Submitted by Barrick Gold Corporation
TORONTO - March 21, 2007 - Barrick Gold Corporation announced today a commitment of US$1.3 million over five years to World Vision Canada to develop nutrition, education and employment skills programs that will benefit people in communities of the Alto Chicama District of northern Peru, surrounding Barrick's Lagunas Norte mine.
This is the first project that is now underway since a special Memorandum of Understanding, signed on January 12, 2007, formalized a partnership between the two organizations for developing future corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, projects, and activities for communities near Barrick sites around the world.
"The agreement between World Vision Canada and Barrick Gold represents a broader opportunity to work together to help make life better for children and their families in communities where Barrick operates," said Dave Toycen, President and CEO of World Vision Canada. "It recognizes Barrick Gold's commitment to corporate social responsibility and World Vision's mission to empower the poor to build a better future for themselves and their children through sustainable development. We see Barrick Gold's proven commitment to address the environmental, educational and health issues of local residents as a model for local corporate engagement. We look forward to working together in this innovative partnership."
The Lagunas Norte mine is located 140 kilometers east of the coastal city of Trujillo, in rugged terrain in the Peruvian Andes. During construction, the Lagunas Norte mine created employment for approximately 4,000 Peruvian workers and now employs 1500 workers and contractors. The mine began operating in June 2005, and has contributed to the social and economic development of the region of La Libertad. It has an excellent safety record, and Peru's Mining Safety Institute recognized Lagunas Norte at its 2005 Safety Awards for its excellent accident prevention initiatives and safety best practices. The mine's human resources policies and practices have received ISO 9001 registration, recognizing the mine's commitment to standardize work flow processes and facilitate enhanced employee relations.
The on-going partnership and the Lagunas Norte World Vision-Barrick project build on the success of a previous program implemented with World Vision in the area around Barrick's Pierina mine, just 175 kilometers from Lagunas Norte, says Greg Wilkins, Barrick's President and CEO.
"We are committed to responsible mining, and our partnership with World Vision has proven an effective way to make meaningful and lasting contributions that benefit communities neighboring our operations," Wilkins said. "We look forward to developing similar projects in other areas where Barrick and World Vision Canada operate."
The Pierina program was among the first major corporate community development partnerships in the region. The area has a high incidence of child malnutrition and low literacy levels, as well as low crop productivity among subsistence farmers. Barrick contributed US$1 million over five years to support community initiatives in health, education, economic development, justice and HIV and AIDS prevention. World Vision’s area development team works closely with the community to implement child sponsorship and set priorities for improving education, health care and nutrition, providing drinking water, and developing micro-enterprises that benefit the well-being of whole communities.
Barrick's vision is to be the world's best gold company by finding, acquiring, developing and producing quality reserves in a safe, profitable and socially responsible manner.
Barrick is the gold industry leader. Based in Toronto, the company operates mines and advanced exploration and development projects on four continents. Shares are traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ABX.
More from Barrick Gold Corporation