South Africa’s Golden Boy: How Mark Bristow Made His Billions
South African businessman Dennis Mark Bristow is the President and CEO of Barrick Gold Corporation, which became effective on January 1, 2019.
Prior to Barrick’s 2018 acquisition of the mining company, Randgold Resources, he had served as the company’s founder and CEO since its inception in 1995. In the past, the company has conducted several groundbreaking explorations in West Africa.
He then oversaw Randgold’s expansion into a significant global gold mining company by discovering and developing high-quality assets.
The creation of a sustainable mining sector in Africa has been greatly aided by Mark Bristow, who is 61 years old and has a track record of creating significant shareholder value.
Mark has been on the boards of various international gold mining firms throughout his career. He graduated from Natal University in South Africa with a doctorate in geology.
Mr. Bristow has gained recognition for his work in challenging African nations and for making Randgold Resources, which had total returns of more than 7,000% before its takeover, making it the best-performing company in London this century.
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What does Barrick Gold do?
The Barrick Gold Corporation explores, develops, produces, and sells assets for gold and copper.
It holds ownership stakes in producing gold mines in the following countries: Mali, Tanzania, the Dominican Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Argentina, Canada, and the United States.
Additionally, the corporation owns stakes in several projects spread across the Americas and Africa, including producing copper mines in Zambia, Saudi Arabia, and Chile.
The Canadian company Barrick Gold Corporation was established in 1983, and its main office is in Toronto.
How Mark Bristow made his millions
Mark Bristow joined the South Africa army and completed his active duty after leaving school at the age of 18. Later, he completed a Master’s and PhD thesis on platinum in the Bushveld Complex while studying geology at the University of Natal.
After joining Rand Mines in 1981, Mr. Bristow rose to the position of head of exploration at Randgold & Exploration, which the firm spun off to take control of its South African gold mines.
In 1995, he made the decision to strike out on his own. He raised funds to purchase a mine in Mali from BHP Billiton, and two years later, he listed Randgold Resources in London.
Bristow’s primary idea was to depart from South Africa and search for gold in French-speaking west Africa, which the anglophone mining sector had ignored throughout the Cold War.
Following a failure to acquire AngloGold Ashanti in 2003, Randgold avoided mergers and acquisitions and instead built five mines in West Africa after an early setback in Mali.
“If you mix cow shit and ice cream, you never improve the taste of the cow shit,” Mr Bristow told journalists.
“The principle behind that is stick to ice cream. It’s better. That’s what Randgold did. We tried very hard to be an ice cream company.”
Controversies hovering Mark Bristow
In 2018, images of Mark Bristow with animals he’d killed while on hunting expeditions in Africa became viral online.
He was seen posing beside dead elephants, antelope, gazelles, hippopotamuses, lions, buffalo, zebras, and leopards in photographs.
In response to the allegations, he said, “I’m a passionate African. I love the wildlife. I’ve spent my whole life involved in conservation,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s got anything to do with my ability to run a world-class gold business.”
An African hunting tour company called Hunters & Guides Africa featured the images of dead animals in one of its newsletters.
Between 2005 and 2014, Mr Bristow made appearances in advertising while on hunts in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
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