Shareholders want fresh blood on Barrick Gold’s board

Barrick Gold’s (TSX, NYSE:ABX) shareholders and investors are reportedly pressing for a swift change in the board, which would include bidding farewell to the company’s founder Peter Munk, unnamed sources told WSJ.com.

"The company has become Peter's entity and his succession, and the board itself, has become one of the problems," stockowner John Ing, president of Toronto-based Maison Placements Canada Inc. was quoted as saying by WSJ.com.

"Peter and the board need to change," he said.

As most gold miners, the world’s largest producer of the yellow precious metal has been hit hard by lower commodity prices and increasing mine costs, since late last year.

Only last month, the Toronto-based miner logged close to $13 billion impairment charges and an $8.6 billion loss in the second-quarter of the year. It also announced it was reducing its quarterly dividend to five cents per share and that it would continue to cut down on both its workforce and capital spending.

The company’s stock is down almost 50% this year, as it has faced cost overruns, writedowns, and opposition to co-chairman, John Thornton’s $11.9 million signing bonus, from shareholders including Canada's six largest pension fund managers.

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