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Social & Economic Development

Social & Economic Development

Mining done well and responsibly is a massive lever for development.

2021 Highlights

$14.1 billion

total economic value contributed

$2.7 billion

in taxes, royalties and dividends to host governments

$26.5 million

invested in community development projects

$5.5 billion

to local and national vendors

The mining sector has been identified as vital for the achievement of the UN SDGs and the post-2030 sustainable development goals, not only for its role in providing the minerals needed to enable the green transition, but also because of its ability to drive socio-economic development and build resilience. As the world emerges from the spectre of Covid-19 and confronts the reality of climate change, this contribution to development and resilience is more vital than ever before.

At Barrick, creating long-term value and sharing economic benefits drives our approach to sustainability, and community development. We strive to be a good corporate citizen and a genuine partner for our host communities in locally-led development, and to build resilience to global challenges. First and foremost, it is the right thing to do. Beyond that, it also helps to ensure the social licence needed for our mines to operate.

Building and maintaining a social licence to operate is critical to our success as a business and our long-term sustainability. Our approach to the development and maintenance of our social licence to operate is underpinned by three core beliefs:

  • The primacy of partnership - This means that we invest in real partnerships with mutual responsibility. It is not always easy, but it is at the heart of our approach.
  • Sharing the benefits - We hire and buy local, wherever possible, as this injects and keeps money in our local communities and host countries. By doing this, we build capacity, community resilience and create opportunity.
  • Engaging and listening to stakeholders - We develop tailored stakeholder engagement plans for every operation and the business as a whole. These plans guide and document who, how and how often we engage with our different stakeholder groups.

These beliefs are simple concepts in theory, but the quality of their execution determines the success of our business.

Management approach

The foundation of our approach to social and economic development is in our Sustainable Development Policy and our Social Performance Policy. Together, these policies set out how we manage social performance.

The primacy of partnerships

Building mutually beneficial partnerships grounded in a philosophy of trust and transparency with our stakeholders is as important to the success of business as our geological or engineering expertise. The epitome of our partnership approach is the Community Development Committee (CDC) model, which reflects our belief that no one knows the needs of local communities better than the communities themselves.

What is a CDC?
Chamber Checks are provided to employees during the holidays and encourage them to support local businesses - Nevada, USA.

What is a CDC?

A CDC is the community partnership model we deploy at all our operating mines. The role of the CDC is to allocate the community investment budget to those projects and initiatives most needed and desired by local stakeholders. Each CDC is elected and made up of a mix of local leaders and community members, as well as representatives from local women and youth groups. There is also representation from Barrick, but we have only one seat at the table.

Community Development Committees (CDCs)

Community Development Committees (CDCs)

Projects and initiatives approved by any CDC fall within our five focused sustainable development categories:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Food
  • Water
  • Local economic development

The CDCs are self-directed, but guided by the following core principles:

  • Priority based budgets - We do not set a budget for investment or use metrics such as a proportion of production allocated. Rather, the budget is set based on the needs of the community.
  • Five priority investment areas - To focus CDC attention, spark ambition, drive socio-economic development and create community resilience, we have identified five key development themes for projects and investment: education; health; food; water; and local economic development.
  • Self-sustaining - Ideally projects should be sustainable and self-sufficient over the long term.
  • Deliver benefits to operations - Alongside clear community benefits, the projects supported should also return some benefit to our operations, for example, through reduced absenteeism, decreased reliance on the mine for jobs or developing skills and suppliers needed in the community.
  • Align with national and regional plans - Global development objectives and meaningful social upliftment cannot occur without close cooperation between companies and government players. Wherever possible we partner with public and private sector specialists. This maximizes community development, drives additional investment, adds scale to projects and multiplies the positive impacts.

In 2021, we invested more than $26.5 million through our CDCs.


Investing in Nevada’s Future

While access to education is not a problem in Nevada, access to quality education can be. The state ranks as the 23rd highest-need state for rural education in the United States, according to a report by the Rural School and Community Trust.

