Barrick Gold reports robust financials for 2020
Barrick Gold has revealed it met all its key performance indicators in 2020. In the face of challenges across all regions, notably the Covid-19 pandemic, the company has made significant progress towards achieving its key objectives, says president and chief executive Mark Bristow in the company’s recently published 2020 Annual Report.
“The effectiveness of Barrick’s ESG strategy - which is powered at all levels by a long-established partnership philosophy and a close relationship with all stakeholders, from investors to host communities - was a key factor in the past year’s performance,” said Bristow.
“This was particularly evident in our successful Covid-19 containment programs, which buffered the impact of the pandemic on our business and people, and also enabled us to provide much needed and welcomed support to our host countries.”
Noting that the merged Barrick’s foundational objective was to build a business capable of delivering the industry’s best returns, Bristow said that since the announcement of the Randgold Resources merger the Barrick share price had grown by 118% by the end of 2020 against a 92% increase in the GDX. The quarterly dividend has been trebled and the Board has recommended that an additional $750 million of surplus cash be returned to shareholders as a return of capital distribution this year.
Bristow added: “A company that was burdened by net debt of more than $13 billion as recently as 2013 now has zero net debt, no significant maturities for the next 10 years and a robust balance sheet, with strong liquidity consisting of $5.2 billion in cash and an undrawn $3 billion credit facility.”
“Efficient operations and effective management enabled us to capitalize fully on the higher gold and copper prices and to pass the rewards on to our investors as well as our community stakeholders. These achievements were produced on the foundation of a solid 10-year plan built on a great asset base, a fit-for-purpose structure and management teams that more than lived up to our ‘best people’ mantra.”
Bristow said Barrick is still only at the beginning of an exciting and rewarding journey but it is well-equipped in every way to build on what it has and to find and exploit new opportunities, including any openings offered by the ongoing dynamics of the gold industry.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.