Barrick and Its Partners Help 125 Chilean Families Become New Homeowners
TORONTO, January 21, 2013 /3BL Media/ - Barrick Gold Corporation has helped 125 Chilean families living in poverty become homeowners through a partnership with A Roof for Chile (Un Techo para Chile), a non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to eradicating slums and providing adequate housing in Chile.
This multi-year initiative, known as the Renacer, or Rebirth, program, is profiled in the latest edition of Beyond Borders magazine. The program involved the design and construction of a new housing development in Copiapó, Chile, and was sponsored by Barrick and Chile’s Ministry of Housing.
“The Renacer program is an example of what can be achieved when the government, NGO and private sectors work together to bring about positive change in our host communities,” said Rod Jiménez, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Barrick South America. “We would like to thank our long-time partner, A Roof for Chile, whose work to alleviate poverty has transformed the lives of thousands of families. We would also like to thank the Chilean government for supporting this program and recognize the families, who were full partners from the beginning. Their resilience and strength of spirit are a true inspiration.”
To date, about 70 percent of the families have moved into the new development. First-person video accounts of some of the participating families are available at www.barrickbeyondborders.com. A handover ceremony to commemorate the initiative was held on December 27, 2012, attended by the Chilean Minister of Housing, Rodrigo Pérez.
In addition to the housing development, the Renacer program provided support to nearly 700 families living in Chile’s Atacama region, offering literacy, vocational, academic and entrepreneurial training. In all, Barrick provided funding of $4.3 million to A Roof for Chile to help fund the program.
The magazine also includes feature interviews with Barrick President and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Sokalsky and Vice-President of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Peter Sinclair. Since being named Chief Executive in June 2012, Sokalsky has stressed the need for disciplined capital allocation, but, as he indicates in the interview, this will not come at the expense of investing in host communities or environmental stewardship.
“When we talk about disciplined capital allocation it doesn’t mean that we should look to just reduce costs or make less investments. It means making the right investments and allocating capital in a disciplined way,” Sokalsky said. “There are critical areas where we cannot cut corners or take shortcuts. Here I mean our partnerships with local communities and promises to our stakeholders, as well as our commitment to protect the environment.”
Sinclair, who joined Barrick in 2005, said Barrick’s commitment to CSR does not hinder the company’s ability to maximize shareholder returns. In fact, the opposite is true. “There are so many things that we do that are good for the community and good for the business. Training people, buying local goods and services, providing a secure environment, improving health care and water facilities – all of that helps secure our ability to operate and fosters development in the community.”
The latest edition of Beyond Borders also highlights the positive economic impact that Barrick’s Veladero mine has had on Argentina’s San Juan province. Between 2004, the year before Veladero commenced operations, and 2011, the province’s unemployment rate fell 36 percent and per capita income surged 177 percent to $5,260 from $1,900, according to a recent study by the Buenos Aires-based Universidad Tecnológica Nacional.
Other features include:
- Gold industry introduces new conflict free gold standard
- Barrick invests in development projects in the Dominican Republic
- A new training initiative is helping fill a skills gap in local communities at the Pascua-Lama project on the Argentine-Chilean border
About Barrick Gold Corporation
Barrick is the gold industry leader in production, reserves, and market capitalization. Based in Toronto, the company operates globally, with a portfolio of 27 operating mines and advanced exploration and development projects located across the world. Barrick trades on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges and employs 26,000 people worldwide. The company has been ranked as a world leader in social and environmental responsibility for five consecutive years by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and is also listed on the NASDAQ Global Sustainability Index of the top 100 companies. To learn more about Barrick’s commitment to responsible mining, visit www.barrickbeyondborders.com. You can also follow Barrick on Twitter and Barrick on Facebook.