As a result, our community investment and development efforts in Nevada focus on delivering quality education opportunities. Some of our recent initiatives include:

  • Bringing high-speed internet to rural communities;
  • Facilitating long-distance learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, and beyond;
  • Investing in teacher training and leadership initiatives;
  • Promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers for women and people of colour;
  • Supporting heavy transport driver trainings (commercial driver’s license); and
  • Partnering with Discovery Education® to bring remote learning opportunities to all Nevadan students and ensure mining is represented in education programs.

We also help to bring education and work opportunities to local students by partnering with community colleges to provide trade skills scholarships. These programs deliver a two-pronged benefit of promoting talent within the mining industry and providing access to meaningful employment for graduates.

Apprenticeship programs

In 2021, in partnership with the College of Southern Nevada and Clark County school district (located in southern Nevada), we launched an exciting new initiative. The initiative promotes technical skills for young people in the region by providing high school students from the Clark County School District with opportunities to earn certificates in Diesel Technology or Industrial Maintenance through a 24-month training program. The first trainees are more than a quarter of the way through the program. Our investment in the program currently stands at $110,000. The program is a response to the nationwide shortage of workers with these skills and offers students the opportunity to obtain skills that set them up to rapidly enter high demand sectors.

Discovering new ways to learn

With multiple lockdowns and quarantine requirements in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, online education has become an increasingly important facet of education. However, there is a digital divide, and not everyone or every school has the same access to content. To address this issue and help drive improved access to education, we partnered with the Nevada Department of Education to provide all students, educators, and families in the state of Nevada with access to leading online content through Discovery Education®, a global leader in standards-based, highquality digital education.

The aim of the partnership, which we support through a $2.2 million investment, is to provide equitable access to Discovery’s online learning content to 725 schools across the state. Since the launch, 18,500 educators have utilized Discovery Education® content, potentially impacting 462,000 students across Nevada. Students also receive access to dynamic career resources and virtual experiences supporting the exploration of careers in STEM.

As part of that initiative, Discovery Education® launched the ‘Nevada Gold Mines channel’ on their platform, which highlights careers in the mining industry.

Bridging the digital divide

Further to this NGM is partnering with Anthem Broadband, to offer broadband internet services to all citizens in Elko, Spring Creek, and Lamoille.

NGM has provided a $30 million loan for the infrastructure, the repayment of which will be reinvested through the Heritage Fund and the I-80 Fund to ensure their long-term sustainability.

Sharing the benefits

We are guests in our local communities and the host countries in which we operate. We believe they have the right to, and must share in the benefit from the development and mining of their assets. We do this in three key ways: paying our fair share of tax; delivering jobs and economic opportunities to local communities through local hiring and buying policies; and investing in community-led development initiatives for socio-economic upliftment.

Paying our fair share of tax

We believe the taxes we pay reflect our profitability and success as a business. Our strategy is simple, we aim to pay the right amount of tax at the right time in the right place, and to transparently disclose the payments we make. We have a publicly available Tax Policy which sets out our commitment to comply with the laws and practices of all the countries in which we operate, engage with the authorities openly and with integrity, and ensure our tax positions are based on reasonable interpretations of the law and aligned with the intentions of the legislators.

We have a clear and detailed Tax Policy, which is owned by the business and is carefully considered against our day-to-day decision making. The policy is underpinned by the following:

  • Tax governance - The tone is set from the top and our President and CEO is regularly apprised of tax matters through our weekly Executive Committee meetings. Tax matters are discussed at both the quarterly Audit & Risk Committee meetings, as well as Board meetings. The Executive team and the Board are actively involved in reviewing all major tax matters.
  • Relationship with tax authorities - We are committed to complying with the tax laws of all the countries in which we operate. Where a matter is not clear, we seek the advice of qualified tax professionals and, where appropriate, seek guidance from the tax authorities. We seek open and transparent relationships with the tax authorities in our host countries. Where disputes arise in interpretation of tax law, we approach the matter in a professional and transparent manner.
  • Tax planning - Our tax planning is based on reasonable interpretations of the law. We interpret the law, giving effect to the spirit and intention of the legislators. This means we consider social and moral obligations that the legislators intend to apply. Accordingly, our tax planning is based on reasonable interpretations of the law and is aligned with the substance of our economic and business activity.
  • Managing tax risks - Tax rules change regularly and disputes can arise from their interpretation. We monitor and manage tax risks by employing appropriately qualified professionals in all our key jurisdictions who report to local financial leaders in the operations as well as to the corporate tax group. Through this mechanism, we ensure risks are understood and managed locally and are also monitored and reported to the executive team.
  • Tax transparency and disclosure - In addition to complying with mandatory disclosure regimes such as the Canadian Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) and the OECD BEPS Action 13 Country-by-Country Reporting, we also seek to comply with voluntary transparency regimes where appropriate. We were the first Canadian mining company to be a signatory to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and we annually publish our payments to our host governments as required by ESTMA. We have recently published our first Tax Contributions Report which sets out in detail our economic contributions to our host governments.

