TORONTO — Drawing on experience gained combating Ebola outbreaks around its African operations, Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD)(TSX:ABX) has increased its site-specific emergency response plans as well as regional crisis management plans to deal with any manifestation of Covid-19 in or near its mines globally.
The company said it had counselled all employees about the symptoms of the virus and the risk of contracting the infection. Access to each site across the group is strictly controlled and visitors, employees and contractors are routinely screened before and on arrival. Emergency medical procedures and facilities are in place across the organization.
Barrick is closely monitoring the situation, engaging with health authorities and tracking updates from the international medical community. Thus far, it has not deemed it necessary to introduce any travel restrictions.
Supplies to its mines have not been affected but the company is increasing its inventory of key commodities to above their normal level. Placed and forecast orders are intact.
Barrick said it has a long record of investing in health in the areas around its operations and consequently is engaged with a high level of cooperation from local communities and authorities, as was the case with respect to previous epidemics it had managed.
Kathy du Plessis
Investor and media relations
+44 20 7557 7738
Certain information contained in this press release, including any information as to Barrick’s strategy, emergency response plans, or future financial or operating performance, constitutes “forward-looking statements”. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The words “prepare”, “monitor”, “forecast”, “engaged” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. In particular, this press release contains forward-looking statements including, without limitation, with respect to: Barrick’s preparations for the Covid-19 virus and measures taken to prevent and/or mitigate the impact of the disease at or near its mines including through the development of crisis management plans, employee counseling and screening and engagement with local communities and authorities.
Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions; including material estimates and assumptions related to the factors set forth below that, while considered reasonable by Barrick as at the date of this press release in light of management’s experience and perception of current conditions and expected developments, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Known and unknown factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements and information. Such factors include, but are not limited to: the risks associated with Covid-19 and other infectious diseases presenting as major health issues; failure to comply with environmental and health and safety laws and regulations; operating or technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities, including geotechnical challenges, and disruptions in the maintenance or provision of required infrastructure and information technology systems; changes in national and local government legislation, taxation, controls, or regulations and/or changes in the administration of laws, policies, and practices, expropriation or nationalization of property and political or economic developments in the jurisdictions in which Barrick operates; lack of certainty with respect to foreign legal systems, corruption, and other factors that are inconsistent with the rule of law; risk of loss due to acts of war, terrorism, sabotage and civil disturbances; timing of receipt of, or failure to comply with, necessary permits and approvals; litigation and legal and administrative proceedings; damage to the Barrick’s reputation due to the actual or perceived occurrence of any number of events, including negative publicity with respect to the Barrick’s handling of environmental matters or dealings with community groups, whether true or not; contests over title to properties, particularly title to undeveloped properties, or over access to water, power, and other required infrastructure; employee relations including loss of key employees; increased costs and physical risks, including extreme weather events and resource shortages, related to climate change; and availability and increased costs associated with mining inputs and labor. In addition, there are risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development, and mining, including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations, pressures, cave-ins, flooding, and gold bullion, copper cathode, or gold or copper concentrate losses (and the risk of inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks).