Toronto – Despite the challenges posed by the global Covid-19 pandemic, Barrick Gold Corporation has emerged even stronger and made significant progress towards becoming the world’s most valued gold company since its transformational merger with Randgold Resources only two years ago, says Executive Chairman John Thornton in the company’s 2021 Information Circular published 3 days ago.
Led by President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow, the Barrick team built on 2019’s excellent performance by capitalizing fully on the higher gold price, delivering on the company’s production guidance, and ending 2020 with one of the industry’s strongest balance sheets.
Barrick increased the quarterly dividend three-fold since the announcement of the merger in September 2018 and proposes to return $750 million in surplus funds to shareholders through a return of capital over the course of 2021, as described in the Information Circular.
Bristow said a company that was burdened by net debt of more than $13 billion as recently as 2013 now had zero net debt, no significant maturities for the next 10 years and a robust balance sheet, with strong liquidity consisting of $5.2 billion in cash and an undrawn $3 billion credit facility.
“Efficient operations and effective management enabled us to capitalize fully on the higher gold and copper prices and to pass the rewards on to our investors as well as our community stakeholders. These achievements were produced on the foundation of a solid 10-year plan built on a great asset base, a fit-for-purpose structure and management teams that more than lived up to our ‘best people’ mantra,” he said.