Paying taxes is an important way that Barrick contributes to economic development in the countries and communities in which we operate. We paid a total of $2.7 billion in taxes, royalties and dividend payments to the governments of our host countries in 2021.


Nevada Solar Opportunities

Mining is an energy-intensive business and estimated to be responsible for between 4 to 7% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Currently, our Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) complex draws a portion of the electricity it uses from coal fired power plants, which generates significant GHG emissions.

To reduce our GHG footprint, we began work in 2019 on an estimated $262 million 200MW solar facility with battery storage in Nevada. The facility is expected to satisfy approximately 15% of NGM’s total electricity requirements and should reduce our GHG emissions by 256,000 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to taking almost 34,000 cars off the road.

Alongside the clear climate and environmental benefits of a change to solar energy, the project also potentially brings some tax benefits to Barrick as well. In the United States, there are currently Federal tax reforms under consideration, and a 30% investment tax credit for the construction of solar energy projects is also available.

The amount of the tax credit will be directly offset against corporate income tax and will depend on the construction start date:

  • 30% tax credit for projects which started construction before 2020;
  • 26% for projects which started construction in 2020;
  • 22% for projects which started construction in 2021; and
  • 10% for projects started afterwards.

In addition to federal tax benefits, the Nevada state government will grant us further tax benefits via a renewable tax abatement of property tax and sales tax. Through this abatement, our property tax for the solar facility will be reduced by 50% for 20 years and instead of 6.85% sales tax, we are eligible to pay 2.6% for goods and services in relation to the solar facility project for three years.

Currently, we have secured a 26% investment tax credit. It is estimated that our total tax savings will be around $42 million.

The Solar facility is an example of where we benefit from State and Federal tax incentives designed to reduce GHG emissions. Our decision to construct the solar facility was, however, not driven primarily by any tax incentives. NGM is a foundational asset for Barrick. NGM also accounts for a significant proportion of our GHG emissions, we are therefore constantly looking for energy efficient solutions for the site.

Alongside our solar facility project, we are currently in the process of converting the TS Coal Power Plant to a dual fuel process, which will allow it to generate power from cleaner-burning natural gas. We believe that this project could reduce the facility’s GHG emissions by as much as 5%. For further information on our emission reduction work see the climate risk and resilience section of this report.

Delivering jobs and economic opportunities to local communities through local hiring and buying policies

The jobs we provide create valuable training and employment in regions where opportunities are often scarce. The priority we place on buying goods and services from local communities and host countries leverages our supply chain and multiplies the economic benefits of our presence.

Franshesca Montero Romero, a passionate mechanical technician at Pueblo Viejo, Dominican Republic, completed the company’s internship program before joining full-time. She will be graduating with an industrial engineering degree from INTEC.


Our countries of operation have vast pools of talented and ambitious workers. However, access to opportunity for meaningful work is often limited particularly in emerging markets. We strive to enhance employment opportunities available to our local communities by identifying top talent and providing world-class training to help them grow and develop. We prioritize recruitment in the following order:

  • Our local communities;
  • State or provincial residents;
  • Nationals; and
  • International.

As part of this, we require all our mines to develop localization plans that identify, create and maximize opportunities for local people to work at the mine. We report to the E&S Committee each quarter on the percentage of nationals employed. Currently, 96% of our workforce and 78% of site senior management are host country nationals.

