (Pascua) will now be transitioned to closure in accordance with that ruling.

On October 6, 2020, a group of local farmers challenged the Environmental Court’s decision. The challenge, which was brought before the Chilean Supreme Court, claims that the fines imposed by the SMA were inadequate and seeks to require the SMA to issue additional and more severe sanctions against Barrick. The Chilean Supreme Court has not yet decided whether to accept this appeal.

The immediate next step is to start closing Pascua as permitted, in compliance with the Environmental Court ruling and Chilean legislation. While the ruling found we were in breach of some conditions, it also noted there was no irreparable damage. As part of closure planning, Barrick has completed a comprehensive review of the existing social and environmental obligations to ensure relevant commitments are addressed with local authorities and the community.

Pascua remains an important project for Barrick and work is under way to re-evaluate its potential. This involves a comprehensive internal review of its technical, economic and social aspects, as well as different approaches to permitting and development, should the ongoing studies deliver a project that meets Barrick’s investment filters. Central to any future options at Pascua is a commitment to open and effective engagement with all stakeholders and to proactively address historical challenges related to the project.

Building strong labor relations

At Barrick, we believe that paying fair wages and benefits as well as reasonable working hours is critical to the creation of a motivated and dedicated workforce and we respect the right to unionize. It is also a fundamental part of our commitment to human rights.

Management approach

Open and honest communication is at the heart of our approach to labor relations. We have a range of communication channels available to facilitate transparent two-way communication between workers (regardless of union member status) and management. We recognize and respect the right of our workers to join a union and to participate in collective bargaining without interference or fear of retaliation. Our Human Rights Policy commits us to upholding the International Labor Organization (ILO) Core Conventions and we seek to engage with trade unions in an honest and constructive way.

We also encourage our senior executives, including our human resources executive, general managers and our President and CEO to be involved in key industrial relations discussions.

Some of the key ways we engage with our employees are:

  • Town hall meetings at each site;
  • Digital platforms, including the intranet and hotline; and
  • Trade union representation at quarterly meetings with senior management.

During 2020, our engagement practices were adapted to conform with Covid-19 social distancing requirements.

We have collective bargaining/enterprise agreements (covering wages, benefits and other employment terms) with unions. Approximately 40% of our employees are union members or have collective bargaining agreements in place.

We offer competitive and locally appropriate benefits that range from healthcare to interest free loans. We follow a country-based approach to determining salary bands, compensation and benefits, and we take care to ensure our workers make more than the national minimum wage in the countries or regions in which we operate.

Developing female talent in Nevada

Mining has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. We are committed to helping increase the number of women not only on our mines and wider industry, but also to help upskill and economically empower women throughout our communities. In Nevada during 2020, we developed and ran a number of initiatives to help us deliver on this commitment.

One of our key talent development programs on site is the Greenfield talent program. The program provides identified high potential college graduates with up to three years’ work experience with technical experience across the mine.

This includes a six month rotation leading a team. The aim of the program is to build experience and leadership skills. 27% of the 2020 Greenfield talent cohort were women.

Community workshops

In the first quarter of 2020, we ran a one day career workshop for local women in Nevada. It was attended by 37 women and led by our Human Resources team focused on CV development, how to write application letters, as well as everyday job skills. Within a week of the workshop, nine attendees had new job offers. Unfortunately, plans to run additional workshops were paused due to Covid-19 restrictions. However we are looking at how the program could be run online, and to hold further workshops in the future.

Developing female talent in Nevada.

Our indigenous partners

Indigenous peoples often have profound and cultural connections to their lands and waters. This can be tied to their physical, spiritual, cultural and economic well-being.

Considering the values, needs and concerns of indigenous peoples in site activities is therefore fundamental to our partnership approach and the way we do business. Doing so can support the development of long term, mutually beneficial relationships with indigenous peoples that are affected by our activities. Partnerships with indigenous peoples can contribute to more sustainable land management and a stable operating environment.

Management approach

Our commitment to recognizing the unique rights and social, economic and cultural heritage of indigenous peoples and their distinct interests and concerns is set out in our Human Rights Policy and is informed by the ICMM position statement to obtain Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of indigenous peoples.

We require all sites with exposure to indigenous peoples to develop and implement an Indigenous Peoples Plan that outlines specific actions to engage, address impacts and provide opportunities to Indigenous Peoples. There were no reported incidents or violations of rights involving indigenous peoples at any of our sites in 2020.

