Fri, Apr. 17, 12:59 PM
- Three of the world's largest pension funds - Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, British Columbia Investment Management, and the Netherlands’ PGGM Vermogensbeheer - say they will vote against the re-election of Barrick Gold’s (ABX +1.8%) board, citing poor corporate performance and excessive compensation.
- The pension funds' stand is a slap against ABX Executive Chairman John Thornton, whose $13M pay package for 2014 has been widely criticized by investors.
- None of the three pension funds are among ABX’s biggest investors, and some other shareholders have expressed support for the board, but complaints from the funds may act as a rallying call for protesters.
Wed, Apr. 15, 8:24 AM
- Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) says it welcomes the decision by Zambia's government to set its mining royalties at 9% for both open-pit and underground mines, but that it will review the details before reconsidering plans to shutter its Lumwana copper mine.
- Zambia's January decision to increase royalties for open pit mines to 20% from 6% and those for underground mines to 8% from 6% had rattled unions, miners and investors, forcing the government to review the plan; companies such as Glencore (OTCPK:GLCNF, OTCPK:GLNCY) and First Quantum Minerals (OTCPK:FQVLF) stopped expansion plans worth $1.5B.
- The new 9% rate still would be considered on the high end compared to other mining jurisdictions, but it might make more mines viable.
Fri, Apr. 10, 12:43 PM
- Another proxy advisory firm is telling Barrick Gold (ABX +1.7%) shareholders to vote against Chairman John Thornton’s $13M 2014 pay package.
- ISS, North America's biggest proxy advisory firm, says Thornton’s 36% pay rise was unwarranted in a year when ABX’s share price share price lost over a third of its value and underperformed its peers.
- Advisory firm Glass Lewis also has recommended against ABX’s "excessive" executive compensation.
- Thornton’s pay is larger than that of his peers: Last year, Newmont Mining (NEM +0.8%), the world’s second largest gold miner behind ABX based on production, paid its non-executive chairman, Vincent Calarco, $572K.
Thu, Apr. 9, 6:19 PM
- Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis recommends that Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) shareholders vote against the miner's executive compensation plan, citing concerns over the pay of Executive Chairman John Thornton.
- ABX introduced a new compensation program last year after shareholder complaints in 2013, but Thornton still was paid $12.9M in 2014, roughly one-third more than in the previous year.
- ABX will consider an advisory resolution on executive compensation at its annual meeting in Toronto on April 28; while non-binding, such "say on pay" votes can send a message of shareholder discontent to companies.
Mon, Apr. 6, 3:38 PM
- Barrick Gold (ABX +6%) said on Friday it has settled 11 claims related to atrocities committed against women over the last two decades at its Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea.
- The settlement brings to a close all outstanding claims made by women who allegedly were beaten, raped and threatened by the miner's security personnel and employees.
- Earlier this year, ABX announced plans to sell Porgera - which produced more than 500K oz. of gold in 2014 - and its Cowal gold mine in Australia in an attempt to cut its debt levels.
Mon, Apr. 6, 10:21 AM
- Goldcorp (GG +3.3%) agrees to sell its 40% stake in the South Arturo mine project in Nevada to Premier Gold Mines (OTCPK:PIRGF).
- Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) is 60% owner and operator of the project and has right of first refusal.
- Premier agrees to pay GG $20M at closing and to transfer 5% of its interest in the Rahill-Bonznsa joint venture in Red Lake, Ontario, where GG has one of its major mines; in turn, GG has agreed to invest $12.5M in Premier.
Mon, Apr. 6, 9:55 AM
- Barrick Gold (ABX +3.5%) is open to asset sales and joint ventures as it tries to cut $3B from its $10B-plus debt and rebuild its reputation with investors, John Thornton tells Financial Times in his first interview since taking over as Chairman nearly a year ago.
- Thornton says he can imagine ABX ceding operational control of some assets, for example to Mick Davis, the former Xstrata CEO who plans to re-enter the mining sector at the head of a P-E firm.
- Sales of two gold mines, Cowal in Australia and Porgera in Papua New Guinea, are well advanced, Thornton says, although those sales would only meet part of the $3B target; however, there are no plans to try to revive a merger with Newmont Mining (NEM +1.5%) after talked failed a year ago.
Wed, Apr. 1, 6:54 PM
- Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) loses its bid to dismiss a U.S. lawsuit that accuses it of concealing environmental problems at the Pascua-Lama mine on the border of Argentina and Chile and of fraudulently inflating the company's market value by billions of dollars.
- The U.S. district judge in Manhattan ruled today that shareholders can pursue class action claims against ABX but dismissed claims alleging the miner intentionally misled them about costs and production delays.
- Cost overruns, environmental issues, labor unrest, political opposition and falling gold prices contributed to ABX's decision in October 2013 to halt the project, after it had already spent $5B-plus; the investors are suing for losses covering the period from May 7, 2009, when ABX said it would begin construction on Pascua-Lama, through Nov. 1, 2013.
Sun, Mar. 29, 4:45 AM
- Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) Chairman John Thornton received almost $13M in total compensation last year, up from $9.5M in 2013, raising more questions of executive pay at the world's largest gold miner.
