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Barrick halts unnecessary travel, projects

Monitoring and adjusting to very fluid COVID-19 situation North of 60 Mining News – April 1, 2020

Series: COVID-19 coverage | Story 13

Barrick Gold Corp. March 20 announced it has stepped up its emergency response plans for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic at all its sites and offices across the world.

The latest round of measures by the global gold mining company includes the suspension of all non-essential business travel and the curtailing of all non-vital projects.

Barrick Gold President and CEO Mark Bristow said the company was closely monitoring the very fluid COVID-19 situation, constantly updating scenarios, reviewing the latest guidance from the international medical community and engaging with its host governments and states. The company's corporate executive and site management teams are also engaging continuously to monitor the situation and daily updates are received from each of the sites and offices.

In line with directives from the governments where its mines are located, as well as the international health authorities, Barrick said it has put measures in place to mitigate the risk of infection while ensuring a safe environment for operations to continue as usual.

This includes extending its 24-hour call service to communities and the families around operations in Argentina and similar response services across the group's operations. Similarly, it is applying new industry guidelines regarding social distancing and have increased sanitation measures at their mines and offices.

"Barrick has a strong culture of caring for the welfare of its employees and communities. Our financial strength, well-established prevention practices and procedures, and the experience we gained from dealing with two Ebola pandemics around our African operations, will stand us in good stead as we face this new and unprecedented challenge," Bristow said.

The company is sharing this knowledge beyond its mine gates, including coordinating with communities around its operations to make sure they have access to information and advice. The global gold miner is also sharing this information, as well as supplies and equipment, with local clinics and hospitals.

In addition to protecting the people in and around its mines, Barrick is ensuring its operations have the goods needed to avoid disruptions from potential logistical or other disruptions related to COVID-19.

Bristow said "we have increased stock levels for key supplies and equipment to a minimum of three months, identified alternative suppliers and shipping routes, and put in place contingency plans for clearing and offloading. To date, placed and forecast orders are still intact and there have been no hold-ups in our supply chain."

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Shane Lasley, Publisher

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Over his more than 16 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.


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