Barrick Gold Shows CEO Sokalsky the Door
Mining giant Barrick Gold Corp. is giving president and CEO Jamie Sokalsky the boot as the company unveiled a new executive management structure on Wednesday. The announcement comes two years after Sokalsky was appointed to the leadership position.
The restructuring will allow the company to better manage relationships with local governments, communities and stakeholders in the countries where it operates, says Barrick.
The Toronto-based gold company said Sokalsky will step down effective September 15, and its position will be replaced by senior executive vice-president Kelvin Dushinsky and executive vice-president Jim Gowans. The two will be responsible for execution of the company’s strategic priorities and operations plans.
Barrick says the changes will help the company “meet the distinct demands and challenges of the mining industry in the 21st century.”
The ousting of Sokalsky comes three months after merger talks broke down with Newmont Mining. People close to the situation say the move will give Chairman John Thornton, who took control in April as Barrick’s sole chairman, more power.
"The fact that a CEO has not been named suggests that John Thornton, Chairman, will continue to be very active in the management of the company in a de facto CEO role," said TD Securities analyst Greg Barnes in a note to clients.
Other planned changes to the management structure include appointing chief financial officer Ammar Al-Joundi to the additional role of senior executive vice-president to work on the company’s strategic initiatives.
This past year has brought Barrick Gold a slew of challenge as metal prices decline and demand for gold softens. The company has been selling off non-core operations in an effort to reduce its debt.
Lynas revenue jumps 21% as rare earth prices jump
Australian miner Lynas Rare Earths posted a 20.6% rise in revenue in the March quarter as selling prices for the key metals it mines hit record highs amid strong demand, particularly for neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr).
NdPr is used in magnets for electric vehicles and windfarms, in consumer goods like smartphones, and in military equipment such as jet engines and missile guidance systems.
The company said it plans to maintain production at 75% however, as it seeks to continue to meet covid-19 safety protocols and grapples with shipping difficulties. Shares in Lynas fell 6.1% after the results.
“They have faced a few logistics issues, and it would be good to know when they are going to start lifting their utilisation rates a bit,” said portfolio manager Andy Forster of Argo Investments in Sydney.
“Pricing has been pretty strong although it may have peeled back a bit recently. I still think the medium, long-term outlook is pretty good for their suite of products.”
Lynas post ed revenue of A$110mn ($85.37mn) for the three months to the end of March, up from A$91.2mn a year earlier as prices soared.
It said its full product range garnered average selling prices of A$35.5/kg during the March quarter, up from $23.7 in the first half of the financial year. “While the persistence of the covid crisis, especially in Europe, calls for careful forecasts for our business ahead, we see the rare earth market recovering very quickly,” said Lynas, the world’s largest rare earths producer outside China.
Freight demand has spiked during the pandemic, while the blockage of the Suez Canal in March delayed a shipment to April.
Lynas’ output of 4,463 tonnes of rare earth oxide (REO) during the quarter was marginally lower than 4,465 tonnes from a year earlier.