The logic behind Barrick Gold’s management shakeup
In an unusual turn of events, the world’s largest gold producer has reshuffled its management structure, scrapping its “co-president” title and appointing Kelvin Dushnisky as sole president of Barrick Gold effective immediately.
The Toronto-based Barrick will continue to go without a chief executive officer, which is highly uncommon for a large company.
"As we work to accelerate Barrick’s return to the lean, decentralized model that drove the company’s early success, the time is right to put a structure in place that supports this vision,” said Barrick Chairman John L. Thornton.
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Until now, Dushnisky was sharing the president duties with Jim Gowans, who will now act as senior adviser to Chairman John Thornton until Gowans retires at the end of the year. Other management changes include appointing Richard Williams, previously chief of staff, to chief operating officer. Basie Maree, most recently senior vice president, technical services has been appointed chief technical officer.
"As President, Kelvin will ensure the entire company remains focused on our primary objective, maximizing free cash flow per share from a portfolio of high-quality gold assets in our core regions. As Chief Operating Officer, Richard will drive organizational efficiencies, with a focus on enabling our mine managers to deliver on our business objectives. Basie will provide strategic technical advice and support to the operations, ensuring our mine managers have the information and tools they need to realize the full potential of each mine,” said Thornton.
Understanding the changes
The shifting of management is all part of a “back to the future” strategy to get Barrick back to its entrepreneurial roots, according to Thornton. The company continues to struggle throughout the current bear market for gold. However, Barrick is on par to meet its debt reduction target of $3 billion this year, with plans to reduce spending by an additional $2 billion by the end of 2016.
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Another component to Thornton’s plan is giving ore authority and accountability to the mine managers at the company’s operations.
“As we become leaner, more efficient and more keenly focused on a smaller number of core assets, we are empowering our leaders in the field to function as true business owners. We believe that with the right talent in place, the best business decisions are made closest to the ground,” Thornton said.
The management change comes one year after the arrival of John Thornton as chairman for Barrick Gold.
Read the entire press release here.
Unmanned train to allow Vale to reopen iron ore plant
Brazilian miner Vale SA will be able to resume operations at its Timbopeba iron ore dry processing plant in up to two months thanks to the use of an unmanned train, the company said in a statement this week.
Vale - Timbopeba iro ore plant
With the train, Timbopeba will be able to operate at least at 80% of its capacity of 33,000 tonnes of iron ore “fines” per day, reports Reuters.
Vale was forced to shut down the plant in the Alegria mine complex recently after labor authorities in Minas Gerais state banned activities close to the Xingu dam due to concerns of a risk of collapse.
Vale said access by workers and vehicles continues to be suspended in the flood zone of the dam due to the ban even though it remains at emergency level 2, which means there no imminent risk of rupture.
But some workers are allowed entry under strict security precautions and they will get the unmanned train going once it has been tested, which would take between one and two months, the company said.
The unmanned train will travel automatically along 16 kilometers (10 miles) of track operated by a system that can control the speed and activate the brakes, Vale said.
Vale announces first ore at Voisey’s Bay mine extension
Vale has reached the milestone of first ore production at the Reid Brook deposit at the Voisey’s Bay mine expansion project in Northern Labrador, Canada - recognised as the safest mine in Canada.