It is a strategy that enables us to build an efficient and effective workforce at a competitive cost. It also plays a critical role in delivering the social license necessary for us to operate successfully.

Supply Chain

Our supply chain is an equally powerful lever for the achievement of our sustainability strategy. By sourcing goods and services from the community and in country, we contribute to local economic development and facilitate the development of thriving and self-sustaining businesses, which are able to succeed long after our operations have ceased. Where goods and skills are available, we prioritize the use of local suppliers. To ensure benefits remain in our host countries, we require at least 51% equity ownership of a local supplier by a host country citizen and that at least 80% of executive and senior management positions at the supplier are filled by host country nationals.

Supply chain

Similar to our approach to local employment, where the products or quality we require are not immediately available, we identify vendors in the province or wider region, then host country operators, before finally looking to international companies. We also take a longer-term view and our site supply teams work to build capacity and improve standards at local companies either through mentorship programs, skills and business training opportunities or by providing loans to cover the cost of the materials needed.

In 2021, we procured goods and services worth $1.67 billion from suppliers in the communities closest to our operations. In total, we spent nearly $5.5 billion on goods and services from local and host country suppliers. This equates to 81% of our total procurement spend for the year.

Managing supply chain risk

Our supply chain is one of the best opportunities we have to support economic growth and sustainable development in our countries and communities of operation. However, that does not mean our commitment to robust ethical and sustainability standards is reduced, and we require all our suppliers, regardless of location, to meet the high standards we set for ourselves.

To drive this, our standard contracts include clauses that commit vendors to uphold our core sustainability policies, including our:

Beyond this, as part of our due diligence and vendor on-boarding standards, we make sure our suppliers meet our standards and in order to identify potential risks, our process includes:

  • Pre-contract due diligence – We conduct due diligence on potential vendors to understand their business and risk profile. The due diligence process examines financial health, capability in the industry, human rights protection, safety, environmental management and any history of malpractice. Our checks include prohibited party, political exposure, as well as anti-bribery and anti-corruption screening. For any potential or actual high-risk suppliers, we conduct additional reviews and advanced due diligence as needed. Post-engagement operating controls are implemented where required. These controls may include specific training for our high-risk vendors, additional clauses included in agreements or enhanced invoice reviews. We define high-risk suppliers as those where we anticipate a large spend; working in certain highrisk industries (such as customs, intermediaries, or immigration); based in high-risk jurisdictions and who are linked to, referred by or controlled by government officials or entities.
  • Ongoing monitoring - For the full life of a contract, our site and regional procurement teams work with our vendors to identify, evaluate and manage risks before they happen. We undertake periodic vendor recertification based on a rotating and risk-based schedule. For our largest or high-risk vendors, checks and risk assessments may be undertaken annually, depending on the risk profile. Our onboarding process also includes checks for automated ongoing sanctions, political exposure, legal and regulatory violation for all active vendors.

Building capacity and raising standards

Our commitment to the highest ethical and sustainability standards does not stop at simply enforcing the rules. We also work with local vendors to help them achieve the standards we expect.

Carpintería Tomás Munizaga was one of the 15 businesses supported by the Veladero Business Incubator Program. Through Barrick’s support for mechanisation, Tomás managed to increase production by about 70% - Iglesia, Argentina.
Carpintería Tomás Munizaga was one of the 15 businesses supported by the Veladero Business Incubator Program. Through Barrick’s support for mechanisation, Tomás managed to increase production by about 70% - Iglesia, Argentina.

Building capacity not only helps to expand the pool of vendors we can work with, it also opens doors for these suppliers with other companies, maximizing the overall value we deliver. It is a strategy that takes time, but ultimately creates business resilience, diversifies local economies and reduces dependence on the mine. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), including micro enterprises, play a critical role in socioeconomic development. They are a huge source of employment and job creation for both developed and developing nations. Across our operations, we work with local entrepreneurs and SMEs to strengthen their businesses and accelerate their growth.

North Mara business incubator

At the North Mara mine, we have established a local business development program to help local businesses grow.

The program provides workshops and mentorship opportunities for local businesses to help them take their enterprises to the next level.

