Barrick Gold Corporation has made a $1.5 million donation to the Malian government to support its Covid-19 containment campaign.
Barrick’s senior executive for West Africa, Mahamadou Samake, made the presentation.
The donation includes an amount of $426,000 being provided for special equipment to strengthen the medical infrastructure regionally and in the communities around the company’s mines.
President and CEO Mark Bristow said Barrick, through its legacy company Randgold, had a 25-year partnership with the Malian government, not only in the development of its gold mining industry but also in the field of community health.
The latter included its leadership of the industry in supplementing the neglected tropical disease programs in 2012, its role in combating the Ebola outbreak in 2014, and its ongoing collaboration with community health centres on immunisation programs.
“That is why, in addition to the extensive preventative measures we have already introduced at our mines, we are making this contribution to the government’s fight against the pandemic,” he said.
“We are also providing significant assistance to the surrounding communities and at the regional level.”
Barrick is also considering the early payment of taxes to assist the government financially. This issue is currently being discussed with the tax authorities.
“Barrick has a strong culture of caring for the welfare of its employees and communities. Our financial strength, well-established prevention practices and procedures, and the experience we gained from dealing with two Ebola pandemics around our African operations, will stand us in good stead as we face this new and unprecedented challenge,” Bristow said.
“Over the past quarter of a century, Barrick and its legacy company Randgold Resources have contributed $7.2 billion to the Malian economy in the form of taxes, royalties, salaries and payments to local suppliers. Over the same period, our mines in Mali paid $2.7 billion in dividends, taxes and royalties to the state – almost three times the $1 billion dividend received by Barrick.”