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Barrick Shareholders Should Back Miner on Pay, ISS Says

Barrick Gold Corp. shareholders, who last year revolted over the mining company’s executive pay, should vote in favor of its latest compensation plan and director nominations, said proxy advisory service Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.

The world’s largest gold producer, which announced a new executive pay policy March 31, has made improvements to its governance structure and compensation programs, ISS said in a report dated April 8. Last year, ISS advised shareholders to vote against the Toronto-based company’s approach to compensation.

Barrick said in September it was re-examining its policies after Canada’s biggest pension funds said an $11.9 million signing bonus given to Co-Chairman John Thornton set a “troubling precedent.” In a non-binding resolution at the last annual shareholders’ meeting, 85 percent of the votes were cast against Barrick’s approach to executive pay.

“The company and in particular the compensation committee has demonstrated a high level of responsiveness to shareholder concerns,” ISS said in the report. “Substantial changes have been made to the compensation structure to tighten the alignment of pay and performance, to improve disclosure and to align the longer term interests of management with the longer term interests of shareholders.”

The company is scheduled to hold its annual shareholder meeting and release its first-quarter earnings results on April 30.

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