Barrick’s Bristow: From $13 billion to a zero net debt company in seven years

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(Kitco News) – Faced with challenges in all regions, including the Covid-19 pandemic, Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD)(TSX:ABX) achieved all of its key performance indicators in 2020 and at the same time achieved significant progress toward achieving its key objectives, Chairman and CEO Mark Bristow said in the company’s 2020 annual report released today.

“The effectiveness of Barrick’s ESG strategy – which is based at all levels on a long-established philosophy of partnership and a close relationship with all stakeholders, from investors to host communities – has been a key driver of performance over the past year. This was particularly evident in our successful Covid-19 containment programs, which cushioned the impact of the pandemic on our business and people, and also enabled us to provide much-needed support and welcome to our host countries,” noted Bristow.

Bristow added that since the announcement of the Randgold merger, Barrick’s share price had risen 118% at the end of 2020 against a 92% increase in GDX. The quarterly dividend has been tripled and the board has recommended that an additional $750 million of excess cash be returned to shareholders as a return of capital distribution this year.

“A company that was burdened with net debt of over $13 billion as recently as 2013 now has no net debt, no significant maturities for the next 10 years and a strong balance sheet, with strong liquidity consisting of $5.2 billion in cash and an undrawn $3 billion credit facility,” Bristow said.

Bristow concluded that Barrick is still only at the start of an exciting and rewarding journey, but is well equipped in all respects to leverage what it has and to find and exploit new opportunities, including all the openings offered by the current momentum in gold. industry.

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Ann J. Cox