We have implemented controls at our operations to safeguard wildlife from mine processes and chemical exposure.

These controls include barriers such as fencing and netting, the use of “bird balls” and other covers for ponds and tanks, and cyanide destruction processes at operations that use cyanide.

At many sites, we have projects specifically designed to protect rare or key wildlife; at others, we strive to enhance habitats. For example, at the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic, we have been working for several years with locally and internationally renowned scientists to protect several frog species that have been identified on the project site.

In Nevada we support fire management programs to protect sage grouse and mule deer habitats, among other habitat and wildlife restoration programs, through the Barrick Conservation Council. In addition to fire protection, in 2015, Barrick signed a Bank Enabling Agreement with the Department of the Interior through USFWS and the BLM to voluntarily mitigate for impacts to sage grouse habitats in Nevada. Parties agreed to use the Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Forecasting Tools to build a Habitat Conservation Bank to compensate for significant residual impacts of future mining activities. In 2016, activities were focused on developing programs within Barrick’s Mitigation Bank to preserve and restore sage grouse habitat. Greater sage grouse are wide ranging and can be found across much of the western United States.

Impacts on Wildlife

In 2016, one major wildlife mortality event1 occurred at a Barrick site. Approximately a dozen birds died on a pond at the Grants closure site in California in November 2016. This event was reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the site committed to undertake a number of measures in response, including the evaluation of hazing techniques to deter future bird landings.

1 A major wildlife mortality is an event in which five or more wildlife mortalities occur due to a single unwanted event or a single mortality occurs five or more times during a calendar year due to mine-related circumstances that are similar.

Threatened Species

Many national conservation organizations, along with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), haMany national conservation organizations, along with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), have developed inventories of plant and animal species listed by conservation status. The main purpose of the IUCN’s Red List and other national and international conservation lists is to catalogue and highlight those plants and animals that are facing a high risk of local and/or global extinction or are close to meeting the threatened-status thresholds.

Barrick’s support in the development and use of additional conservation data tools, such as the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT), is now providing easier access to protected area information and the potential presence of Red-Listed species for our operations and projects to consider in mine development. The IBAT provides a broad scope of habitat and species potential in an area, which is followed up by field work when required to determine if habitat on the ground would be suitable for the flagged sensitive species.

Based on the latest information available through the IBAT, we estimate that approximately 121 species, with IUCN conservation assessments ranging from critically endangered to near threatened,2 could be possible at our sites if the habitat were suitable.  We then checked environmental impact assessment data for each site, where possible, and identified 93 species on the IUCN Red List potentially present in habitat near our operations. These categories ranged from those of least concern (50) to those endangered or critically endangered (two species). At a local level, some species are also identified as sensitive; by identifying these species we are able to develop appropriate management plans to avoid harm where necessary.

2 Species listed as Least Concern are not flagged on the IBAT tool yet.


The Plight and Flight of the Burrowing Parrot

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May 6, 2015 files/design/bodybg/our-approach.jpg
2014 Responsibility Report

Our vision is the generation of wealth through responsible mining — wealth for our owners, our people, and the countries and communities with which we partner.

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