Barrick Gold Corporation is the largest gold mining company in the world, with its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The company has mining operations in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Zambia. More than 75% of Barrick’s gold production comes from the Americas region. In 2016, it produced 5.52 million ounces of gold at all-in sustaining costs of US $798/ounce and 415 million pounds of copper at all-in sustaining costs of $2.05/pound. As of December 31, 2016, the company had 85.9 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves.
Barrick Gold Corporation evolved from a privately held North American oil and gas company, Barrick Resources. After suffering financial losses in oil and gas, founder Peter Munk (1927 – 2018) decided to refocus the company on gold. He saw an opportunity to create a gold company based in North America, at a time when Apartheid-era sanctions prevented North American investors from owning shares in South African gold companies, who dominated the industry at that time . Barrick Resources Corporation became a publicly traded company on May 2, 1983, listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The company’s first acquisition was the Renabie mine, near Wawa, Ontario,. In 1984, Barrick acquired Camflo Mining, which had operations in the province of Quebec and in the U.S. state of Nevada. The company continued to grow with the acquiring of the Mercur mine in Mercur, Utah in June 1985 followed by the Goldstike mine in Nevada in 1986. Goldstrike mine is located on the Carlin Trend.
Reflecting its identity as a North American producer, distinct from its South African competitors, the company’s name was changed to American Barrick Resources in 1986. It was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in February 1987. Its name was later changed to Barrick Gold Corporation in 1995.
American Barrick became the third-largest gold mining company in the world when it acquired Lac Minerals in 1994, which owned mining properties in North and South America. Two years later, in 1996, Arequipa Resources, owner of properties including the Pierina mine in Peru, accepted a takeover offer from the renamed Barrick Gold Corporation. A third acquisition followed in early 1999, when Barrick Gold acquired Sutton Resources Ltd., assuming ownership of properties in Tanzania. In 2001, Barrick acquired Homestake Mining Company for $2.3 billion in stock, then one of the oldest mining companies in the United States. The purchase made Barrick the second-largest gold producer in the world.
On October 31, 2005, Barrick launched an unsolicited takeover bid valued at US$9.2 billion for rival Canadian gold miner Placer Dome. Placer Dome initially recommended shareholders reject the offer. In December, Placer Dome’s board of directors accepted an increased offer from Barrick worth US$10.4 billion. The transaction closed in early 2006, making Barrick the world’s largest gold producer.
Barrick launched what was then the largest stock offering in Canadian history in 2009, when it launched a $3 billion equity offering, which was increased the following day to $3.5 billion in response to market demand. Proceeds from the offering were used to eliminate the company’s gold hedges, which locked in the sale price of future production, rather than selling it at market prices.
In February 2010, Barrick Gold announced plans to create a separate company to hold its assets in Tanzania, called African Barrick Gold. Barrick Gold would retain majority ownership in the new company, after its listing on the London Stock Exchange. African Barrick Gold was listed on the London Stock Exchange in mid-March 2010, with an IPO valuation at US$3.6 billion. The shares offered on the LSE raised just more than 500 million pounds. In June the company was admitted to the FTSE 100 Index.
Super Pit gold mine (50% ownership)
Hemlo gold mine
Zaldivar copper mine (50% ownership)
Pueblo Viejo mine (60% ownership)
Porgera Gold Mine (95% ownership)
Lagunas Norte mine
Pierina gold mine
Jabal Sayid (development)
Tanzania's largest gold mining company, Acacia Mining Plc, formerly African Barrick Gold plc, is owned by Barrick, and operates three mines in Tanzania:
In 2008, the company negotiated an agreement with four of five regional Western Shoshone tribes, providing financial resources for education and wellness initiatives, including a long-term scholarship program, allocated at the Tribes’ discretion. A former tribal chairman of the Duck Valley Shoshone spoke of the company as "a pretty progressive entity." In British Columbia the Tahltan Nation has thanked the company for encouraging local sustainable development while operating the Eskay Creek mine from 2001 to 2008.
