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Community Engagement

Community engagement and development

“If it is good for the people, they will support you.  We genuinely try to have a positive impact on the communities we operate in.  They are our hosts, our neighbors, and our partners. If we improve their lives, they will be advocates for our business.” 
— Thomas Wilson, Regional Sustainability Manager, Africa and Middle East

Good community relations are vital for our social license to operate and for safeguarding our business. Developing and maintaining robust and transparent relationships with all communities and countries of operation and contributing to their development is a core value for Barrick. We have demonstrated how responsible mining can support sustained socio-economic development. We often operate close to vulnerable and forgotten communities in rural areas and recognize that uplifting them is key to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

We have established Community Development Committees (CDCs), our community development partnership model, at all our operating mines which allocate a community investment budget to the projects and initiatives most needed and desired by local stakeholders.  CDCs are comprised of community members, elected locally and include a representative from Barrick to ensure projects chosen align with the five sustainable development focus areas and adhere to our policies including procurement and accountable governance.

Community Development Committees

In 2022, CDCs distributed over $36 million to sustainable development projects from education facilities in Nevada to business incubators in Dominican Republic or a gender-based violence clinic in Tanzania.

CDCs are just one aspect of our activity to keep constant, open and honest channels of communications open with local communities. Other ways we engage include annual assessments and stakeholder engagements, having dedicated specialists on site, community site visits and an open and accessible grievance mechanism. 

Details of our grievance mechanism can be found below. The number of grievances recorded through the mechanism are detailed in our Annual Sustainability Report and the associated content index.

Community Investment Spend

Accelerating Entrepreneurship in San Juan

In the shadow of the Andes mountains lies our Veladero mine in the San Juan province of Argentina. The province’s arid climate and scattered populations are a challenging environment to start and grow a business, and many people rely on subsistence farming or small enterprises. In 2018 we established our Business Incubator program to spark and grow the flame of entrepreneurship in areas like San Juan.

Read full case study of our support to help build the thriving San Cayetano bakery in our Sustainability Report.

Management approach: Community development & engagement

Governance and accountability

Our President and CEO is ultimately responsible for Social aspects with our Group Sustainability Executive taking the lead in driving the implementation of our Sustainable Development and Social Performance Policies, the associated procedures and overall performance.

The Group Sustainability Executive is supported by regional-level environmental leads as well as dedicated site-level environmental teams who drive implementation at the operational level, including community development and engagement aspects.  The Sustainability Executive is supported by our Group Sustainability Manager, and functional regional leads.

At an operational level, each mine has a manager with responsibility for community engagement and relations, including liaison with the Community Development Committee. They report to the General Manager of their mine and feed into regional leads who report to our Group Sustainability Executive. 

Policies and procedures

Our approach to community development and engagement is set out in our  Sustainable Development Policy and our Social Performance Policy

These set out our approach which is guided by three central tenets: Partnership, sharing benefits and engagement.

The epitome of this approach is the CDC model, which reflects our belief that no one knows the needs of local communities better than the communities themselves.

We have CDCs at all our operating mines.  The CDC’s role is to allocate a community investment budget to those projects and initiatives most needed and desired by local stakeholders.   Our community investment budgets are decided annually on a site by site basis with projects funnelled into one of five sustainable development goals.  We find this models works best when our communities also contribute to project funding even if it is just a small amount, as it promotes and reinforces ownership, and engagement.

Each CDC is elected and made up of a mix of local leaders and community members, as well as representatives from local women, youth groups and representatives for disadvantaged groups. Each CDC receives requests for projects from the community, and meets to decide which ones will be supported and how these projects will scale, align with and contribute to regional development plans. The CDC will also manage and oversee the execution of the project Barrick is also a member of each community’s CDC; however, we only have one seat at the table performing a largely governance oversight function to ensure adherence to policy and decisions are made on a majority and consensus basis.  To further amplify the impact of projects where possible community businesses and suppliers are also involved in the implementation of projects.  This approach is applied across all our jurisdictions regardless of development status.

We also deliver jobs and economic opportunities to local communities through local hiring and buying policies and paying our fair share of tax.

Resolving grievances

AS part of our commitment to community engagement, all our operations have local grievance mechanisms in place, informed by the requirements of the UN Global Compact and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

We carefully track the number and type of grievances, and work to resolve them in a timely manner. We have a target to resolve all grievances through our mechanism within 30 days of receipt.

Where resettlement needs to occur, a resettlement-specific grievance mechanism is created with dedicated team members responsible for the resolution of any grievances received.

Key targets and metrics

  • Percentage of annual CDC commitments met
  • Percentage of workforce who are host nationals
  • Percentage of senior management who are host nationals
  • Percentage of economic value that stays in country
  • Percentage of grievances resolved within 30 days
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