Mentors for the program are well respected industry leaders and organisations including: the Tanzanian Ministry of Minerals; Tanzania Revenue Authority; financial institutions; and the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange. Thus far, 15 businesses are participating. Four workshops have been provided since November 2021 covering topics such as: value proposition, market size and product offering; access to finance, business plans and growth strategies; as well as investment readiness and corporate governance, including the establishment of a board of directors.

Emprende Alto program at Pascua-Lama

During 2021, we established the Emprende Alto initiative to support and develop entrepreneurs and small businesses near the Pascua-Lama project, which sits on the Argentina-Chile border. The initiative provides financial support to enable expansion, with technical training and advice on the development of business plans, marketing strategies and business accounting. During 2021, more than 230 small businesses and entrepreneurs participated in this program.

Partnering for growth in Mali

During 2021, we developed an accelerator program to build the capacity of local suppliers near our Loulo-Gounkoto complex in Mali. The program, which runs over a 13-month cycle, provides identified local companies with organizational assessment, training, business coaching and mentoring, and access to advice from lawyers and accountants. The first group of 12 companies completed the program in 2021.


Communities and governments expect to see benefits from the development of their resources and returns on development from our presence in their communities, and we need to be honest about what these returns are. In 2021, we contributed $10.1 billion in economic value to our host countries. This includes wages and benefits to over 40,000 employees and contractors, payments to suppliers, dividends, taxes and royalties paid, and approximately $26.5 million invested in community development projects.

Economic value statement

Economic value statement

Listening to stakeholders

Our communities rightly expect the opportunity to contribute and participate in decisions that may affect them. We work to establish transparent and participatory engagement mechanisms to:

  • Deliver timely information regarding mining operations;
  • Provide access to company representatives who listen to, and act on, community concerns;
  • Identify and address community concerns before they escalate; and
  • Resolve grievances in a fair and open manner.
Listening to stakeholders

Management approach

We believe that the most effective community engagement is managed and delivered at the local level and seeks engagement and participation of the local community. Our commitment to the development of strong community relations and positive engagement is set out in our Social Performance Policy. The policy compels us to:

  • Engage with local communities through means that are culturally appropriate and transparent, and duly consider the circumstances of vulnerable persons and groups.
  • Develop management systems for community relations, in line with international and industry best practice, to identify and manage significant social risks and opportunities.
  • Establish context-appropriate engagement structures and systems to involve stakeholders in decisions that affect them, making our development initiatives more effective and sustainable over the long term.

How we engage

How we engage with our local communities varies by site depending on the operating and social context, but the philosophy is consistent: engagement must be open and honest, and put the community at the heart of the decision. The ways we engage include:

  • Annual risk, impact and opportunity assessments to provide site management with enough information to design, develop and implement community engagement strategies.
  • Dedicated specialist site level resources who drive on-the-ground implementation of our community engagement work and strategy.
  • Annual stakeholder engagement plans to map and identify local stakeholders, including vulnerable groups.
  • Monitoring and reporting on our performance to both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Grievance mechanisms to enable communities and other stakeholders to formally lodge grievances. We track the number of community grievances lodged on a monthly and quarterly basis, and aim to resolve all grievances received through the mechanism within 30 days of receipt. Carefully tracking grievances helps us to understand and address community concerns before they escalate.

Resolving grievances

All of our operations have grievance mechanisms, informed by the requirements of the UN Global Compact and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), in place. We believe that the success of a grievance mechanism, or the measure of a mine’s relationship with its communities, should not be measured by the number of grievances received.

A lack of complaints can indicate a mechanism or company that is not trusted or is regarded as unapproachable by local stakeholders, while a large number of grievances can indicate open lines of communication and robust community engagement activities. By carefully tracking the number and type of grievances, and working to resolve them in a timely manner, we are able to identify issues that are important to local communities before they escalate or damage our social licence to operate.

During 2021, we received 447 grievances across all regions. This is an increase on the number of grievances we received in 2020. During 2021, we undertook community resettlement planning at Kibali and more than 40% percent of the grievances we received in 2021 related to resettlement and land compensation concerns.

