Treat all stakeholders as equals, says Randgold CEO
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
London, 3 December 2014 - Gold mining companies should not prefer one stakeholder class over another but should ensure that all benefit equitably from their activities, Randgold Resources chief executive Mark Bristow said here today.
Speaking at the Mines and Money conference in London earlier today, Bristow said in the emerging regions where the gold mining industry’s operations were now largely located, the host country was a particularly important player and should be embraced not only as a stakeholder but as a partner.
“Mining anywhere, but particularly in emerging regions, exploits a country’s national assets and so it’s important that the host country and its people benefit from this,” he said.
“Arguably, a mining company’s primary responsibility is to its host country, although of course shareholders are also critically important because without investment there would be no mining projects. Mining companies and their host governments should be aligned in the drive to attract such investment and to ensure that all shareholders benefit.”
Bristow said gold mining companies could only satisfy the expectations of shareholders as well as other stakeholders through sustainable profitability.
“To achieve sustainable profitability, a gold mining company has to get a lot of tricky variables into equilibrium within the framework of a coherent strategy. In other words, it needs a long-term vision, not merely an urge to exploit a passing market trend. In a cyclical sector, it makes no sense to run a business that relies solely on a rising gold price to be able to deliver value,” he said.