Barrick unveils 16th annual sustainability report

Barrick Gold has lauded its safety, partnerships and social performance for whole-year 2017 in its newly released sustainability report

Staff reporter
 Barrick Gold's Hemlo complex in Canada

Barrick Gold's Hemlo complex in Canada

The company looked at three areas of focus: safety and the environment, benefit sharing and partnerships and respectful social engagement. A top highlight of its work over the last year was the development of a climate change strategy including a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 from its 2016 baseline.

While Barrick also had a record low total reportable injury frequency rate of 0.35 over the last calendar year, the achievement was overshadowed by deaths at the Hemlo mine in Canada and the Pascua-Lama project in Chile.

"We continue to work to meet our goal of every person going home safe and healthy every day, with a redoubled focus on life-saving controls in 2018," officials said.

Barrick also focused on sharing the benefits of its operations through its partnerships last year, it noted, contributing more than US$5.1 billion in 2017 to national economies in countries where it holds operations. Of that total, over US$350 million was in goods and services from small-scale suppliers neighbouring its sites and another US$1.1 billion in taxes and royalties.

Additionally, 97% of Barrick's operations staff last year came from its holdings' local communities, and over 60% were from immediately adjacent communities.

Finally, under its goal of supporting host communities and providing transparency and openness to its partners, Barrick confirmed six self-operated sites now run community water monitoring programmes.

"We believe that inviting the community in, and making them part of the process, is the best way to build and sustain trust," the company said, adding performance information is available to third parties through the ISO 14001 process, International Cyanide Management Code audits, annual third-party human rights impact assessments, and independent assurance.

As chief sustainability officer Peter Sinclair noted, the annual report is a vital way for the miner to update partners of the progress made as well as plans for future achievements over the current year and beyond.

"Doing [the report] helps us gain local trust and confidence, leave a positive legacy, keep our operations running smoothly, and protect our ability to grow," he said.

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