Good Neighbors: How Barrick Employees are Giving Back

Jan 9, 2012 1:07 PM ET

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) - January 9, 2012 - Around the globe, Barrick invests in initiatives to improve quality of life in the regions where we do business. In 2010, this investment was $42 million. Being a responsible corporate citizen is a dynamic part of company culture and a value that our employees take to heart. These are just a few recent examples of employees in eight countries giving their time and energy to deserving projects in their communities. Combined, these grassroots initiatives add up and illustrate what being a good neighbor is all about.


CanEducate is a registered Canadian charity, independently created by Barrick’s corporate office employees in Toronto, that sponsors impoverished and at-risk school children in developing countries. Its first annual employee fundraising campaign resulted in sponsorships of nearly 700 students at secondary schools in Tanzania. The funds enabled students who may have been forced to drop out due to lack of fees to remain in school. “Since the beginning of this program, the number of students in my school has increased as well as the academic morale,” says Felister Kamati, Headmistress of the Msalala Secondary School in the Kahama District near African Barrick Gold’s Bulyanhulu Mine. CanEducate has sponsored 130 students at the school.

United States

In September, Barrick volunteers helped Habitat for Humanity build two homes for single mothers and their children living in Salt Lake City, Utah. For the last two years, employees in offices in North America have participated in the annual Barrick Build Day with Habitat for Humanity.


Students at a local school in Alto del Carmen now have a modern learning facility with Internet access. Barrick employees from the Zaldivar mine and Pascua-Lama project helped remodel and repair a library that now provides new resources for children and the wider community. Barrick provided construction materials, the local government provided computers, and books were donated. The newly outfitted facility will also enable area residents to access the Internet to learn about small-business improvement.


The Lagunas Norte Security team has been providing ongoing support to a local school in the remote village of El Sauco. Last year, team members painted and repaired the schoolhouse during their time off . In 2011 they worked with the school, teachers and children to plant a garden plot on the school grounds and installed a basic irrigation system. Periodic visits were made to oversee the management of the crops and engage children in educational activities. “The team here is always looking for ways to help the community,” says mine Security Manager Raul Artola. “The best way to avoid or solve security issues is building good relationships in the community.”


Residents of Colangüil, a town near the Veladero mine, have a newly renovated schoolyard that will also serve as a multipurpose facility for the community, thanks in part to Barrick employees from the Veladero mine and the Pascua-Lama project. In August, Barrick employees worked with local residents to plant trees and set up play equipment. The school now has 70 square meters of shaded schoolyard with benches and a playground. As the only meeting place in town, the schoolyard will serve the needs of the community and is available for everyone to enjoy.


In Australia, Claire Burke, Environmental Superintendent at Plutonic, visits the Princess Margaret Hospital to observe how Barrick donations are helping babies. Mine sites in Australia (Plutonic, Lawlers, Darlot and Granny Smith) funded the purchase of special equipment used by the neonatal intensive care unit to keep babies warm and monitor vital signs. The equipment is also used during procedures such as x-rays and surgery. Funds were raised from the recycling of scrap materials at the sites.


One solution being used to sustain trees and plants near the Cerro Casale project is “water box technology.” This approach uses a plastic plant box that, once filled with 15 liters of water, becomes self-sustaining. Water condenses on the cover of the pot and fl ows into a holding tank, where it is trapped with any rain water. The collected water keeps the plant and its roots hydrated so continuous external watering is not required. In September, employees from Cerro Casale and their children participated in planting trees using the water box technology at the site offi ces in Copiapó.


Instead of trick-or-treating on Halloween night, a team of volunteers from Barrick’s Hemlo operation and local student recreation teams went door to door collecting food in nearby Marathon, Ontario, to distribute to the hungry. The food was stored in “trick or eat” bags provided by Hemlo and donated to the local food bank. In all, volunteers collected more than 4,000 food items worth about C$10,000, says Karen Richard, Accounts Payable Supervisor at Hemlo and organizer of the event. “This is a good, and fun, way to give back to the community and help those who are less fortunate,” she says.

Papua New Guinea

The Porgera Joint Venture recently embarked on an engagement process to help local communities in Porgera improve their quality of life using a methodology called Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). The PJV team visited 21 area villages and began a dialogue on the issues of population, health and nutrition, education, sanitation and governance. The next step calls for formal community development plans designed consultatively between the community, PJV, local government and NGOs. Th e plans will then be implemented across the villages with a view to expanding the project to the broader Porgera District in the coming year.


Movember: During the month of November, many men around the world grow moustaches to help raise awareness about men’s health issues. Workers at Barrick’s Kalgoorie Joint Venture mine in Australia took things a step further, using plywood, astroturf and black paint to build a “Movember” moustache for a 400-ton dump truck. The workers also raised money in support of men’s health issues, as did workers at the company’s Hemlo and Goldstrike operations.