ELKO, NV – Barrick Gold of North America prepaid $101 million in Net Proceeds of Minerals taxes to the State of Nevada March 1, based on estimated 2011 operating results from its mining properties in the state. The company previously paid a total of $153 million in Nevada taxes in 2010, including $88 million in Net Proceeds of Minerals taxes (NPMT). Nevada’s NPMT is a special property tax on minerals produced in the state.
“I am glad to confirm that Barrick has prepaid these taxes at record levels to support state and county governments,” said Greg Lang, President of Barrick’s North America Region. “Our Nevada mines are doing well and our net proceeds payments have increased as a result. The system is working as intended.”
The NPMT applies only to the state’s mining industry and is assessed in addition to the other taxes that apply to all Nevada businesses, including sales and use, property and payroll taxes. The NPMT is a property tax on the minerals extracted. While all Nevada property tax rates except for mining are capped at no more than 3.64 percent, mining pays the maximum 5 percent rate allowed by the constitution on the value of the minerals sold. Roughly half of all NPMT revenue is allocated to the counties where minerals are mined and the remainder goes to the state’s general fund. Barrick is one of several Nevada mining companies that have prepaid their NPMT since 2009, in an effort to ease the state’s economic troubles. Since 2007, Barrick has paid more than $563 million in state and local taxes in Nevada. This total includes more than $325 million in NPMT.
“These are big numbers, especially when you consider that mining represented only about three percent of Nevada’s overall economy in 2009,” Lang said. “Many people think mining is Nevada’s second largest industry. In fact, mining is the state’s twelfth largest business sector.” Mining is the primary source of high-paying jobs and tax revenue in many rural Nevada counties.
In the last five years, Barrick has invested more than $2 billion to sustain and expand its Nevada mines. This includes more than $500 million to expand the Cortez operations in Lander County and more than $300 million to expand the Bald Mountain Mine in White Pine County. The company has hired hundreds of new employees in recent years and its operations support many more vendors and suppliers in Nevada.
“There is a pervasive myth that our profits are shipped off to mysterious foreign owners and we are often accused of paying little to no taxes in Nevada,” Lang said. “The fact is that we put much of this money right back into our people, our operations and our communities and we certainly pay our taxes.” Barrick operates or holds interests in seven Nevada gold mining operations. The company employs more than 4,000 people in the state and is one of the largest private employers in rural Nevada.
“We have a long history of responsible mine operation in Nevada and the investments we’re making today will allow us to continue doing so for many years to come,” Lang added.
Barrick and its partners in the Nevada Mining Association believe that increasing taxes on a single industry is not a sustainable, long-term solution and would further expose Nevada’s economy to the natural market fluctuations that affect the value of minerals.
Louis A. Schack
Director, Communications and Community Affairs
Tel: (775) 748-1112