TORONTO, ONTARIO, Nov. 26, 2009 (Marketwire) -- Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX)(TSX:ABX) today outlined its position on a private members' Bill (C-300) currently before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Canada, in particular, that the Bill is unnecessary and damaging to Canadian business. Barrick also set forth facts respecting unsubstantiated allegations that have been paraded by individuals before the Committee.
In a joint submission with Goldcorp Inc. and Kinross Gold Corporation, the companies indicated that Bill C-300 would adversely affect the Canadian mining industry in five key ways:
1. Risk the competitive position of Canadian companies;
2. Result in reputational damage to Canadian companies;
3. Undermine the multi-stakeholder and collaborative approach to Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR);
4. Create incentive for companies to relocate; and
5. Ignore existing regulatory frameworks for CSR.
(For a copy of the submissions, please go to www.barrick.com.)
"We are today providing committee members with detailed, fact-based responses to the various allegations in order to set the record straight. Scrutiny and even criticism are part of doing business, but must be fair and factual," said Vincent Borg, Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications. "One thing has become crystal clear as the hearings have progressed: some individuals have not been made to substantiate even their wildest allegations about the Canadian mining industry and Barrick Gold - much of which has been thoroughly disproved well before today. They have not provided the Committee with facts or evidence to support their claims as they conduct these hit-and-run company character assassinations."
"The hearings have amply demonstrated how Bill C-300 has become a magnet for false and unsubstantiated allegations from individuals anywhere in the world and do nothing but unduly harm the Canadian mining industry," added Mr. Borg.
In every sovereign country in which Barrick operates, there are existing governmental institutions, regulatory regimes, policing authorities, legal procedures and courts. Barrick believes that such allegations should be properly raised in these countries with all of the relevant factual details rather than a parliamentary committee in Canada which has not provided any scrutiny or accountability. Beyond such sovereign states, companies are already accountable to a range of international standards and guidelines with respect to responsible behavior.
"The proper forum for redress and resolution are courts of law or responsible sovereign authorities where matters can be properly investigated on a timely basis - not political arenas," added Mr. Borg.
Barrick Gold Corporation's vision is to become the world's best gold company by finding, acquiring, developing and producing quality reserves in a safe, profitable and socially responsible manner.