- In yet another challenging year, Barrick's shares dropped around 35% last year, amid continued weakness in bullion prices and major write downs on the value of its assets.
- Thornton's compensation was also greater than the $7.3M and $4.5M awarded respectively to the company's joint chief executive officers, Jim Gowans and Kelvin Dushnisky.
Fri, Mar. 27, 2:15 PM
- Barrick Gold (ABX +1.4%) says it will continue to operate its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia while awaiting changes to the country's mineral royalty tax.
- ABX had said it would suspend operations and make major staff cuts after Zambia hiked mineral royalties for open pit mines to 20% from 6% raised the royalty tax rate on underground mines to 8% from 6%.
- Zambia's President Lungu this week directed the finance and mining ministers to change royalties on mining firms by April 8, saying the government could consider temporarily reverting to the 2014 tax regime while a new rate is negotiated.
Fri, Mar. 27, 12:38 PM
- Barrick Gold's (ABX +0.3%) says it has closed its Zaldivar copper mine in Chile for safety reasons after heavy rains swept across the country's northern desert region this week, increasing to eight the number of copper miners that have been affected by the bad weather.
- No. 1 copper miner Codelco already had suspended mining operations at its Chuquicamata, Ministro Hales, Radomiro Tomic, Gabriela Mistral, and Salvador deposits due to the state of roads and mine access following the rains.
- Other mines affected by the rains include Antofagasta's (OTC:ANFGF) Michilla mine and Centinela copper complex, Anglo American's (OTCPK:AAUKF, OTCPK:AAUKY) Mantoverde and Lundin Mining's (OTCPK:LNDNF) Candelaria.
- Peru produces a third of the world's copper.
Mon, Mar. 23, 3:39 PM
- Barrick Gold (ABX +2.8%) says Chile's Environmental Court has ruled that the company's Pascua-Lama gold and silver project has not damaged glaciers within its area of influence.
- ABX halted development of Pascua-Lama, once its biggest new development project, in 2013 after struggling with political opposition, permitting issues, labor unrest, cost overruns and falling gold prices.
- ABX says it will continue to work with stakeholders in local communities in Chile to advance the project in an environmentally responsible manner.
Mon, Mar. 16, 7:57 AM
- Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) may put its Zaldivar copper mine in Chile up for sale, hoping to raise more than $1.5B, Financial Times reports.
- A sale could draw interest from Chinese companies looking to acquire resources as well as P-E firms such as Mick Davis's X2 Resources, according to the report; Davis headed Xstrata before its 2012 sale to Glencore and is said to be hunting for mining deals.
- The Zaldivar mine, one of ABX's key assets, is located next to Escondida, the world's largest copper mine.
Fri, Mar. 6, 2:42 PM
- Precious metals miners are bludgeoned as April Comex gold tumbles 2.7% to $1,164.30/oz. for its lowest settlement of the year so far.
- The culprit was the upbeat February jobs report, which sparked fears that the improving economy will prompt the Fed to hike interest rates sooner rather than later.
- ABX -6%, GG -6.6%, NEM -7.9%, AU -6.1%, AUY -6.6%, KGC -7.8%, SLW -3.4%, GOLD -5.4%, EGO -5%, GFI -7.9%, HL -10.4%, RGLD -8.6%, FNV -3.2%, NG -4.3%, SBGL -6.4%, PAAS -4.3%,BTG -6.5%, IAG -6.2%, AUQ -5.6%, AGI -2.8%.
- Precious metals ETFs: GLD, SLV, AGQ, IAU, USLV, SIVR, SGOL, ZSL, UGL, DGP, GLL, UGLD, DZZ, SLVO, GLDI, DSLV, OUNZ, DGL, DBS, GLTR, DGZ, DGLD, AGOL, DBP, WITE, TBAR, USV, UBG, JJP, BAR, GYEN, GEUR, BARS, RGRP, BLNG
- Precious metals mining ETFs: GDX, NUGT, DUST, SIL, GLDX, SLVP, RING, SGDM, PSAU, GDXX
Tue, Feb. 24, 6:42 AM
- Workers at Barrick Gold's (NYSE:ABX) Lumwana copper mine in Zambia called off their strike this morning after the government said they would not lose their jobs.
- More than 2,000 workers went on strike yesterday to protest the company's plans to suspend operations due to higher royalties.
- Previously: Barrick Gold hit with 2,000 worker strike (Feb. 23 2015)
Mon, Feb. 23, 11:59 AM
- Barrick Gold (ABX -1.1%) believes it can keep production above 6M oz./year through 2017, and J.P. Morgan's John Bridges agrees; but after that, the analyst expects production to plummet to ~4.5M oz. by 2020 and even lower a few years later.
- Bridges says it has "become apparent recently that the upper limit of sustainable gold production is around the [3M-4M oz.] level assuming [ABX] is skilled at acquiring new projects in a way that makes them accretive."
- The analyst is encouraged by chairman John Thornton’s plan to turn ABX around, but he sees it as a first step only; he has a Neutral rating on the stock and a $13 price target.
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