Can New Gold Leaders Make The Grade?

Barrick has company in the ‘wannabe-the-best in gold' stakes. Investors and industry leaders accept that is no longer just about annual production levels and reserves based on best-case-scenario long term gold prices.

Bristow, who headed Randgold Resources for 20 years before its acquisition by Barrick during last year's Denver Gold Forum, championed fortifying mine and broader business plans, certainly around quality deposits but also the use of base-case gold prices, and also thinking and planning everything long term. "What I set out to do was build an always-profitable gold company by setting longer-term goals, and not to get seduced by the quarterly toing and froing," he said while CEO at Randgold. "It is impossible to run a public company and beat yourself every quarter."

He has said sector short-termism has contributed to an uncertain industry future due to perennial under-investment in mines, people and exploration.