NZ Superannuation sells Barrick Gold stock, on human rights, environmental concerns

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund announced Monday it had sold its holdings of Toronto-based mining company Barrick Gold Corporation's stock, citing concerns about human rights and environmental standards.

In a news release, Anne-Maree O-Connor, the NZ$22.11 billion (US$18.32 billion) fund's manager, responsible investment - noting long-standing “security-related, environmental and community problems” at Barrick Gold's mines in Papua New Guinea and Tanzania – concluded that the company's activities were inconsistent with the standards contained in the UN Global Compact.

The news release said New Zealand Superannuation had sold shares in Barrick Gold Corporation and its subsidiary, African Barrick Gold, worth NZ$1.8 million and NZ$78,824 respectively as of Dec. 31, 2012.

Andrew Lloyd, a Toronto-based spokesman for Barrick Gold, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The fund's announcement regarding Barrick Gold follows a previous announcement last September, where New Zealand Superannuation excluded four companies – Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., KBR, Tokyo Electric Power Company and Zijin Mining Group – from its global equity portfolio over responsible investment-related issues.