In 2010, Barrick Gold Corporation became the 18th company to join the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights which provides "guidance to extractives companies on maintaining the security of their operations in a manner that respects human rights and fundamental freedoms." Admission follows an eight step process that requires approval by the Voluntary Principles plenary, the main decision-making body, consisting of all active members, drawn from participating governments, companies and non-governmental organizations. Barrick Gold participates in a number of corporate social responsibility programs, such as the United Nations Global Compact. The company is a signatory to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. It also participates in The Global Reporting Initiative, Business for Social Responsibility and The Global Business Coalition on HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. On September 7, 2007, Barrick was added to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. The company is a member of The International Leadership Council (ILC) of The Nature Conservancy. In Papua New Guinea, the Porgera Joint Venture participated in the development of a wildlife conservation area in the Kaijende Highlands.
In 2011, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report that alleged that the private security force at Barrick's Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea had carried out "gang rapes and other violent abuses". Barrick conducted an internal investigation, assisted a police investigation and a number of security personnel were arrested and charged. HRW said the company should have "acted long before Human Rights Watch conducted its research prompted them into action" but had "taken meaningful steps to investigate past abuses and make it less likely for similar abuses to occur in future". Barrick Gold revealed in 2013 that, after an independent investigation, the company was paying indemnities to 14 women raped by mine security guards in Tanzania. In addition to cash, the women were also receiving therapy, job training, relocation, and child education expenses. .
The company has made a request to Chile’s environmental authority, COREMA, to expand a proposed wind farm project in Chile’s Region IV from ten wind turbines to eighteen wind turbines, that would generate 36 megawatts of electricity into the national power grid. In Nevada, Barrick operates a 1-megawatt solar panel farm. There are also plans to build a 9-turbine wind farm at the Golden Sunlight mine in Montana when the operation closes.
An official investigation, developed by a division of Argentina's Police Department, claims that at least five rivers in San Juan Province have been contaminated by a cyanide spill that occurred in September 2015. Nine Barrick Gold employees are now being investigated by Argentina's Federal Justice.
Barrick Gold has confirmed the spill, and has also announced that it had to pay $145 million pesos (almost USS 10 million) in fines. The company has publicly regretted the incident, and claims that the harmful effects have been corrected.
In February 2010 lawyers for Barrick Gold threatened to sue the Canadian publisher Talonbooks for defamation if it proceeded with plans to publish the book Imperial Canada Inc.: Legal Haven of Choice for the World's Mining Industries by Alain Deneault. Publisher Karl Siegler described this as "libel chill," pointing out that since the book had not yet been published, Barrick Gold could not know whether or not its contents actually constituted defamation. Subsequently, Talon decided to publish the work (ISBN 9780889226357) and "issued a statement saying they 'intend to show the complete manuscript to Barrick prior to the book's release, to allow Barrick the opportunity to "correct" any "falsehoods" about how they conduct their business affairs, worldwide, that they feel it may contain.'"
A 2011 decision in Quebec Superior Court had ruled that Barrick Gold had to pay $143,000 to authors Alain Deneault, Delphine Abadie, William Sacher and publisher Les Éditions Écosociété Inc, to prepare their defence in a “seemingly abusive” strategic lawsuit against public participation. Despite the Québec ruling, a book "Noir Canada" documenting the relationship between Canadian mining corporations, armed conflict and political actors in Africa was never published as part of a settlement which, according to the authors, was only made for the sole purpose of resolving the three-and-a-half year legal battle.
Through 2009 and into 2010 Barrick Gold’s Cortez Hills project was the subject of litigation in Nevada, seeking to block the project. Opponents appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, challenging a ruling in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, which denied the bid to block the project. The Appeals Court "upheld a federal judge's finding that opponents of the mine failed to prove they were likely to prevail on claims the mine would cause visual harm to Mount Tenabo and create a substantial burden on the tribes' ability to exercise their religion" but ruled the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s previous environmental review of water and air pollution impacts "was inadequate under the National Environmental Policy Act" and ordered the District Court to provide "appropriate" injunctive relief while the Bureau of Land Management conducted further study. In March 2011 the Bureau of Land Management approved a subsequent study on environmental impacts, allowing the mine to operate as originally proposed.