Barrick Gold founder Peter Munk said Wednesday the time had come to say goodbye to the company he started more than 30 years ago, promising he was leaving the gold miner in good hands and describing a bright future for a firm coming off two less-than-stellar years.
© — Photo by The Canadian Press
Peter Munk, Barrick Gold Corp.’s founder and chairman, speaks during the company’s annual general meeting in Toronto Wednesday.
“I think I’ll be saying goodbye to you soon,” Munk, 86, told Barrick’s annual meeting of shareholders at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
“I do it, not just because the time is right, but because I think I can hand it over to the best A-team Barrick ever had.”
Munk said his commitment to Barrick was never determined by his title or the perks that came with leading the world’s largest gold producer. He promised to remain involved in the company he built from as a part owner in a small mine in northern Ontario into a heavyweight worth about $22 billion, with more than a dozen mines around the world.
“All those things are not what makes me so much tied to Barrick and, therefore, that tie, that commitment, that desire to help and that emotional involvement will remain, I think, until I die,” he said.
“You can take, maybe, Munk out of Barrick, (but) you can’t take Barrick out of Munk.”
Munk’s retirement comes the same week merger talks between Barrick and gold mining giant Newmont Mining Corp. collapsed amid a public spat and after two difficult years in which Barrick has had to take billions in impairment charges and see its stock trade for less than half of what it did less than two years ago.