Barrick Gold says its merger with Randgold has accelerated the pace and increased the effectiveness of its progress towards its strategic goals.

In its Information Circular for 2019, Executive Chairman John Thornton said key strategic initiatives have already been launched and the Company expects to deliver on all that the merger promised by the end of the current year.

The Information Circular follows the publication of Barrick’s 2018 Annual Report, where newly-appointed President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow outlined the steps already taken to achieve Barrick’s aim of becoming the world’s most valued gold business.

“We established strong regional executive teams in each of our three geographical zones: North America; Latin America and Australia Pacific; and Africa and the Middle East. Supporting them is a new corporate team with a mix of skills and experience which I believe is unequalled in this industry. The corporate office and its satellites are being restructured to move people and functions out of the backrooms and into the operations where they belong,” Mr Bristow said.

“Operationally, mining plans are being shifted from a primarily cash-flow optimization base to a model focused on optimizing the orebody and the margins. To this end, there are now mineral resource management teams at each of the mines. At the same time, all our systems are being upgraded to give managers access to consistent real-time data to facilitate speedy and accurate decision-making.”

Also in the Information Circular, Lead Director Brett Harvey noted that since the announcement of the merger up until the completion of the transaction on 1 January 2019, the Barrick share price on the New York Stock Exchange rose by 29 per cent, increasing the Company’s market capitalisation by US$3.6 billion. John Thornton delivered against all the objectives set for him in 2018 and this, together with the fact that he personally developed and executed the nil-premium merger with Randgold which strengthened Barrick’s position across all core metrics relative to its senior gold peers, is reflected in his incentive compensation for the year.