As noted in the resettlement section, resettling communities is one of the most sensitive challenges that a mining company and local community can face, and it is not unusual to see an uptick in grievances received during the resettlement process. To manage this, each resettlement we undertake has a working group and resettlement-specific grievance mechanism with dedicated team members responsible for the resolution of any grievances received.

We have a target to resolve all grievances through our mechanism within 30 days of receipt.


Resettling households, if not well planned and carefully managed, can damage relationships with the local community, harm our social licence to operate or result in regulatory action from the government.

Schools and a Catholic Church constructed at the Kokiza resettlement site - Kibali, DRC.

As set out in our Social Performance Policy, our approach is to avoid, minimize or mitigate the need for resettlement. This policy is guided by the IFC Performance Standards, and compels us to:

  • Work to make sure that the affected parties are fully engaged in, and help to shape, the resettlement process; and
  • I mprove or at least restore the relocated persons’ standard of living.

The key features for any resettlement process we undertake are:

  • The establishment of a resettlement policy framework;
  • This is followed by a Public Participation Process (PPP). The PPP encourages the inclusion of any and all opinions and grievances in the compensation process; and
  • The results of the PPP are used for the development and implementation of a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) which covers aspects such as economic displacement and livelihood restoration. The RAP must be agreed to prior to any resettlement occurring.


During 2021, we undertook resettlement planning, including for the Kalimva-Ikamva resettlement at Kibali and some legacy resettlements at North Mara. As part of the resettlement process, affected community members are given the option to either:

  • Have a house built, or
  • Receive funds to build their own houses.

Resettled communities will have access to clean water, and the opportunity to have solar panels installed as part of the resettlement, which is a livelihood improvement.

At the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic, our growth plans will require us to build an additional Tailings Storage Facility. Efforts are now focused on community relations and environmental base studies in two potential locations, for which the Dominican Republic government will also be conducting a government-led independent, strategic environmental assessment. Although we have not yet selected a site, as part of our commitment to transparent and open dialogue with potentially impacted people, we are already working closely with the local community to provide up to date information, and to educate, engage and encourage participation in the discussions and any potential future resettlement process.

Artisanal and small-scale mining

Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is a complex and widespread challenge faced by the gold mining industry. It is estimated that ASM provides livelihoods for up to 100 million people worldwide. However, ASM is often unregulated and associated with negative health, safety, human rights and environmental impacts.

Our Loulo-Gounkoto (Mali), Tongon (Côte d’Ivoire), Kibali (DRC), Porgera (Papua New Guinea), Pierina (Peru) and Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi and North Mara (Tanzania) mines and closure sites all have exposure to artisanal mining.

Where we have ASM occurring within our permits, we align with ICMM guidance and follow an approach based on the principle of no-conflicts, no-invasions. We also strive to work in partnership with our host communities, governments and specialist non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to develop mutually beneficial long-term strategies to reduce or eliminate ASM.

An example of this approach in action is the ASM corridor we developed near Kibali. The corridor, which was established in 2016 in collaboration with the Congolese government and specialist NGO PAX, is an area of six land plots adjacent to our permit. It is only in these corridors that the local ASM community is able to operate.

The corridors are owned and mined by ASM collectives, and are administered by local youth associations. To assist the collectives, geologists from Kibali provided reports on the gold profile of the land. Similarly, at our Loulo-Gounkoto complex in Mali, we have identified land within our permit for the creation of an ASM corridor and are currently awaiting further assistance from the Malian government, so it can be transferred to the ASM community.

Another focus of our approach to ASM management is to develop alternative livelihood opportunities for ASM communities. We provide regular training to equip local community members with the necessary skills to get work either on our mine or in other local businesses, and by prioritizing the purchase of goods and services from the local community.

A prime example of this is Isiah Logo, the owner of Le Coq. Mr Logo is a former illegal miner and a long-time contractor for Kibali. In 2010 when Kibali was still a project, Mr Logo with encouragement from the legacy Randgold team, formed and registered Le Coq with the Congolese government as a business. His first job for Kibali was stone pitching and assisting with the maintenance of two local bridges.

From small beginnings, Mr Logo has proved himself to be an efficient and reliable contractor. Le Coq now employs more than 65 people all from the local community, many of whom are former artisanal miners.