Barrick Gold - CEO, Mark Bristow
CEO, Mark Bristow
Source: Bloomberg
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  • Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX) has announced they are beefing up policies across operating sites 
  • The move follows the Argentine Government’s Urgency Decree, issued yesterday 
  • The country has in essence gone into a full mandatory quarantine until the end of the month 
  • The company has experience in these matters, having previously dealt with two ebola outbreaks close to African operations several years ago 
  • Barrick Gold (ABX) is down 1.8 per cent, with shares currently trading at C$22.92 and a market cap of $40 billion 

Barrick Gold Corporation (TSX:ABX) has today announced they will be closing their Argentine operations and suspending non-essential travel in COVID-19’s wake.

The Argentine Government has issued a national quarantine through the Urgency Decree, ordered yesterday.

The country is now on a mandatory quarantine until the end of the month.

In response, a host of resources companies including Barrick have decided to close operations. 

The company is also extending a 24-hour call service to communities and families around their operations sites.

Barrick is also implementing new procedures adhere to social distancing guidelines across production sites and are cranking up sanitation measures at all mines and offices.

These include guidelines to keep two metres between employees at all times, keeping surfaces clean and non-essential staff working from home where possible.

The company is hopeful that production at other sites can continue as usual.

CEO of Barrick, Mark Bristol said the situation was fluid”

“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,” Bristol said.

This follows the response released three weeks ago regarding COVID-19 management policies.

At the time, the company did not deem it necessary to restrict travel.

The company’s main objective then was to guarantee supplies, and as such have increased critical supplies to a minimum of 3 months at all production sites.

“We have increased stock levels…identified alternative suppliers and shipping routes, and put in contingency plans for clearing and offloading,” Mark said.

Barrick has had an interesting ride in the past two months.

As a traditional safe haven industry, the gold company’s stock price surged when markets began reacting to COVID-19 shutdown fears in February.

Shares climbed to C$29 a share at the end of February.

Then, as the markets began to crash last week, Barrick was caught in the landslide.

The company lost nearly a third of its value over in a three-day run from March 10 to March 13.

Barrick Gold (ABX) is down 1.8 per cent, with shares currently trading for $22.92 at 12:57pm EST. 

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