Peter Munk Cites 25 ways Barrick Contributes to Communities
Peter Munk Cites 25 ways Barrick Contributes to Communities
(3BL Media) May 7, 2012 - At Barrick’s annual shareholders meeting last week, Barrick Founder and Chairman Peter Munk zeroed in on what ultimately makes a mining company successful: a social license to operate.
“It’s not enough to have money,” Munk said. “It’s not enough to have reserves. It’s not enough to have great mining people. It’s not enough to have a great board determined to create more production and more value. Today, the single most critical factor in growing a mining company is a social consensus — a license to mine.”
Munk emphasized that corporate social responsibility has been a part of Barrick’s DNA since its founding nearly 30 years ago. This approach has generated strong local support for its operations worldwide, including complex regions where some competitors have experienced major setbacks and project delays. Munk then proceeded to list 25 Barrick community projects, from education to clean water to affordable housing, in places like Argentina, Chile, Peru and Tanzania. While Barrick makes these contributions voluntarily, which totaled $47 million in 2011, the projects provide tangible evidence of a broader business strategy to provide economic and social benefits to communities in 11 countries.
Munk spoke passionately about the positive impact of mining, particularly in developing regions, where other viable economic activities and employment opportunities are limited. For example, at Barrick’s Pascua-Lama project, located on the Chilean Argentine border, the company received more than 150,000 applications from job seekers. Munk urged those opposed to mining to adopt a more balanced perspective. “Thousands of people are applying for (mining) jobs,” he said. “They have children and grandchildren, and they’re entitled to dignity… and that can only come by providing a lifestyle that gives them an education and income that provides that dignity.”
The list of projects cited by Munk, along with links to stories that provide more information about each initiative:
- We’re installing 600 computers in rural schools and providing free wireless internet access in remote villages in Chile.
- Following a devastating earthquake in Chile in 2010, Barrick pledged $5 million to the reconstruction efforts in several towns in Chile’s coastal region of Maule, rebuilding schools and other historical buildings.
- In 2011, Barrick opened a $50 million wind farm in Chile, which will generate enough renewable energy to supply 10,000 households.
- We’ve contributed close to $1 million to a new center for children with physical disabilities in Chile’s Atacama region. The contribution is part of the Atacama Commitment, an alliance with eight Chilean NGOs, the UN Global Compact and government partners aimed at alleviating poverty in the Atacama region.
- As part of the Atacama Commitment, we are working with our partner A Roof for Chile to build new homes for 1,200 people currently living in substandard housing in Copiapo. The first phase of this $6.5 million project is expected to be completed this summer.
- In Peru, more than 30,000 students and 900 teachers are benefitting from a program to improve math education in rural communities with support from Barrick.
- We have funded a new fleet of 24 modern ambulances in the La Libertad region of Peru.
- We have contributed $2.3 million to World Vision-led poverty alleviation programs in Peru. The programs have helped nearly 4,000 families in 30 communities in regions where chronic malnutrition affects five out of every ten children.
Papua New Guinea
- Barrick doctors are providing HIV/AIDS counseling, testing and treatment at a clinic in Porgera Station to fight the disease in Papua New Guinea.
- Our Porgera mine provides support for government vaccination programs that fight curable diseases, such as polio, measles and tetanus. We provide a helicopter to reach remote communities where children have no regular access to doctors.
- In Papua New Guinea, we have supported an adult literacy program that has reached more than 5,000 people in a region with very low literacy levels.
- We have supported the construction of 13 schools in Tanzania to date, with plans to build more.
- In Tanzania, in the last year, we’ve announced plans to build a $2 million water pipelinethat will help supply fresh water to an estimated 150,000 people living near our operations.
- African Barrick Gold has created a community development fund with an annual budget of $10 million to support projects in Tanzania that alleviate poverty and improve quality of life.
- We’ve helped to fund hundreds of life-changing surgeries for children and young adults in Tanzania who suffer from serious medical conditions.
- Barrick is a major supporter of food banks in Las Vegas that serves nearly 100,000 people each month in a state that was hit extremely hard by the recession.
- In Nevada, we’ve created a scholarship fund for Western Shoshone students that will last for generations.
- We recently donated $1.2 million to Great Basin College in Elko, Nevada to upgrade facilities and expand programs to more students.
- In Canada, we donated $5.5 million to Toronto Western Hospital in memory of Barrick’s late CEO Greg Wilkins. The donation that will support surgical care for people in developing countries who have no access to advanced health care.
- In Canada, we recently announced a $1 million donation to the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa in support of its mandate to raise awareness and educate people about Canada’s natural heritage.
- At our Hemlo operation in Ontario, we’ve partnered with First Nations communities to create skills training programs that prepare local youth for work at the mine.
- In Argentina, more than 1,000 women from remote communities have received free cancer screening as part of a women’s health campaign launched by Barrick.
- We invested nearly $600,000 to help local farmers launch a sun-dried tomato exporting initiative in the country’s Jachal district. The project is helping local farmers develop a sustainable livelihood and expand their production and markets.
- In Australia, we’ve provided funding for a new Aboriginal Studies Centre that will support education and cultural awareness.
- We helped launch the Lake Cowal Foundation, which has implemented projects toimprove and enhance more than 14,000 hectares of land in the Lake Cowal area.