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Sustainability > Society

Community Relations

Local community support is vital to the success and sustainability of our business.

Community Relations Policy

A mine can bring increased economic activity, create local jobs, develop much-needed infrastructure, and provide tax revenue that helps support local governments in delivering local services.  Conversely, mining can also contribute to social change, use scarce resources, and contribute to an unsustainable influx of people into a community. At Barrick, we know that our ability to operate depends on us effectively managing both these positive and negative impacts. This makes community relations as important to us as any other part of our business.

We believe strong relationships with communities are about getting the simple things right: managing our impacts (such as noise, traffic, and infrastructure), sharing the benefits of mining (primarily through buying and hiring locally) and acting with respect.

Priorities in 2018
  • Zero severe incidents involving local communities at sites Barrick operates.
  • Achieve at least 70% stakeholder support from our local communities as measured by independent perception surveys.

Our work is guided by a Community Relations Management System (CRMS), composed of a Community Relations (CR) Policy, a CR Standard, and supporting procedures, guidelines, toolkits and audits. The CRMS defines explicit performance standards for community relations at Barrick projects and operations. It helps our sites get the simple – and important – things right and live up to our commitment of creating long-term mutual benefit in the communities where we operate.

In 2017, we revised our CR approach to better align with the Company’s Sustainability Vision, which emphasizes sustainable benefits and mutual prosperity. We also introduced a company-wide scorecard to better measure our sites’ level of community support. The scorecard helps identify emerging social and environmental risks, as well as documenting site management of current risks. As part of the scorecard rollout, all sites conducted stakeholder perception surveys in 2017 to gauge community support. Through this tool, we now have a consistent way of measuring and reporting on progress at our sites.

Third Party Assurance

Each year, as part of the annual assurance process associated with our membership in the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), an independent, third-party consultant completes site-level stakeholder interviews – including community members, local government officials and women’s groups – in at least two of the countries where we operate. Results of these stakeholder interviews, along with a detailed assurance report and recommendations, are reviewed at a senior level within the company each year.

Context-Specific Approaches

The CRMS has been designed to respect the unique contexts of each site by setting minimum performance standards but otherwise leaving sites to determine the most appropriate and relevant approach to guide their planning and implementation efforts. Certain activities are required only at sites where they are relevant.

These include topics such as:

Community Incidents

While most of our mines enjoy constructive and stable relationships with local communities, incidents and protests do arise from time to time. As part of our commitment to transparency, we summarize below important community-related1 incidents that occurred in 2017 and the steps we took to resolve them:

  • In October 2017, several community members from the nearby communities of Atupa and Antahuran blockaded the Pierina property in Peru, which is currently in closure. The blockade was in regard to concerns about local water supplies. As other local communities did not participate in the blockade, the mine had alternative routes to the site and the situation, although extended, had minimal impacts on the operation. The Pierina team, in collaboration with several government representatives, resolved the dispute through peaceful dialogue in early December 2017.
  • In March, a pipe carrying process solution on the heap leach pad at Veladero ruptured. Although the solution was contained within the operating site, this was the third environmental incident at the mine in eighteen months. Following this incident, an environmental group protested the company for three days in the nearby community of Jachal. Together with Shandong, our new joint venture partner at Veladero, we are committed to improving our operational performance and regaining the trust and confidence of our host community and government partners.

At the Porgera mine (which Barrick does not operate), we deeply regret to report that an illegal miner was fatally injured by earthmoving equipment while trespassing on the site. The incident was reported to local police immediately following notification of the incident by mine security. Police have advised that they have opened an investigation into the death, given the unusual nature of the incident, and the mine has and will support that investigation and continue to educate the community about the dangers of trespassing. Further Information

1 For information on security-related incidents see Security.

Community Engagement

Effectively engaging with local communities is as important to us as any other part of the business. Open, honest and respectful communication is essential to developing long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships. Strong partnerships, in turn, facilitate permitting and approvals, and promote a more stable operating environment.

Effective engagement for Barrick means providing accessible information about our operations and our impacts, as well as providing access to company officials who will listen and—most importantly—act on community concerns.

