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The Criticality of Mining

Sustainability Introduction

The Criticality of Mining

As one of humanity’s oldest industries, much of modern life and the global economy is built on the raw material and resources mining has provided. As the world seeks to shift towards green energy, this is only set to increase.

A range of minerals including Lithium, Tantalum, Tungsten, Copper and Rare Earths have been identified as globally critical by some governments and expert commentators. However, focusing on a handful of metals and minerals as critical only tells half the story.

This narrow definition of critical omits the socio-economic development aspects of other minerals and mining more broadly, and the role of these equally critical minerals in that country’s advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This overly-restrictive framing also risks a failure to recognize the status of the developing world. At the same time as transitioning the developed world to decarbonized energy, jobs and prosperity, it is vital to also transition developing economies to ones that enjoy similar opportunities for self-upliftment and sustainable prosperity. To transition from poverty to poverty eradication.

The Critiality of Mining

Delivering the Future We Want

Mining, done well and responsibly, is critical to delivering the future. Not just for the potential properties of the mined product and the end users in the developed world but mostly because of the positive impact mining can and does have when done well and responsibly. At Barrick, we regard mining as the flywheel for development and socio-economic upliftment.

From roads to rail and schools to sanitation, the development of a mine also involves the creation and development of additional infrastructure, which benefits not just the mine but the community as well.

Further to this, a mine needs hundreds if not thousands of people to operate it and, more often than not, mines are located in remote areas where job opportunities are scant and education limited. By focusing on employing and developing local people, mining can uplift previously underemployed populations. Mines also have massive supply chains. When our procurement processes prioritize local and in-country businesses, we grow and develop the entrepreneurs and economic engines of the future, while community development and investment programs help deliver additional value.

We also know that climate change, nature conservation and poverty are intertwined. This is something we see everyday at Barrick. Just one example is the work we do to support the Garamba National Park in the DRC, which both protects endangered species and supports an estimated 10,000 lives through its associated social enterprises.

For Barrick, it is these opportunities to uplift people, communities and countries that make mining critical and we work hard every day to ensure our mines deliver on that potential.