Alaskan Native Communities

Establishment of friendship agreements with six native communities and key stakeholder organizations in the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) region in Alaska. These friendship agreements with Donlin Gold continue to build upon long term relationships and address specific needs for isolated native communities. 80% of direct hires at Donlin comprised native Alaskans.

Netmizaagamig, Netmizaagamig Nishnaabeg, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, and the Metis Nation of Ontario.

Establishment of the new Socio-Economic Benefit Agreement and Cooperation Agreement in 2020. Continued support as well as open and transparent communication throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Financial support to our First Nations partners to allow the workforce to lockdown during the Covid-19 outbreak. Establishment of the North Superior Hemlo Fund. $200,000 to assist small businesses recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nevada Gold Mines
Native American tribes

Establishment of the Native American CDC in 2020. Support through the Covid-19 pandemic in the form of emergency food distribution and PPE, establishment of the I-80 Fund with a $5 million investment to support small businesses, continued investment in education with scholarships through the Western Shoshone Scholarship Foundation (WSSF), and renewed focus on strategic partnerships and community investments aimed at the long term sustainability of our Native American partner communities.

Diaguita communities of the Huasco Alto

We do not have a formal agreement with the Diaguitas Indigenous communities, but have established mutually
respectful relationships with these communities. In 2020, Pascua Lama provided Covid-19 support to the Diaguitas
including hygiene supplies and food. We also established a $2 million program to support local entrepreneurs and
sustainable development.

Updating our collaborative agreement in Nevada

Our operations in northern Nevada take place on or around the heritage lands of the indigenous people of the Western Shoshone. Our relationship with the Western Shoshone is very important and we focus on engagement, inclusion and collaboration to build and sustain the relationship.

We strive to be good stewards of this land while providing financial support to the Native American tribes in the areas in which we operate.

This commitment is set out in a Collaborative Agreement between NGM and the tribes. The agreement is designed to be one of partnership and sets out how NGM will work to provide benefit for all ages and classes within the partner tribes.

Since the third quarter of 2019 and throughout 2020, we have worked to update our Collaborative Agreement to reaffirm our commitment to this important stakeholder group.

The key changes under the new Collaborative Agreement are:

  • Updating the agreement to reflect changes following the establishment of the joint venture and changing the name from Barrick to NGM;
  • Inclusion of two additional tribes: the confederated tribes of the Goshute Reservation, and the Ft McDermitt Paiute Shoshone; and
  • Inclusion of a social investment framework to promote the provision of support to tribes via development programs, which are designed to be self-sustaining and beneficial over the long term.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, 5 of 10 tribes signed the Collaborative Agreement. There is no cut-off date for signing.

The 2020 graduates of the Western Shoshone Scholarship Fund.
The 2020 graduates of the Western Shoshone Scholarship Fund.

Hemlo: Integrating CDCs into the SEBA strengthens relationship

Our Hemlo mine in North Western Ontario sits on the traditional territories of the Anishnaabe (Ojibway) of Biigtigong Nishnaabeg and the Anishnaabe (Ojibway) Netmizaaggamig, Nishnaabeg (Pic Mobert). These are progressive First Nations communities with strong strategic plans and visions, and they strive to find balance between modern life while also honouring and teaching the traditional values of their ancestors.

Our goal is to foster genuine partnerships and deliver on our commitments to our indigenous partners.

In 2020, we negotiated new partnership agreements with Biggtigong Nishnaabeg, and Netmizaaggagmig, Nishnaabeg. Collectively the agreements are valued at more than CAD$9 million and are categorized as a Socio-Economic Benefit Agreement and Cooperation Agreement. These new agreements included requirements for the establishment of CDCs.

The establishment of CDCs as part of the agreements have helped to build relationships grounded in the principle of partnership with these important communities and through that, understand their long term strategic plans and ambitions, and how we can meaningfully contribute to the achievement of those plans.

“Establishing CDCs has positively changed the nature and depth of our engagement with our indigenous partners. Previously our engagement felt transactional in approach. But now we understand their ambitions and the challenges they face, and can respond more effectively. As we look to extend Hemlo’s life, this sets an exciting foundation for our future legacy,” says Karen Osadchuk, Manager of Sustainability at Hemlo.

Diversity and inclusion

We know a diverse workforce is a better workforce, and that diversity provides the wide range of thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to run a global company, as well as a deeper talent pool from which to select.

