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In pictures: How Peter Munk built a mining giant

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Peter Munk, pictured here in 1963, moved to Toronto when he was 20. A graduate of University of Toronto with a degree in electrical engineering, he went on to found a number of companies including the gold mining giant Barrick Corp., which he launched in 1983.

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The company has stakes in mines across the globe, which it has accumulated over the years thanks to Munk’s interest in growing the miner through mergers and acquisitions. It is the biggest gold miner in the world.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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For most of its existence, the company received criticism for its practice of striking contracts with pre-determining gold prices - a practice known as hedging. It allowed the company to lessen risk when prices were low and volatile, but by 2009, hedging losses plagued the company’s reputation. In his first move as CEO, Aaron Regent shut down the program, resulting in $6-billion in writeoffs.

J.P. Moczulski/Reuters

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In 2011, the company set a production goal of 9 million ounces by 2016. It also announced two gold discoveries at a property in Nevada. Though he founded the company and was once chief executive, Munk now shares the board chairman role with John Thornton and owns less than 0.2 per cent of the company.

Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail

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Munk’s influence over the company remains a point of debate. Regent’s ouster as Barrick CEO on June 6 shocked many in the industry and renewed questions around the 84-year-old founder’s power. The company will report its earnings July 26 and investors are sure to have questions about the management change as well as the future of the mining giant.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press

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