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The Pueblo Viejo mine, operated by Barrick Gold Corporation, paid $108 million in taxes and royalties this month to the Dominican government.

This includes advance payment of income tax, net profit interest and royalties, including an advance payment of the royalty for the year 2021 estimated at $47 million.

This is the fourth tax payment the mine has made so far this year and brings its contribution to the Dominican government for 2020 to $385 million.

Pueblo Viejo has also agreed to advance the royalty payment for the years 2022 and 2023, estimated at $95 million, to support the government mission to combat the health and economic crisis caused by Covid-19.

Pueblo Viejo will not receive any discount or charge interest on the advance royalty payments.

Taxes for 2020 have been significantly higher than the $195 million paid in 2019 due to the impact of the increase in the price of gold.

The tax regime set out in the Special Lease Agreement of Mining Rights with the government is structured in such a way that if gross income and sales increase, the tax base also increases resulting in a higher tax payment.

Pueblo Viejo has also paid $20 million in indirect taxes resulting mainly from withholding taxes for salaries, wages and payments to foreign suppliers.

In addition to taxes, Pueblo Viejo has contributed to the Dominican economy through its support for the campaign against Covid-19, local purchases, and local employment.

It has allocated $1 million to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 in the country and in the communities around the mine. This includes the donation of tests, pulsometers, masks, gowns, oxygen, antibacterial gel, non-perishable food kits and 83 thousand gallons of alcohol for sanitization.

From 2013 to 2019, Pueblo Viejo has spent more than $2 billion with local suppliers and contractors. It employs 2,247 people, of whom 98% are Dominicans, and has been awarded the Igualando RD Seal, Gold Level and been certified under NORDOM 775 for maintaining good employment practices and a culture of gender equality in the workplace.

“Barrick Pueblo Viejo is committed to responsible mining and contributing to the development of the Dominican Republic. Our contributions have not only been economic but have also included the largest in-country environmental clean-up, remediating environmental damage left by previous operations at the mine.

“Prior to Barrick’s arrival, the water flowing from the Pueblo Viejo mine to the Margajita River was heavily impacted and unable to sustain aquatic life. Since we took over the asset from the previous operator, Barrick has undertaken extensive environmental remediation in and around the mine and the water quality now meets regulatory standards and sustains life,” says Juana Barceló, president of Pueblo Viejo.

Water management is one of the key aspects of Pueblo Viejo’s environmental performance. For this reason, the water that comes from the operational area is treated before discharge, in compliance with Dominican standards.

An extensive network of more than 100 monitoring wells and 90 surface water quality stations ensures compliance with these standards. Results are reported every six months to the Ministry of Environment.

In addition, since 2012 Pueblo Viejo has been inviting communities to participate in quarterly environmental monitoring, which includes water sampling.

As part of the Barrick group, Pueblo Viejo is a supporter of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and implements its standards in the Dominican Republic. Barrick discloses taxes, royalties and other payments made to governments on its website.

In its annual Extractive Sector Transparency Measure Act (ESTMA) report, Barrick publicly discloses payments to governments on a country by country and project level basis.

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Barrick
On 1 January 2019 a new Barrick was born out of the merger between Barrick Gold Corporation and Randgold Resources. Shares in the new company trade on the NYSE (GOLD) and the TSX (ABX). The merger has created a sector-leading gold company which owns five of the industry’s Top 10 Tier One gold assets (Cortez and Goldstrike in Nevada, USA (100%); Kibali in DRC (45%); Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali (80%); and Pueblo Viejo in Dominican Republic (60%)) and two with the potential to become Tier One gold assets (Goldrush/Fourmile (100%) and Turquoise Ridge (75%), both in the USA). With mining operations and projects in 15 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Dominican Republic, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, USA, and Zambia, Barrick has the lowest total cash cost position among its senior gold peers and a diversified asset portfolio positioned for growth in many of the world’s most prolific gold districts.