At Barrick, our approach to diversity is to foster a supportive working environment in which all individuals realize their maximum potential within the company. While we do not have mandatory diversity targets, we commit to employing the best people to do the best job irrespective of gender, race, disability, ethnicity, religious belief or sexual orientation. This commitment is codified in our Diversity Policy. Reinforcing our commitment to Board diversity, the Board recently approved amendments to the Diversity Policy to include an aspirational target for women to represent at least 30% of directors by the end of 2022.

We also work to right the gender imbalance in the mining industry. Mining is a historically male dominated industry, particularly in the emerging markets in which we work. We are an equal opportunity employer. We have made significant investments to strengthen our workforce through a number of initiatives to attract the best people from a variety of backgrounds. In 2020, we continued our focus on recruiting and training young people with the potential to become future leaders of the company. While many other companies scaled back apprenticeship training and internship programs due to Covid-19, each of our regions continued to offer these opportunities to develop the next generation of mining talent. We have also taken steps to encourage greater gender diversity across the organization, including career workshops and leadership initiatives targeted to support the development of women.

We seek to improve the gender balance at our mines in four ways:

  • Finding ways to encourage and support women working at the mines.
  • Changing cultural norms and raising awareness among local communities about the importance and value of employment and economic empowerment for local women.
  • Working with governments to remove barriers to employment for women.
  • Supporting alternative livelihood opportunities for women.

Creating a mask market at Bulyanhulu

At Barrick, we do not just look to provide opportunities for women to work at the mine. We also seek to ensure that women benefit from our community investment initiatives, including the priority we give to local suppliers. During 2020, the team at our Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania transformed the requirement to wear face masks given the Covid-19 pandemic into an economic opportunity for a group of local women, while also minimizing and eliminating a potential waste stream.

Soon after mask wearing became a mandatory requirement on site, the Bulyanhulu community team asked local tailoring collectives if they could make sample masks out of cloth, based on the design of a surgical mask provided. Two groups, comprised mostly of women tailors from the immediate community, provided top quality masks and were asked to supply reusable fabric masks for every worker at the mine. These masks are made of double layered cotton or Kitenge (traditional fabric) and designed to cover the mouth and nose.

During 2020, Bulyanhulu ordered more than 10,000 reuseable masks. These two groups were also commissioned to provide 5,000 masks for the Buzwagi gold mine, which is also operated by Barrick, and 5,000 masks for the Local District Council. As face masks are in continuous use at the mines, they are in constant demand, and the tailors now have regular customers. The masks sell for one thousand shillings each (approximately $0.50) and provided the women with an income of more than $10,000 during 2020.

The 2020 graduates of the Western Shoshone Scholarship Fund.

Improving diversity at all levels

Anne Kabagambe
Ms Anne Kabagambe joined Barrick's Board of Directors in 2020.

Barrick is a dynamic business and diverse teams tend to bring the breadth of perspectives we need to achieve our vision of creating long term value for all our stakeholders. Whether down in a mine shaft or up in a board room, we believe that having a balance of gender, age, ethnicity, geography, disability, experience and diversity of thought helps us meet our challenges and build a better business. Gender diversity is a particular challenge in the historically male-dominated mining industry and it was encouraging therefore that in 2020 our Board was strengthened with the appointment of Ms Anne Kabagambe. Ms Kabagambe's appointment increases the proportion of female directors on the Board to 20%.

Ms Kabagambe has 35 years of experience spanning a diverse range of senior leadership positions in international institutions, including the World Bank where she co-chaired the board’s Gender Working Group, and the African Development Bank.

“I’ve been impressed with the focus on the ‘science’ regarding the benefits diversity brings to Barrick,” explains Ms Kabagambe. “The evidence shows that diversity, particularly with regard to gender, can improve the bottom line, reduce chances of corruption and increase employee and shareholder satisfaction – and we have a real commitment on the Board and in management to measure the effects of diversity and drive it forward when required.”

“This is reflected by initiatives across the regions we operate in to recruit more women at all levels from internships to management. Internally our training and career initiatives are helping identify and develop those high potential women we already employ to ensure we have a strong pipeline of diverse talent to call upon in the future.”

In 2021 we updated our Diversity Policy to include an aspirational target for women to represent at least 30% of our Board of Directors by the end of 2022, and the Corporate Governance & Nominating Committee is currently looking for an additional compelling and qualified female candidate to appoint to the Board.