Barrick’s Community Relations Management System (CRMS) has explicit requirements for community engagement so that we can be confident we are working with communities in a consistent, comprehensive, and transparent manner everywhere we operate. As community engagement is a dynamic process, the CRMS is designed to enable sites to adjust their approach as local relationships change and evolve over the life of the mine. This includes detailed environmental and social impact assessments based on ongoing monitoring and community participation. Assurance and verification of site performance are important parts of this approach, providing sites with feedback and opportunities for improvement.

Barrick’s CRMS requires all sites to develop and implement stakeholder engagement plans. These plans must, at a minimum, be based on stakeholder identification, mapping and analysis; include a clear engagement action plan outlining engagement approach and frequency; and track and document all engagement activities.

As a company, Barrick also requires that all stakeholders be consulted and informed about site activities throughout the life of a mine, in a timely manner. All of the sites we operate must have processes in place to facilitate stakeholder participation in the decisions or matters that affect them. This helps communities stay informed of potential social impacts of a change in the mine plan, as well as the Company’s plans to mitigate them.

The CRMS also helps sites build and sustain strong relationships by providing guidance and tools on engagement best practices, identifying the key outcomes we seek to achieve, and measuring the effectiveness of our engagement activities.

These best practices include:

  • Mapping stakeholders and assessing their priorities and concerns;
  • Establishing a culturally appropriate way for people to communicate directly to the company;
  • Developing two-way dialogue in order to build trust;
  • Providing methods for stakeholders to raise concerns and grievances; and
  • Documenting engagement activities for internal and external audiences.

Our CR teams are especially aware that engagement must be culturally appropriate and involve groups that may have been historically marginalized. For example, most of our sites explicitly document the proportion of women and men attending community meetings or visiting offices. Based on these statistics, specific engagement programs for women may be developed.

Grievance Management

We know that our activities have the potential to cause impacts on our community partners. Thus, an effective grievance mechanism allows local communities to communicate their concerns and issues directly to Barrick so that they may be resolved before they grow into a serious social incident.

Barrick has mandatory requirements related to the implementation and management of grievances.  All sites must have a grievance mechanism approved by the Executive Director and General Manager for receiving, documenting, tracking, reporting, and responding to complaints and grievances. The grievance mechanisms must be accessible to a wide range of stakeholders, including women and vulnerable people, and be culturally appropriate.

In 2017, our sites received 259 grievances and resolved 244 grievances, including cases carried over from the previous year. As of December 31, 2017, we were working to resolve 34 outstanding grievances at Barrick-operated mine sites.

Grievances Carried over into 2017 New Grievances Received in 2017 Grievances Closed in 2017 ? (including any historical grievances from previous years) Outstanding Grievances at end of 2017 ? (including any historical grievances from previous years)

Resettlement

0

0

0

0

Land

3

10

12

1

Property damage

2

41

33

10

Contractor Issues

4

110

104

10

Local Employment

0

43

41

2

Local Procurement

0

10

10

0

Water

3

9

11

1

Dust/Emissions

0

1

1

0

Noise/Light/Vibrations

1

2

2

1

Other

6

33

30

9

Barrick Total

19

259

244

34

The types and number of grievances vary significantly between sites. At the majority of our sites, grievances are primarily related to contractor behavior, property damage, and demands for local employment, local procurement, and contracting opportunities.

The success of a grievance mechanism—or of a site’s relations with local communities—should not be measured by the number of grievances received. A lack of complaints may indicate a mechanism or company that is not trusted or is deemed unapproachable by local stakeholders. Conversely, large numbers of grievances can indicate open lines of communication and robust community engagement activities.

By tracking the number and types of grievances, we are able to better identify issues that are important to communities before they become significant social risks. For example, one of our sites in Peru identified an increase in the number of contractor-related grievances. This allowed the site to take immediate actions to address the problems. This included engaging with the main contractor to have them hire a supervisor to address the social issues at their company and with their subcontractors, and commencing regular coordination meetings between supply chain, community relations, and contractors to review any emerging community issues.

Similarly, we see that grievances related to local employment and procurement are common across many sites. As a company, this feedback provided clear evidence for the need to re-think how we manage these programs. Ultimately, it has led to the development of a local content framework to better support sites’ use of local labor, goods and services, and to a heighted focus on local content as part of our sustainability strategy.