This is the first set of full-year results Barrick is publishing since its merger with Randgold Resources, and it is gratifying to report not only that we have delivered a strong, expectation-exceeding performance but also that we have made significant progress towards our goal of becoming the world’s most valued gold company.
It’s been interesting in this regard to note that some analysts measure value by its narrowest metric: that of market capitalization. Barrick’s definition of value is far more wide-ranging. It encompasses the economic benefits we deliver to all our stakeholders; the care with which we treat our people, communities and environments; our creation of opportunities for advancement in countries that lack them; our strategic focus on long-term sustainability; and, of course, the returns we generate for our investors.
The past year has also seen the marked rise of environmental, social and governance (ESG) as a key investment criterion. Cynics have questioned the sincerity of big business’s belated conversion to a kinder form of capitalism, terming it “woke-washing”. Barrick cannot speak for other mining companies but the principles of ESG have for many years been embedded in the DNA of both legacy companies. Our long-term strategy recognizes that we operate in a changing world where business is expected to meet the highest standards of behavior, and where ethical issues have become commercial considerations with serious consequences. We call this our social license and it is a core part of all our operations.
Mark Bristow joins the line up of speakers at Mines and Money Online Connect Global. Register your free content pass to listen to the presentation.