All amounts expressed in US dollars
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, April 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Barrick Gold Corporation (GOLD) (ABX.TO), operator of the Kibali gold mine, has announced a $1.5 million support program to help combat and contain the Covid-19 pandemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Barrick’s chief operating officer for the company’s Africa and Middle East region, Willem Jacobs, says the company believes the current situation requires a national response from all who have the DRC’s interests at heart. Barrick, as a committed partner to the DRC, has structured a detailed Covid-19 support program for the country, which was communicated to the government at the beginning of the month by Barrick president and CEO Mark Bristow.
Barrick’s DRC country manager, Cyrille Mutombo, has met with the Prime Minister, HE Sylvestre Ilunga Ilumkamba, and informed him that Kibali had put in place measures to ensure continuity of its operations and to protect workers and their families living around the mine. This program is being managed by the mine’s own doctors and health workers, who are experienced in dealing with deadly infections such as Ebola. This new package was an addition to those efforts and includes the supply of critical equipment to the value of $632,000 at the national level, $488,000 at the provincial level and $380,000 at the local level.
The Prime Minister noted that the DRC had launched a National Solidarity Fund for Covid-19 and said he was delighted that Barrick was among the first to respond with such a substantial contribution. He requested the Minister of Health along with the Covid-19 task team to work with Kibali to identify priorities on which to focus its contribution. Acknowledging that the remotely situated mine had been transforming the area since it began operating 10 years ago, he said that the government would work with the company on the operating challenges it faces.
Kibali has also offered the early payment of taxes, which the government has welcomed, and the company is currently discussing the details with the Ministry of Finance and the tax authorities.
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Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information
Certain information contained in this press release, including any information as to Barrick’s strategy or future financial or operating performance, constitutes “forward-looking statements”. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The words “help”, “contain”, “support”, “will”, “believe”, “engage”, “promise”, “offer” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. In particular, this press release contains forward-looking statements including, without limitation, with respect to financial support and preventative measures implemented by the Kibali gold mine to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic; efforts to support provincial and local stakeholders as well as regional health authorities and community information programs with respect to the pandemic; and the potential early payment of taxes by the Kibali gold mine.
Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions; including material estimates and assumptions related to the factors set forth below that, while considered reasonable by Barrick as at the date of this press release in light of management’s experience and perception of current conditions and expected developments, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Known and unknown factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements and information. Such factors include, but are not limited to: the risks associated with Covid-19 and other infectious diseases presenting as major health issues; failure to comply with environmental and health and safety laws and regulations; operating or technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities, including geotechnical challenges, and disruptions in the maintenance or provision of required infrastructure and information technology systems; changes in national and local government legislation, taxation, controls, or regulations and/or changes in the administration of laws, policies, and practices, expropriation or nationalization of property and political or economic developments in the DRC; lack of certainty with respect to foreign legal systems, corruption and other factors that are inconsistent with the rule of law; risks associated with illegal and artisanal mining; risk of loss due to acts of war, terrorism, sabotage and civil disturbances; timing of receipt of, or failure to comply with, necessary permits and approvals; litigation and legal and administrative proceedings; damage to the Barrick’s reputation due to the actual or perceived occurrence of any number of events, including negative publicity with respect to the Barrick’s handling of environmental matters or dealings with community groups, whether true or not; contests over title to properties, particularly title to undeveloped properties, or over access to water, power, and other required infrastructure; employee relations including loss of key employees; increased costs and physical risks, including extreme weather events and resource shortages, related to climate change; and availability and increased costs associated with mining inputs and labor. In addition, there are risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development, and mining, including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations, pressures, cave-ins, flooding, and gold bullion, copper cathode, or gold or copper concentrate losses (and the risk of inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks).
Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can affect our actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, us. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. All of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements. Specific reference is made to the most recent Form 40-F/Annual Information Form on file with the SEC and Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities for a more detailed discussion of some of the factors underlying forward-looking statements, and the risks that may affect Barrick’s ability to achieve the expectations set forth in the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.
Barrick disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.