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Siloed Approach to World’s Environmental and Social Challenges Risks Achievement of UN’s SDGs, says Barrick

Barrick Gold Corporation
Barrick Gold Corporation

NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The achievement of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 will not be met as long as the world’s key environmental and social challenges are dealt with separately, says Mark Bristow, president and chief executive of Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD)(TSX:ABX).

“The 17 SDGs are interconnected and a contribution to one will affect the outcome of another. There are synergies between improving economic prosperity, health, education, climate change, access to water and protection of biodiversity, and the path to achievement lies in collaborative thinking and solutions. Therefore, an integrated approach is required to meet the world’s triple challenge of poverty, climate change and nature loss,” he says.

Barrick attended the COP27 in Egypt as part of a delegation of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and Bristow says the palpable tension between the developed and developing world as well as between policy-makers, corporations, governments and investors was testament to the flawed approach of treating each aspect separately, encapsulated by the silos of E, S and G.

“That is why, at Barrick, we have adopted a holistic and integrated approach to sustainability, which we applied within our business practices long before ESG became an investment mantra,” he says.

Barrick’s integrated approach to sustainability is embedded throughout the business and is credited with resolving long-standing legacy issues — notably the resurrection of the North Mara and Bulyanhulu mines through a formal partnership with the Tanzanian government, in line with Barrick’s philosophy of partnership with its stakeholders.

Bristow says a good business also has to be a good citizen, particularly in emerging countries where mining companies have a moral obligation as well as a commercial motivation to help develop economies and uplift people. “If the gold mining industry is to survive in the changing world, it must recognize and acknowledge its duty to all stakeholders, and make sure that they benefit fairly from the value it creates,” he says.

Barrick’s Climate Action and Resilience strategy does not only focus on emissions reductions, nor only on business resilience, but considers the role and interconnections that nature plays in the environment. It considers how the company can build community resilience through socio-economic upliftment, as well as sustainable ecosystem services and biodiversity management, which in turn has positive consequences for nature and climate impacts.

“We invested in partnerships to conserve, protect and reconnect protected areas, long before any metrics for measuring such impacts became the collective focus. We looked towards nature to develop interconnected solutions, such as constructing the largest wetland in Africa, long before it was an output of climate disclosures. We tracked the social outcomes of our community investments, such as girls school attendance and graduation rates, long before the realisation that the dollars spent isn’t as important as understanding the ‘social impact’ of such investment. And we have long been speaking about the integration of the environmental and social aspects, and the need for global socio-economic upliftment,” Bristow says.

“A transition to a green economy must be a just transition and must focus on the upliftment of those countries left behind in the developing world. Over the past two decades, only 2% of global renewable energy investment has gone to Africa, most of which is also unevenly distributed. At Barrick, we see the opportunity that the developing world presents, and we trust in our sustainability strategy to deliver the results to all our stakeholders — especially uplifting our host communities.”


President and CEO
Mark Bristow
+1 647 205 7694
+44 788 071 1386

Group Sustainability Executive
Grant Beringer
+27 82 906 6099

Investor and Media Relations
Kathy du Plessis
+44 20 7557 7738


Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information

Certain information contained or incorporated by reference in this press release, including any information as to our strategy, projects, plans or future financial or operating performance, constitutes “forward-looking statements”. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The words “challenge”, “strategy”, “commitment, “vision”, “goals”, “objective”, “will”, “can” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. In particular, this press release contains forward-looking statements including, without limitation, with respect to: Barrick’s sustainability strategy and vision; Barrick’s holistic and integrated approach to managing sustainability risks; Barrick‘s climate action and resilience strategy and approach to managing climate risks, including to support environmental and biodiversity initiatives as well as to develop community resilience and promote socio-economic uplift; and Barrick’s environmental, health and safety, corporate social responsibility and human rights programs, policies and performance.

Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions including material estimates and assumptions related to the factors set forth below that, while considered reasonable by the Company as at the date of this press release in light of management’s experience and perception of current conditions and expected developments, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Known and unknown factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements and information. Such factors include, but are not limited to: failure to comply with environmental and health and safety laws and regulations; non-renewal of key licences by governmental authorities; changes in national and local government legislation, taxation, controls or regulations and/or changes in the administration of laws, policies and practices; expropriation or nationalization of property and political or economic developments in Canada, the United States and other jurisdictions in which the Company or its affiliates do or may carry on business in the future; timing of receipt of, or failure to comply with, necessary permits and approvals; risks related to disruption of supply routes which may cause delays in construction and mining activities, including disruptions in the supply of key mining inputs due to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia; lack of certainty with respect to foreign legal systems, corruption and other factors that are inconsistent with the rule of law; risks associated with illegal and artisanal mining; risks associated with new diseases, epidemics and pandemics, including the effects and potential effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic; damage to the Company’s reputation due to the actual or perceived occurrence of any number of events, including negative publicity with respect to the Company’s handling of environmental matters or dealings with community groups, whether true or not; risk of loss due to acts of war, terrorism, sabotage and civil disturbances; litigation and administrative proceedings; contests over title to properties, particularly title to undeveloped properties, or over access to water, power and other required infrastructure; the impact of inflation, including global inflationary pressures driven by supply chain disruptions caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and global energy cost increases following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia; risks associated with working with partners in jointly controlled assets; employee relations including loss of key employees; and increased costs and physical risks, including extreme weather events and resource shortages, related to climate change. Barrick also cautions that its 2022 guidance may be impacted by the unprecedented business and social disruption caused by the spread of Covid-19. In addition, there are risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining, including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations, pressures, cave-ins, flooding and gold bullion, copper cathode or gold or copper concentrate losses (and the risk of inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks).

Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can affect our actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, us. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. All of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements. Specific reference is made to the most recent Form 40-F/Annual Information Form on file with the SEC and Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities for a more detailed discussion of some of the factors underlying forward-looking statements and the risks that may affect Barrick’s ability to achieve the expectations set forth in the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.