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Government Affairs

Successful mining relies on a partnership with host governments to extract their resources, creating benefits for the countries and communities in which we operate, and for our shareholders.

From exploration to construction, operation, and closure, our activities are significantly impacted by the political and regulatory environments of our host countries. We recognize that our mines can play a significant role – economically, socially, and politically – in the jurisdictions where we operate.

Priorities in 2018
  • Continue to engage with home and host governments
  • Update Barrick’s lobbyist registry and provide training to all our people that engage with government

We take a partnership approach with all our stakeholders, including our home and host governments. This means we work to align our interests and priorities with those of our government partners to provide real and sustained value from our operations.

Barrick’s Executive Directors, their teams in-country, and the head office government affairs team work to build constructive relationships by regularly engaging with regulators, public-policy makers and non-governmental organizations.

In general, we do not contribute funding for politicians or political parties, except on a limited basis as allowed by law, Barrick’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, and our Anti-Corruption Program.

In 2017, the Company made a total of approximately $70,000 in political contributions to local politicians in Nevada in full compliance with applicable regulations. Full details of these activities are available on the Nevada Secretary of State’s webpage.

Dialogue with Government

In 2017, our public policy activities focused on working with our industry associations so that Barrick’s position on important issues would be represented. All lobbying activities are compliant with regulations and reported to authorities as required.

Key areas of activity in 2017 included:

  • Negotiating with the Government of Tanzania on issues pertaining to Acacia Mining plc (Acacia) and the country’s ban on mineral concentrate exports. Following extensive negotiations, Barrick and the Government of Tanzania agreed on a framework for a new partnership between Acacia Mining plc and the Government of Tanzania. A key term, among others, of the proposed framework is the sharing of economic benefits generated by Acacia’s Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi and North Mara mines with Tanzania on a 50–50 basis going forward. Barrick and the Government of Tanzania also agreed to form a working group that will focus on the resolution of outstanding tax claims against Acacia.  In 2018, we will continue to work with both Acacia and the Tanzanian government on implementing this framework.
  • Engaging with the Government of Canada via the Mining Association of Canada around the development of a Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Business Enterprise. The Ombudsperson will be mandated to investigate allegations of human rights abuses linked to Canadian corporate activity abroad. It will seek to assist wherever possible in collaboratively resolving disputes or conflicts between impacted communities and Canadian companies and will be empowered to independently investigate, report, recommend remedy and monitor its implementation. We support the Government of Canada’s announcement of an additional accountability mechanism for Canadian businesses operating overseas, focused on dialogue and conflict resolution. We look forward to engaging with the Ombudsperson in a transparent and constructive manner, to assure Canadians that mining activities continue to generate economic and social benefits for host communities and governments, while respecting human rights.
  • Engaging with the Government in Zambia, on a number of issues. In November 2016 the Zambian government issued a statutory instrument to restrict movement of commercial and public transport between 11 PM and 5 AM. This impacted Lumwana in terms of turnaround of shipping consignments into the Copperbelt smelters. We successfully engaged with the government and the statutory instrument was amended in November 2017 to accommodate our concerns. The Company also continued to engage with ZESCO—the state-owned power company in Zambia, on electric power rates. In 2017 we concluded a legally binding addendum to the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) with ZESCO for 12 months between January and December 2017. In January 2018, Lumwana held further discussions with ZESCO to extend the agreement.
  • Responding to the concerns of the San Juan government around the Company’s operational performance at the Veladero mine.  On March 28, 2017, the monitoring system at the Company’s Veladero mine detected a rupture of a pipe carrying gold-bearing process solution on the leach pad. This solution was contained within the operating site; no solution reached any diversion channels or watercourses. On March 29, 2017, the San Juan provincial mining authority issued a violation notice against Minera Argentina Gold SRL (MAG) in connection with the incident and ordered a temporary restriction on the addition of new cyanide to the leach pad until corrective actions on the system were completed. In response, Veladero implemented a series of measures to strengthen the mine’s operating systems, including major modifications to the heap leach facility, as well as initiatives to improve community engagement, training, and local hiring. The mining authority lifted the suspension on June 15, 2017, following inspection of corrective actions.
  • Engaging in the United States of America, through the National Mining Association, with the Environmental Protection Agency on its proposed financial assurance requirement under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The U.S. hard-rock mining community, industry associations, and western state governors worked together to illustrate that EPA’s proposed financial assurance rule, as written, would be duplicative of other robust financial assurance requirements already in place by the states and the Department of Interior. Ultimately, EPA concluded that additional financial assurance requirements for the hard-rock mining industry were unnecessary.